Last year, I started a project to portray centenarians in the Caucasus and in Central Asia. The number of very old people living in that region is above-average. The explanations for this accumulation range from healthy food and a simple lifestyle to some sort of bioenergetic phenomenon.
The idea for these portraits came to me after a visit to the home of a 106 year old weaver during a cultural documentation I did for the regional state university. I took the first series of photos half a year later, under the aegis of the Caucasian University Association in Baku, Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the project was interrupted due to some unfortunate circumstances in Turkey. Nevertheless, the search for sponsors as well as regional coordination centers goes on, and who knows, maybe the project can be resumed somtime in the future.
For the first time, I present the main photos from the first series here. They show closeup- and full-length portraits of 85- to 112 year old people, whom we tracked down and visited in the remotest corners of the region. Travelling there to meet them and their families was somewhat of an adventure, so I only brought along a simple equipment: Nikon D3s, D800 with 24-70 and 70-200mm, SB900 and a black cloth of 2m on 3m.
The biographies of these people are as interesting as their faces. We could learn a lot from them today, if we succeeded in not letting them and their personal history slide into obscurity.