Elliott Verdier

A Shaded Path

Project Description

This is the story of a former Soviet republic landlocked in central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, home to six million people, esteemed for its nomadic traditions, its yurts, horses, breathtaking mountainous landscapes and steppe … It holds a less perceptible decor, less alluring perhaps, more distant from the stereotypes and necessary embellishments that followed the impenetrable era of the USSR.

How come such photos? These images of desolate landscapes, these troubling portraits of minors, workers, students and elders, these reflections of villages fallen into abeyance, and that sky – that Kyrgyz sky – perpetually seems to give more depth to the many narratives that unfold under its intensity.

These photos are but fragments of reality – facts – in an attempt to reconstitute a concealed story, shattered to pieces, so difficult to gather and put together. With what is left of its broken dreams and surprising vitality, the young republic of Kyrgyzstan is a contradictory Neverland where great aspirations cross paths with remnants of a Soviet era that seem, somehow, frozen in the country’s landscapes and in its people’s minds. A society rooted in environments where pain and isolation come into contact with a somewhat silent resignation. These images not only show the echoes of a wounded past, but of one that is forgotten, that lurks under the surface, ready to rear its head if paid more attention.


Elliott Verdier is a young French photographer who has attracted attention and won awards for his reports on the human condition in different parts of the world: Indonesia with Afghan refugees, a rehab centre for drug addicts in Burma, and the polluted suburbs of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.

He has now decided to dedicate his photography to long-term projects, far from hot news, entering into an intimacy with the people he takes pictures of, with his 4×5 large format camera. A constant in his images: The light, a hope for a world.

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Posted by Thaddeus Pope

Thaddeus Pope is the Director of Visual Communications for The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) and the Creative Director of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award.

One Comment

  1. […] also to Subhrajit Sen (Second Place) from India, Elliott Verdier (Third Place) from France, Camillo Pasquarelli (Honourable Mention) from Italy, and Farshid […]

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