Molokans are Russian Christians who do not recognise any intermediary communication with God. Molokan history began in 18th Century with the rejection of icons, churches, hierarchies within the Church and the numerous religious ceremonies. The Russian Orthodox Church considers this religious movement to be sectarian.
Once, Molokans lived throughout the country, but the pressure from the government and the desire to establish their own Molokan community forced them to migrate. Today, Molokan communities are scattered across Western and Eastern Russia, the Caucasus, in former Soviet republics, Turkey, the USA, Mexico, Australia and China. The customs and lifestyles of Molokans vary greatly from region to region. In Azerbaijan Molokans live peacefully side by side with Muslims. This series was photographed in the Azeri villages of Chukhryurd, Khimilli, Ivanovka and Alty-Agach. Each village has its own unique identity, as each was founded by different communities from different corners of Russia. There is, however, something that unites them: a certain duality expressed, on the one hand, in the desire to preserve their unique cultural traditions and, on the other hand, the rapprochement towards the bearers of other traditions.
This is a story of how the older generation
attempts to preserve the memory of their cultural origins and about the diffusion
of cultures: Russians, Ukrainians and Azeris live side by side, having
forgotten the differences that once had set them apart. Meanwhile, the youth
heads towards bigger towns and cities, so as to get education and escape the
pressure of their conservative families.