The Second

Schore Mehrdju

2018 - 2019

'The Second' is a project about the increasing number of polygamous marriages in Tajikistan -

a patriarchal practice which refers to the marriage of one man to two or more wives at a time.

„A woman without a husband is nothing here.“

After years of Soviet domination and the terror of the civil war that followed the country’s independence in 1991 polygamy has become a widespread arrangement in Tajik society, even though it is punished by law. The islamic marriage contract, called the Nikah, makes polygamous marriages possible, leaves the wifes and their children without any rights though.

I worked collaboratively with the women I photographed to create these portraits. Because of the judgemental society, their identity stays unrevealed.

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