Thursday, January 25, 2018

PHOTOGRAPHY: About Dmitry Gomberg - The Shepard's Way (On the way to the mountains in Tusheti) - Featured on LensCulture []

( Working, traveling and living of the shepherds in Tusheti, a historic region in northeast Georgia. Traditionally, the Tushs are sheep herders.Tushetian cheese and high quality wool was famous and was exported to Europe and Russia. Even today sheep and cattle breeding is the leading branch of the economy of highland Tusheti. The local shepherds spend the summer months in the highland areas of Tusheti but live in the lowland villages of Zemo Alvani and Kvemo Alvani in wintertime.

About Dmitry Gomberg,
Voor five years, I stayed in the mountains of the Caucasus and documented the lives of the local shepherds. These people have cheesemakers since long before the birth of Christ. The life that I discovered was simple and hard.

Was born in Moscow in 1980. Moved to New York in 2000. After changing many jobs and professions, got into photography in 2005. Went to the ICP, finished one-year course in documentary. Soon after the ICP moved to the Republic of Georgia where was introduced to the life of high mountain shepherds in Tusheti. Stayed with them for 5 years. All this resulted in hundreds of photographs and a dream to make a book.

This is a story about the life of the shepherds and the route they take in the mountains twice a year.

I After the death of my companions, (the shepherds had given me for this entire period) decided to stop.

-Dmitry Gomberg


Because of its seemingly documentary photographs, Dmitry Gomberg mixes real life with dreams, in an attempt to show the varied responsibilities of the camera. Assistant editor Alexander Strecker crossed via e-mail to find out his story.

I was born in the Soviet Union. For a Soviet person, the Caucasus and the area around the Black Sea is a kind of heaven. Once I had moved to New York, I met a group of amazing Georgians. As Steinbeck wrote: "If one tried to describe Georgia using a single word, the correct word would surely be hospitality." I was with these words in my head, can not resist the repeated invitations to their country.

When I arrived, the father of a friend told me about a pass in the mountains, where the Tusheti shepherds go. I found his story and wanted to see these people with my own eyes. I was introduced to Vazha Kaadze, the man who was my guide and mentor.

In the beginning, some of the pastors do not like me taking pictures of them. But I got their trust. She started to call me "American Shepherd." For five years, I visited many miles with Vazha and his crew. I came to a lifestyle that I had never seen understand.

The biggest challenge I faced in making this project was not to get drunk all the time. I am on this, it completely failed. But seriously, I did not really miss when I was there. Some good coffee, a nice lady perhaps? What really gave me joy was nature: the wind, the stars and the horses. Even today, I still dream about.

In terms of photography, this project taught me two things. First, the photography is very simple; all you need is curiosity, some technical skill and luck. Secondly, people believe pictures more than words. But in my pictures, I show both a reality and my own dreams. I hope people realize that photography is much more than an objective document of the world. I hope these pictures can help you share that point.

-Dmitry Gomberg, as told to Alexander Strecker

On the way to the mountains © Dmitry Gomberg. On the way to the mountains []
Over five years, we follow in the footsteps of shepherds in the Caucasus mountains: simple, harsh, beautiful. []
Georgia. 2008 []

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