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In Karaganda

Esther Garrison | Kazakhstan

Start of the journey, endless plains, from Karaganda to Temirtau, one of the most polluted cities in the world

"In Karaganda" offers us a trip to the interior of Kazakhstan. A non-judgmental look at daily life in a region that played a crucial role in the industrialization and modernization of the now-forgotten coal-producing Soviet Union. Little is known about this region today other than that it has returned to prominence as an exporter after the Ukraine-Russia War. A tour that starts from Karaganda, the capital of the province of the same name, to the Shubarkol Komir coal mine, passing through Temirtau, considered one of the most polluted cities on the planet.

The exhibit ultimately serves as a tribute to the resilience and perseverance of the people of Karaganda, who have refused to let their region fade into darkness. It is a powerful reminder of the enduring strength of the human spirit, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.


Self-taught in photography and with the help of her father, photographer Manuel García Quintana, Esther became interested in photography through her travel work. Consultant and auditor in the field of sustainability, Esther has had the opportunity to witness first-hand the social and environmental impact of different industries in different parts of the world, from Colombia to Siberia through the heart of Africa. His photographic style can be defined as street or candid photography, with minimal retouching to preserve the naturalness of the situation. “What motivates me to pull the trigger? I don't usually go out with the camera with a specific project, circumstances determine what I do. It usually starts with a trip, whether it's for work in Namibia, a vacation trip to Patagonia or a weekend in Amsterdam where I ended up secretly photographing the prostitutes of the Red Light district. “My ambition is to be able to evoke the feeling of a moment, place, situation… to be able to convey what I felt at that moment. If there is a link in what I do, I would say that it is loneliness. I feel a special attraction in portraying the harshness and sadness of the human condition but also the beauty that this entails” says Esther Garrison

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