Turkic speaking Tatars who almost Muslim in faith how a history takes back to the 8th and 9th centuries in Crimea. They were exile by Joseph Stalin by 1944 having been accused of colloboration with German invaders in World War II. But they have been returning since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990`s. Crimea is an autonomus region that is govern by Ukraine. The Tartars say that their culture is dissappearing because they are excluded from the national education curriculum. After the collapse of the Soviet Union land privatezation became a huge issue across most of Eastern Europe. The problem the Tartars face that they do not have any legal documentaion to prove that the property belongs to them. Because they were exiled. In 2003 community got together and formed a land movement to claim back land after the goverment refused the recognize for the demands of land re-instutiution. Up to 25 thousand tartars living in makeshift homes with no electricty or anything around. In 2004 hope arised for the Tatar community with the growing population they wanted central mosque to be build, the goverment agreed, but shortly after they cancelled the permission. At the present times, the autonomous Republic of Crimea is governed by its own constitution in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. However Kiev`s politics have been largely pro-western since the Orange revolution in 2004, Crimea has remained and dominated with pro-Russian outlook which the Tartar community say belongs to an emerging "New Russia", and are worried that history may be about to repeat itself.
I have always been interested in Turkic ethnic cultures throughout the former countries of the Soviet Union so the invitation to go to the Crimea (a part of the Russia) and to cover the Tartars seemed perfect and started meeting with people and shootings the project in October 2008.