Grozny: Nine Cities
Grozny: 9 cities is a joint project by Olga Kravets, Maria Morina, and Oksana Yushko, exploring specific aspects of Grozny’s aftermath through considering them as “cities” hidden within Grozny.
Grozny: Nine Cities, interactive documentary, is a joint project by Olga Kravets, Maria Morina, and Oksana Yushko, exploring specific aspects of Grozny’s aftermath through considering them as “cities” hidden within Grozny. This interactive documentary brings the viewers into a spiralling nightmare where the 9 levels of the cities are as many circle of hell.
Nine cities, nine levels, like in Dante’s inferno, the visitors have to descent into the darkness of the war aftermath in Chechnya and Grozny. The left side menu is designed for an un-obstructive experience of the cities and the timeline of war while, as the same time, representing a piece of cloth stained by the blood of the victims.
Telling a story that is so deep, so dark, so complicated is a real challenge. Testimonies were collected and presented in very straightforward way to let the visitor immerse herself into the raw and brutal truth of the daily life in Grozny nowadays.
Winner of Prix Bayeux-Calvados
for War Correspondents 2014
About the project
Grozny, the capital of war-torn Chechnya, is a melting pot for changing Сaucasus society that is trying to overcome a post-trauma shock of two recent wars and find its own way of life in between traditional Сhechen values, Muslim traditions, and globalization, to cope with rapidly changing role of women, increasing contrast between rich and poor and political games. Our project Grozny: Nine Cities is inspired by a Thornton Wilder book, Theophilus North, and centers on the idea of nine cities being hidden in one, which gives us a concept to explore specific aspects of the aftermath of two Chechen wars considering them as ”cities” hidden within Grozny.
We’ve been working on the project since October 2009. We had all been working photographers for several years before when we met during the online seminars run by Objective Reality Foundation for emerging photographers in Russia and after them we decided to make a project together, which also eventually led to the foundation of the first Russian photo collective, Verso and we made joint projects on social transitions our priority. We come from different backgrounds, Olga was a journalist before, Oksana has higher education in computer science and mathematics, and Maria used to manage development of web project but we all came to photography because of our passion for visual storytelling and we get our inspiration from the ability to tell story of one people to another and make a small, but an impact with it.