My research and writing bring me into contact with amazing artists and craftspeople, who inspire my imagination and help new ideas come to life. I have also been very lucky to collaborate with them on different projects.  Here are two of my projects with local photographers. 


With Svetlana Vasilchenko

I recently unpacked some of the Tajik and Uzbek embroidery pieces – suzani – that we’ve kept hidden for many years from my small children and was once again taken with their beauty. Their ornamentation, bold colors, and intricacy all spoke to me and I had a sudden desire to share their beauty with the world. Luckily for me, a local photographer, Svetlana Vasilchenko,, also fell in love with suzani and we spent several photo sessions creating wonderful images that tell different stories and illustrate the meanings behind each design. Members of the Central Asian diaspora community generously lent us additional pieces, with each suzani sharing its family’s story. 


With Julia Larina

We would like to talk to women through the plasticity of movement in the image. Our conversation is about the stereotypes, taboos, fears, and restrictions which women find themselves under, from birth through our entire lives. So many women live by these rules even as “independent” adults, withholding our own self-realization, deferring our right to happiness, and forgetting our dreams. Those of us who immigrate to a different country lose the stability and comfort of “home,” causing additional stress and self-doubt. But despite everything, women can do anything! We deal with change, move on with what we have, and make our own decisions, and at any age – at 20, 30 or 50 and beyond!  

This project was born from my own life experience and those of the many women I know around the world who find themselves “cornered” and felt they had laid aside their own dreams. I also met many who have managed to find themselves and were strong enough to start all over again and go against the tide.  The one thing uniting all of us is the challenges posed by either choice.

Yulia is a mother of three children, talented, smart, and brave, who is also trying to realize herself in a new country. You can see her work here: