A photographer Diana Markosyan working in a Moscow agency in 2010 asked to be sent to Chechnya. Diana grew in Russia but studied in the USA, in 2010 she was only 20 years old but she was interested in the notorious region.
The agency refused to send her there and she decided to go by herself. Grozny became her aim and later - her home.
Many colleagues of Diana didn't want to go to Chechnya but she returned there after the first trip. In November 2011 she came there to stay. According to Diana it's dangerous and risky to work and live in Chechnya, girls are often kidnapped.
In her project Diana Markosyan tried to show life of girls living in Chechnya. "Coming here for a week is pretty much different from staying here forever". Let's see how it feels to be a Chechen girl.
After the USSR collapse Chechnya went through Islamization processes. Locals had to wear the clothes corresponding the religious canons, early age and polygamic marriages became more frequent, men started to treat women in a more conservative way. The leader of the Chechen Republic proclaimed in public that women belonged to their husbands.
Apart from the religious restrictions life of Chechen women is complicated by social conditions. The rate of unemployment is rather high in the Republic. Many young ladies becoming mothers have to live with parents.
Diana had to change her ways - people didn't trust her and didn't want to show how they lived. Even a seemingly innocent photo of a smoking woman might cause seriously bad consequences for the smoker.
Diana had to spend weeks with "models" before she could take a single photo. Those women she included into her project became a reflection of processes happening in Chechnya.