The New Hybrid Deportation

Shortlist 2019

Alina Smutko

Alina Smutko is a documentary photographer, and visual storyteller, currently based in Poltava (Ukraine). She has been working in Crimea for three years. Now she studies at "Fotografika" (St. Petersburg). Alina's professional goals are to cover national news and work on personal projects. She is interested in ethic and religious conflicts, national identity and life in post-conflict zones. She mainly works in Crimea, Donbas region and South Caucasus. 

The Conflict

The New Hybrid Deportation

In five years, ten thousand Crimeans left their homeland and moved to mainland Ukraine. The UN refugee agency reports that most of them are Crimean Tatars. They were forced to replace their passports, threatened, pressured and persecuted. Most of them left their homes which they had bult stone by stone for 20 years since return from Stalin's deportation.

New hybrid deportation is what they call it. The massive anti "terrorist" operation, the “Hizb ut-Tahrir*” case, hit Crimeans hard. Approximately fifty Crimean Muslims are imprisoned. It is quite simple to get into an unfavourable position in the eyes of the state police: a private discussion at home of specific topics that are important for every Muslim. This series is focused on the relatives and families of political prisoners. Their lives have changed right after the morning searches. This series is about the little daily fights against the Russian court system in Crimea which looks like A "Potemkin" village rather than a successful political decision of the century. 

*organization is officially banned in Russia