1988 born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Based in Germany, NRW. Aleksandra received a bachelor's degree at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund, Germany. At the time, master student at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund. She is working as a photographer, mainly in the field of portrait and reportage. Nominee of Nikon NOOR Workshop 2018, Budapest Photography Grant, "In the desert of Aral Sea," Climate, London 2018 ND-Neutral Density Photography Award, Honorable Mention in Editorial: Documentary, 2018.
In desert of Aral Sea
The project covers the environmental catastrophe of long-term dehydration of the Aral Sea. The former Soviet economic plan for the region intended large scale cotton farming, which required excessive water consumption, taken from the two large rivers, Amudarya and Syrdarya. In the last decades, this led to massive desiccation, turning the salt sea which had been the livelihood for most people of the region into a salt desert. Today, people are forced increasingly to move from their homes to escape a hostile environment.
The river Amudarya, which used to flow in Aral Sea, ends today 300 km away from Lake Aral.
Nukus capital of the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan is located 300 km away from the Aral seashore. The devastation also reaches Nukus. The reason is dry, and the population has a water problem. The water wells without water have no function, but they are building them because of tradition. In the past, parks with trees and water wells had places where one could hide from the heat.
The grocery store.
There is no fish anymore in Aral Sea. However, people got used to fishing. Today, fish could be found only in the rivers.
A Russian family of pilots have lost their jobs. After the desiccation of the Aral Sea, the large airport in Muinak, which had the connection with Moscow, was closed. The pilots built their garage in the yard and occasionally earn money.
The Russian family is having breakfast.
Remains of the dry Aral sea in Mujnak. 2018 In former times there was a sanatorium here. Today nothing has remained of it, except for the small puddles. Nevertheless, the locals like to come here and sit in salt flats; they believe that salt is good for health.
Sudochje lake near the Aral Sea. In the sixties, approximately 60 thousand tons of fish was caught. However, in the 80's the number reduced to 8 thousand tons. Today, there are hardly any fish in the Aral Sea. All fish factories were closed.
Tourist camp on the shores of the Aral Sea in the middle of the desert surrounded by emptiness. The family that runs the camp live in isolation. In tourist season they receive many foreign visitors.
Roasted ships in Muinak are now where the formerly the Aral Sea started. Today one can only see the desert, which also continues beyond the horizon.
Sudochje lake near to the Aral Sea. Former fishermen settlement.
The house of the family that lives on the shores of the Aral Sea.
Tourist camp on the shores of the Aral Sea. A family works and lives in this camp, hosting tourists coming to the Aral sea. Tourism is their only way of feeding the family. In the city, the unemployment rate is exceptionally high.
Dried up shores of the Aral Sea. 2018
Rusty ships in Muinak.