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burn magazine

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient


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 Diana Markosian

My Father, The Stranger

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I knocked on the door of a stranger.

I’ve traveled halfway around the world to meet him.

My father.

I was seven years old when I last saw him.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, so did my family.

I remember my father and I dancing together in our tiny apartment in Moscow and him giving me my first doll.

I also remember him leaving.

Sometimes he would be gone for months at a time and then unexpectedly be back.

Until, one day, it was our turn to leave.

My mother woke me up and told me to pack my belongings. She said we were going on a trip. The next day, we arrived at our new home, California.

We hardly ever spoke of my father. I had no pictures of him, and over time, forgot what he looked like.

I often wondered what it would have been like to have a father.

I still do.

This is my attempt to piece together a picture of a familiar stranger.



Diana Markosian is a documentary photographer and writer.

Her reporting has taken her from Russia’s North Caucasus mountains, to the ancient Silk Road in Tajikistan and overland to the remote Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan.

Diana’s images have appeared in The New York Times, The Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Foreign Policy, Foto8,, World Policy Journal, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, amongst others.

Her work has been recognized by a diverse range of organizations including UNICEF, AnthropoGraphia, Ian Parry Scholarship, Marie Claire Int’l, National Press Photography Association, Columbia University and Getty Images. In 2011, Diana’s image of the terrorist mother was awarded photo of the year by Reuters.

She holds a masters from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


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Diana Markosian


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After failing to capture his vision for a project, Ivan Sigal unmoored himself from his preconceived story and went on a dizzying trek through Russia and Central Asia.

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Diana Markosian, a Reportage Emerging Talent, is presenting work at Photo Center NW in Seattle on Thursday, May 9, at 6:30. Click here for more details.

Photo Center NW is pleased to host documentary photographer and writer Diana Markosian for a lecture focused on developing a personal visual style as a documentary photographer and photojournalist. Markosian’s reporting has taken her from Russia’s North Caucasus mountains, to the ancient Silk Road in Tajikistan and overland to the remote Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan.

Caption: Seda Makhagieva, 15, wraps a pastel-colored head and neck covering in Chechnya in 2012. Makhagieva fought to wear the hijab - a sharp break from her family’s traditions. See more work from this series, “Goodbye my Chechnya,” on the Reportage Web site. (Photo by Diana Markosian)

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Monika Bulaj

Behind the Great Game

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What lies behind the conflicts and power struggles vying for control of the oil resources of Western and Central Asia? The aim of this work – The Central and Western Asia Project - is to give voice to those who are the unwilling protagonists (and often victims) of that which Ahmed Rashid terms The New Great Game, in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Central Asian republics.
In Afghanistan, a country that was to be saved from itself, despite the millions of dollars in aid and the presence of military personnel, over half of the population depends on food aid for their very survival and the condition of women is still among the worst in the world. Pakistan, increasingly torn apart by civil strife, is the victim of American political myopia that has bred a hatred for the West and has rendered impossible any serious opposition to the extremists, undermining the very founding values of the Pakistani state: democracy, a secular educational system, a functioning civil society.
In the work that I did in this Region (Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iran) I’ve tried to go beyond the facile geopolitical characterizations of this region and its inhabitants and bring to the light its invisible spaces: spaces that resist the political monochromes, populist rhetoric and imported understandings of radical Islam. There is another, hidden world here, ignored by the media: that of the Sufi, despised by the Taliban; that of Islamised shamanisms  and pre-Islamic traditions; that of the various nomadic tribes and other religious minorities, such as the animists, whose sacred places have long been seen as a powerful threat to the dominance of Taliban Wahabite ideology.
I’m trying to bring to the fore also the condition of women: their struggles with depression and suicide, with the impositions of morality, their aspirations, their sexuality.



Free-lance photographer and writer, for GEO, East, National Geographic (Italy), La Repubblica, periodicals by  Gruppo Espresso and Rcs, Courrier International, Gazeta Wyborcza. Born in 1966 in Warsaw, she has completed five-years studies in the Polish Philology on the Warsaw University. She has three sons and worked until 2002 as an actress and dancer. She has published books:  ‘Libya felix’, Mondadori; ‘Figli di No?’ Frassinelli 2006 (minorities and faiths in Azerbaigian); ‘Rebecca e la pioggia’, Frassinelli 2006 (the nomadic tribe of the Dinka of South Sudan); ‘Gerusalemme perduta’ with Paolo Rumiz, Frasinelli 2005 (about the Eastern Christians); ‘Genti di Dio, viaggio nell’Altra Europa’, Frasinelli 2008 (researches in East Europe and Israel), Bozy ludzie, Bosz Editions 2011. More than 50 personal exibitions. Awards: Grant in Visual Arts 2005 from EAJC, Bruce Chatwin Award 2009 ‘Occchio Assoluto’, The Aftermath Project Grant 2010. Her book ‘Genti di Dio’ has just been published in a new and larger edition.

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Monika Bulaj

Central Asia Project

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Dataminr is an analytics company that draws trends from social networks for various business clients, and today it revealed a partnership with Twitter that grants it access to over 340 million tweets a day — data points that will be used to create what the company calls "one of the earliest warning systems for breaking news and emerging events." The company claimed last year that the technology had relayed news of Osama Bin Laden's death to its clients before the story had been reported by major media outlets. The use of Twitter for breaking news in recent years has grown both for firsthand users of the service and even for general audiences through broadcast outlets like CNN — and Dataminr joins other companies already using big...

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READY, AIM: A Chinese policeman showed off his rifle during an event in Beijing Wednesday. Crime rates have risen steadily in China since the country began opening up three decades ago and undergoing related dramatic social changes. (AFP/Getty Images)

TO SENDAI WITH LOVE: U.S. Air Force 36th Airlift Squadron Master Sgt. Neal Martyniak walked past barrels of diesel fuel being flown Thursday from Yokota Air Base near Tokyo to Sendai Airport for tsunami relief. (Koji Ueda/Associated Press)

TRAGIC ACCIDENT: A police expert examined the body of a young man killed when the fragment of a balcony of the Kozatskiy hotel fell on him in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

HEADED OUT: Petty Officer Third Class David Weir kissed his wife, Jessica, and son Cody as he prepared to deploy on the USS Bataan Wednesday from Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va. The ship is deploying to the Mediterranean Sea to aid international efforts in Libya. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot/Associated Press)

SKIDDING TO A STOP: A demonstrator fell after throwing a rock at police outside a European Union summit in Brussels Thursday. EU officials are meeting in Brussels Thursday and Friday in an effort to cement an expanded bailout fund for the region and give final approval to new economic rules. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Associated Press)

UNDER GUARD: A suspected member of forces loyal to Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi stood inside a prison in Benghazi Thursday. Military assessments suggested strikes on Col. Gadhafi’s ground forces have failed to loosen their siege of the key western city of Misrata. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

TRADITIONAL PASTIME: Men on horseback competed in goat-dragging, a traditional central Asian sport, outside Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Thursday. (Nozim Kalandarov/Reuters)

UNDER ARREST: Teachers were arrested by riot police near the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday during a demonstration against the privatization of education. (Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images)

CONTINUING BATTLE: A tuberculosis patient lay in his bed at a tuberculosis hospital in Srinagar, in Indian-controlled Kashmir, Thursday, World Tuberculosis Day. More than two million people will contract multi-drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis by 2015, the WHO said Wednesday. (Zuma Press)

OUT FOR A RUN: Boys ran through Stadtpark, or City Park, during a warm spring day in Vienna Thursday. Temperatures reached up to 20 degrees Celsius, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit, in Austria. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

GONE FISHING: A man fished in a pond in Xiangyang city in central China’s Hubei Province Wednesday. (Wang Hu/European Pressphoto Agency)

SURREAL: A 15-meter (49-foot) head was fixed on a torso with cranes and integrated into a floating stage on Lake Constance near Bregenz, Austria, Thursday. It is part of the stage setting for the opera ‘Andre Chenier’ by Italian composer Umberto Giordano, which will premiere in July. (Felix Kaestle/Associated Press)

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