A look at photos from “Spasibo,” a monograph and exhibition by the Italian photojournalist Davide Monteleone, which examines Chechen identity after centuries of violence and conflict between Chechen separatists and Moscow: http://nyr.kr/HAPMRy
“Grozny is a city of phantoms. Phantoms of those who died or disappeared in the war—every family has brothers, sons, or a father who left the house and never returned,” writes the Moscow-based journalist Masha Gessen. As Monteleone says, “Everything is controlled by the authorities that give to the people as they please. A state of comforting stagnation …. The physical violence that was so much part of the post-conflict years … seems to have decreased. The Chechens are so frightened that these acts of violence are almost no longer necessary. The violence is now psychological, a form of brainwashing that starts with the youngest generations.”
“Spasibo” (which means “thank you” in Russian), won the 2012 Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award. The exhibition will be on view at Chapelle de l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in Paris, from November 8th through December 4th.