Photographer Travels the Globe to Capture ‘The World in Faces’

Alexander Khimushin is a Queensland, Australia-based photographer who has been on the road for 9 years. During that span, he visited 84 countries. 10 months out of a year he’s on the road shooting photos in remote places. He’s currently working on a series titled “The World in Faces.”

“The World in Faces is a project that I started in 2014,” Khimushin tells PetaPixel. “I was writing a story for My Planet TV, a Russian TV channel when I was looking for some pictures of landscapes. I saw there were many portraits from the different places I had visited. I suddenly realized that it was these people who made my travels so unforgettable. I started to recall circumstances behind all the pictures. What if I put it all together?”

Khimushin started assembling the images and ended up with about 200 portraits all over the world. At that very moment, he says, he realized that it was what he should have been doing all along. His project was born, and he began traveling more off the beaten path instead of to popular tourist locations.

Hamar Tribe Girl, Hamer Woreda, South West Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces

The World in Faces project would be “portraits of ordinary, yet extraordinary people around the world.” He wanted to be bold and challenge bias and inequality. Khimushin wants to show the diversity of the world we all are living in through the portraits of people of different ethnicities, primarily ethnic minorities that are disappearing.

“Sometimes I wonder when so many people are there to protect rare species of animals, but not many worry about ethnic groups that are on the edge of extinction,” the photographer says. “I believe it is my mission to photograph them. So basically there are two main drivers for me—tolerance, peace, multiculturalism first, and paying attention and tribute second.”

Wakhi Girl, Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Rajasthani Man, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Bodi Tribe Man, Hana Mursi, Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Cuban Man, Havana, Cuba © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Bodi Tribe Young Man, Omo Wareda, Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Wakhi Woman, Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Kaqchikel Maya Girl, Solola, Guatemala © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces

The World in Faces is in its third year, and Khimushin does not know how long it will continue before he is satisfied. There are more than 10,000 ethnicities in the world, and he would like to bring as many as he can in front of his lens. Being a perfectionist, he covered only half of Siberia in six months after 6 TB of shooting and 15,000 miles driven.

“I want to meet real people in real places, not visiting some countries’ capital cities and take photos of some people wearing carnival costumes,” says Khimushin. He has portraits of people from around 35 countries and about 60 to 70 ethnicities thus far.

Khimushin is a “photographer by soul, adventurer by heart.” In the last two years, he has changed his travel style from backpacking to driving. This way he can shoot till late, as he knows if necessary he can eat and sleep in his SUV.

This has its downsides too as once in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia when he returned to the car at night he realized that he had dropped the keys on the way. Next, he tried to retrace his steps and ended up losing the car. After having spent the night sheltering from the wind in a ditch, the early morning light helped in finding the car keys and he was on the road again as though nothing had happened.

Sakha Girl, Sakha Republic, Siberia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Mam Maya Young Man, San Juan Atitan, Huehuetenango, Guatemala © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Xhosa Woman, Mgxotyeni, South Africa © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Afghanistan Wakhi Woman, Sast, Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Meitei Man, Moirang, Manipur State, Noth East India © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Kyrgyz Man, Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Djiboutian Girl, Djibouti, Djibouti © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Ladakhi Young Monk, Diskit Monastery, Ladakh, India © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Nyangatom Tribe Woman, Kangaten, Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Wakhi Boy, Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Ladakhi Woman, Lamayuru, Ladakh, Himalayas, India © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Ixil Maya girl, Nebaj, Ixil Triangle, Guatemala © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Shughnani Girl, Korog, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, Tajikistan © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Tsemay Tribe Girl, Key Afer, Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Daasanech Tribe Woman, Omorate, Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Samoan Boy, Savaii Island, Samoa © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces

“I realize that I may have only one unique chance to photograph that ethnic minority person,” Khimushin says. “I will never be able to get back to the same place and take another photo of this grandma, who is 93 years old and wearing her ancestor’s clothing especially for me.”

There is a lot of pressure to get it right. A few years back he would shoot just 1-5 frames on average per person, but now it is over 100 frames… or even more.

Wakhi Girl, Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Mursi Tribe Girl, Mago Area, Omo, Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Bodi Tribe Boy, Omo Wareda, Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
K’iche’ Maya Man, Chichicastenango, Guatemala © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Hamar Tribe Woman, Hamer Woreda, South West Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Old Believer Russian Woman, Tarbagatay, Buryatia, Siberia, Russia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Afar Woman, Afar region, North East Ethiopia © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces
Japanese Girl, Kyoto, Japan © Alexander Khimushin/The World In Faces

You can follow Alexander Khimushin and see more of his work on his website, Facebook and Instagram.


About the author: Phil Mistry is a photographer and teacher based in Atlanta, GA. He started one of the first digital camera classes in New York City at International Center of Photography in the 90s. He was the director and teacher for Sony/Popular Photography magazine’s Digital Days Workshops. You can reach him via email here.


Image credits: All photographs © Alexander Khimushin-The World in Faces and used with permission.

from PetaPixel http://ift.tt/2sZgmPg

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