2016 / People / Portrait_P

Fading souls

  • Photographer
    Fulvio Bugani

Georgia’s landscape is blessed with several unique mountainous areas. One of them is Tusheti, an historic region in the northeastern part of the Country. Tusheti is one of the most ecologically unspoiled territories in the Caucasus. Despite the harsh living conditions, the inhabitants of this area managed to remain tied to their land, to the untouched mountain landscape and to their traditions. Even though nowadays most of the Tushetian families spend the winter on the plains, they always come back every summer to celebrate their ancestors and pass on their unique culture from generation to generation. The origin of the Tushetian population is a mysterious and debatable matter. They are considered a subgroup of Georgians. Traditionally, they are sheep herders. Their life is quite spartan: simple and tough, and the rythm of their days is defined by the place that each one occupies in society. Men and women usually spend their time separated, and with a distinct distribution of tasks. Tushetian are private people, who live in fairly closed community, trying to keep alive their traditions. But they are fighting an unequal battle against modernization and everything that goes with it. Times change and the needs and demands of life adapt accordingly. The younger generations are no longer as deeply rooted in the land of their ancestors, as they used to be. The community is forgetting the meaning and significance of many of the customs and traditions. And in doing so their culture is dying out and slowly the souls of Tushi fade away.

Fulvio Bugani was born in Bologna in 1974. He founded his own studio in 1999 – Foto Image. Bugani has been a freelance professional photographer for over 20 years, working with associations and NGOs. He actively collaborates with MSF (Medecins Sans Frontier) and Amnesty International, for which he has participated in several projects on human rights, illegal immigration and the right to housing. His work has been published in international magazines:TIME, LFI. In 2015 he was awarded at the World Press Photo and in 2016 at the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. He is an international Leica Ambassador.