How long have you been doing photography? What style or genre most interests you? I mainly do photography as a hobby that supplements my regular job. I love shooting reportage and portraits, probably because other styles are less important in my profession, and I find them more difficult.
Can you give us a short description of your city? Where is it located? What is it famous for? Grozny is the capital of the Chechen Republic. It is located in the south of Rusia. Ninety percent of the republic's residents are Sunni Muslim.
Our region is mainly famous for a series of wars that took place here form 1994-2003. The region is now being rebuilt and I have tried to show what modern Grozny looks like and how it is living.
What is something about your city that only locals would know? In the Soviet era, the city's central street was named Propekt Pobedy (Victory Prospect). After reconstruction, the street was renamed in honor of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Locals however call the street Putin's Victory Prospect (проспект Победы Путина).
Which places or sites are a must for someone to see if they visit your city? The main site of Grozny is the Grozny City complex and the Heart of Chechnya mosque. One interesting place where young people gather is the anticafe Center for Modern Art. They also put on exhibitions and concerts here. But the most interesting "tourist site" in Grozny is its residents. They are the ones who give the city the unique atmosphere that visitors will immediately sense.
Chechens are a bit schizophrenic. On the one hand we are patriots of our republic and country and like to demonstrate our love openly. On the other hand, we are fond of foreign stuff that emphasizes our status and lets us glam things up. We have a particular weakness for everything French. That's why there are two miniatures of The Eiffel Tower in the city.
The public service company Sursad keeps Grozny streets clean. It started working immediately after the first days of recovery after the Chechen War. Local drivers were so taken aback when they saw street cleaners for the first time, that they unintentionally hit them with their cars. So Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov established a one million ruble compensation to street cleaners who were hit by drives. Since that time, employees of Sursad, who are mostly women, have been called Million Dollar Babies.
Ramson season is in full swing. This wild garlic is collected in mountain regions in January, right after snow starts to melt. In Chechnya it's not just a snack, but a full course. It's sold by weight. After peduncles are cut, ramson is washed and stewed in milk or tomato sauce. Khana Khasmagomadova
The Grozny-City Towers and The Heart of Chechnya Mosque were the first postwar projects in the republic. Their construction was funded by investors and carried out by Turkish construction companies. The highest tower in the complex was damaged by fire. It was reconstructed and got a new name: Phoenix. All the concerts, big holidays, fairs and meetings in Grozny are held on this square. Khana Khasmagomadova
A grampa and his grandchild enjoy a warm January day. Khana Khasmagomadova
Magomed and his friends have been breakdancing for several years. He doesn't oppose modern styles to lezginka (traditional Caucasian dance), he just says that these are two different worlds. The guys perform at all kinds of parties and even weddings. They are going to start their own dance school. Khana Khasmagomadova
Two men in traditional dress admire their image in an overhead mirror. Khana Khasmagomadova
Local authorities are trying their best to develop tourism, but tourists prefer to visit Grozny only on weekends. Tour operators complain that, because of the crisis, no more than nine groups come to the city in a day. The main item on tourists' to-do-list is buying souvenirs. The most popular ones are traditional Chechen fleece caps. Even if people don't buy them, the will make pictures in them for sure. Khana Khasmagomadova