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Portraits of Faith
Worldwide, Other
By Michal Novotný
26 May 2017

"When I was growing up in Communist Czechoslovakia, teachers told me there is no God and that religion is the opium of the people. Many years later I embarked on a personal journey: to observe people who believe in gods, and maybe, at the end of the journey, to find God."

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Underwater Rugby
St.Petersburg, Russia
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A story about underwater rugby team in St. Petersburg. Made under an assignment for Russian Reporter magazine.

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Forbes (Russia) tear sheets.
Izhevsk, Russia
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A photo story made under assignment of Forbes, Russia, about Kalashnikov gun factory.

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NRC handelsblad tearsheets, Donbass war
Donetsk, Ukraine
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

Some layouts of Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad with my photostories from war-torn Eastern Ukrain, Donbass.

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MY BIG TAJIK WEDDING
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

Every year nearly one million of Tajiks leave their homes and come to Russia looking for a decent work. The reality is tough — most of them end up with the lowest paid jobs due to language and cultural barrier, which allows the hiring side to go way below the statutory pay minimum. Not only that — In spite of the fact that Tajikistan was the first country to provide Russia right after the USSR’s collapse with highly needed then labour migrants, today surveys show that close to 70% of Russians admit they hate migrants. Every day an average of three tajiks become victims of racist attacks, police brutality, dangerous working conditions and unsafe housing. Nevertheless they still come to Russia, coping with all hardship for the chance to earn four times more than they would have at home. Surprisingly enough, it’s not always family’s day-to-day living they save for. For thousands it’s a wedding ceremony. In Tajikistan, live swirls around weddings. In the country, where 47.2% live below the poverty threshold, and 80% of the employable population work abroad as labour migrants, the amount of money spent on weddings per year equals the country’s budget of $2 billion. People save money for weddings for years, put it all in a ceremony of a lifetime leaving the new family’s provider with the need to hit the road again, now to earn the living. Yet despite all odds Tajiks all over the country still throw fabulous celebrations. Dazzling colours of joyful ceremonies are quite a contrast to the behind-the-scenes reality.
The wedding industry is probably the only one with stable income, and it’s the country’s major industry encompassing entertainers, singers, musicians, restaurants, cameramen, photographers, sellers of wedding dresses and many more. In 2013 Tajik authorities have issued a law that limits the number of weddings’ guests, wedding budget and even the hours a reception in the restaurant can last. But nothing can change the fact that for Tajiks the wedding celebration has literally become the most important day of their life and weddings last at least 3 days anyway.
Brides change up to 20 dresses that have to shine and sparkle, and a 200$ per meter fabric straight from Emirates is a preferred choice. For Tajiks a wedding is something that you have to do properly, by the tradition. A show that you put up for the neighbourhood and beyond, that makes you look good, like you can afford it. You can hardly tell the difference between a rich family wedding or a very poor one. They will do their best to fit in. Even if the whole family will end up with debts that only several years of work can cover. Even with the legal limits, Tajiks say, to pay for a wedding a total of four people from both sides have to work for at least a year abroad to save the money. With a wedding being just a ceremony that celebrates marriage, marriage itself raises many more issues. The majority of marriages are still arranged. Men usually leave the country from the age of 16. Then they go back once the parents has chosen a wife, marry her, make kids and leave again. They either work abroad for an average of 10 years and then go back home with the savings, or sometimes just leave forever. Tajikistan has been branded as the country of the missing men.

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The End
Diveevo, Russia
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

Recently more and more people talk about apo­ca­lypses. There are num­bers of apo­ca­lypse scen­arios, which have already become fam­ous books and movies. Those who refer to Maya, believe that the World will end in 2012. Sci­ent­ists also do not deny the pos­sib­il­ity of Earth col­lid­ing with a giant aster­oid or hid­den planet. Often this idea takes a form of global mass hys­teria. Some dig bunkers and pur­chase indi­vidual armored cab­ins, some acquire land in what they believe to be sac­red places. Accord­ing to Ortho­dox tra­di­tion, there are four places on Earth where one will sur­vive the Apo­ca­lypse: Iberia in Geor­gia, Mount Athos in Greece, Kiev-Pecherskaya Lavra in Ukraine and Serafimo-Diveevsky Mon­as­tery in Russia. Diveevo, Nizhny Novgorod region, Russia. 2011 (Konstantin Salomatin) © Kon­stantin Salomatin This is related to a reli­gious belief that these places are blessed and pro­tec­ted by Vir­gin Mary. Diveevo is a small set­tle­ment in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Iron­ic­ally, it is loc­ated just nearby a closed city of Sarov ( ex-Arzamas 16), the place where the nuc­lear bomb was born. It has been a while since some fam­il­ies in Rus­sia aban­doned their homes and lives in cit­ies and came to Diveevo Mon­as­tery. Here they seek to escape from the Apo­ca­lypse or face it in a sac­red place. They spent their days in pray­ers and do not acknow­ledge attrib­utes of mod­ern soci­ety. They strongly believe that when the end comes only the right­eous will be saved.

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The End
Diveevo village, United States
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

Recently more and more people talk about apo­ca­lypses. There are num­bers of apo­ca­lypse scen­arios, which have already become fam­ous books and movies. Those who refer to Maya, believe that the World will end in 2012. Sci­ent­ists also do not deny the pos­sib­il­ity of Earth col­lid­ing with a giant aster­oid or hid­den planet. Often this idea takes a form of global mass hys­teria. Some dig bunkers and pur­chase indi­vidual armored cab­ins, some acquire land in what they believe to be sac­red places. Accord­ing to Ortho­dox tra­di­tion, there are four places on Earth where one will sur­vive the Apo­ca­lypse: Iberia in Geor­gia, Mount Athos in Greece, Kiev-Pecherskaya Lavra in Ukraine and Serafimo-Diveevsky Mon­as­tery in Russia. Diveevo, Nizhny Novgorod region, Russia. 2011 (Konstantin Salomatin) © Kon­stantin Salomatin This is related to a reli­gious belief that these places are blessed and pro­tec­ted by Vir­gin Mary. Diveevo is a small set­tle­ment in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Iron­ic­ally, it is loc­ated just nearby a closed city of Sarov ( ex-Arzamas 16), the place where the nuc­lear bomb was born. It has been a while since some fam­il­ies in Rus­sia aban­doned their homes and lives in cit­ies and came to Diveevo Mon­as­tery. Here they seek to escape from the Apo­ca­lypse or face it in a sac­red place. They spent their days in pray­ers and do not acknow­ledge attrib­utes of mod­ern soci­ety. They strongly believe that when the end comes only the right­eous will be saved.

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Debaltsevo, Ukraine
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

Besieged Debaltsevo. The territory is under ukranian control. The center of distribution of humanitarian aid in a former city hall.

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Donetsk, Ukraine
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

Donetsk, Ukrain. Donetsk opera theater. The ballet troupe is at training sassion.

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Debaltsevo, Ukraine
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

Debaltsevo township, Donetsk region, Ukrain. The territory is under ukranian control. The center of distribution of humanitarian aid in a former city hall.

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Russian Reporter_3-2
St.Petersburg, Russia
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A story about underwater rugby team in St. Petersburg. Made under assignment for Russian reporetr magazine.

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Iz, Iran
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A photo story made under assignment of Forbes, Russia, about Kalashnikov gun factory.

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Iz, Iran
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A photo story made under assignment of Forbes, Russia, about Kalashnikov gun factory.

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Iz, Iran
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A photo story made under assignment of Forbes, Russia, about Kalashnikov gun factory.

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Iz, Iran
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A photo story made under assignment of Forbes, Russia, about Kalashnikov gun factory.

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FirstSection_02_Print-1
Iz, Iran
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A photo story made under assignment of Forbes, Russia, about Kalashnikov gun factory.

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Russian Reporter_3-1
St.Petersburg, Russia
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A story about underwater rugby team in St. Petersburg. Made under assignment for Russian reporetr magazine.

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Russian Reporter_3-4
St.Petersburg, Russia
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

A story about underwater rugby team in St. Petersburg. Made under assignment for Russian reporetr magazine.