At sunset in the outskirts of Grozny, Kazbek Mutsaev, 29, fires celebratory gun shots as part of an age-old wedding tradition in Chechnya.The few girls who dare to rebel – whether by religion, music taste, style of dress or aspiration are often punished. The Chechen president himself publicly announced that women are “the property of their husbands” and their main role is to bear children. Few finish school and are employed.
Seda Makhagieva, 15, sits beside her friends as they adjust her head covering. The teen started wearing the head covering a year ago – despite her family’s disapproval.Through these set of images, I tried to reveal a more intimate perspective on the personal lives and choices of young girls who witnessed the horrors of two wars, and as a result, lost their childhood along the way. Diana Markosian is the first Reminders Photography Stronghold Wall grantee. Written and photographed by Diana Markosian