Gianmarco Maraviglia | Photojournalist

Blooming Generation

It is said that a state is de facto independent when, although it is not recognized by the international community as an independent country, in practice it exercises its sovereignty in complete autonomy.
 Can you exist without being recognized?
 De facto countries are often a stretch of history and geography. Lands and peoples that change flag, sometimes leader.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the late '80s, the autonomy ambitions of ethnic groups - divided and ignored for too long - vehemently exploded, claiming their right to a land, but above all to an identity.
Long-repressed anger and resentment have resulted in bloody conflicts, still ongoing today.
Nagorno Karabakh, Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia have now their own government, institutions and borders. In spite of this, these nations live suspended between the awareness of their own identity and the dismay for the lack of recognition.
To date, these territories remain unsolved riddles, hidden in the mountains of the Caucasus and the Balkans.
Over the past 25 years, many generations were born and raised in these countries without a direct memory of a different homeland.
 Blooming Generation is the story of these nations told through the eyes and the stories of those who have grown up taking for granted their homeland but also their history.
A journey of their search for identity but above all for a better future. A blank page on which they can write their own destiny serenely and independently, living a life free from the ghosts of the past and the fear of war.

  1. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. A young boy emerges from the Dnepr river's waters. The river is one of the major rivers of Europe (fourth by length). Pridnestrovie's name literally means "beyond the River Dnepr". Along its shores has been fought the heaviest fights during the independence war in 1992 because the river itself represented a natural border between the Russian an Moldavian population.
  2. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. Families on the turistic sunday boat on the Dnepr river are making a round trip from Tiraspol to Bender. The river is one of the major rivers of Europe (fourth by length). Pridnestrovie's name literally means "beyond the River Dnepr". Along its shores has been fought the heaviest fights during the independence war in 1992 because the river itself represented a natural border between the Russian an Moldavian population.
  3. Talish,Martakert Region. NKR. Spartak Khachatryan lays in bed since he's disable due to an explosion during the war in the 90's. Talish village is located in the north of Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh, and is the closest to the frontline with Azerbaijan. Situation on the border is tense, there are frequent skirmishes. But people got used to it and keep on living with their daily concerns.
  4. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. Tanya Dunaevskaya, 20 years old. Vegan and raw foddist. She has one son and she made her first tattoo at 14 and she uses tattoes and body modifications as a way of self expression. Her lifestyle is not well accepted in the country and people see her as a negative figure. The lackof open mind opinions and culture in general convince her to leave the country and move to Kiev first and then, maybe, to Poland.
  5. Kichcani village, Pridnestrovie. View from inside one of the most important Ortodox complex in Pridnestrovie.
  6. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. A bride on her wedding day is coming out of her apartment in a popular district of the city
  7. Bender, Pridnestrovie. Laser tag combact playground in an occupied building. This building was destroyed during the street-fighting during the Revolutionary War. Some young people, even symbolically, they decided to open a business that remember the fightings
  8. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. Anna Osadceaia, 20 years old during an house party. She studies event managment. After an experience in Italy, she now dreams to move there. Like many other youngs, she cannot see any kind of future in her country but moving abroad is not always easy because the passport of the country is not recognized and most of them cannot afford the travel expenses. Most of them dream to move to Russia, the country they feel to belong.
  9. Stepanakert, NKR. Young soldiers during the first triple anniversary celebrations sfter the war events of april 2016. Every May,9 in Karabakh people celebrate the liberation of the city of Shushi during the first war against Azerbaijan, the formation of the Karabakhian army and the victory in the second world war.
  10. Stepanakert, NKR. Children from a local private school visiting Tatik & Papik monoument, known also as "we Are Our Mountains", that represent the Armenian heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh.
  11. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. Athletic stadium, Daily trainings of a runner. All the Pridnestrovian athlets are forced to compete under the flag of an other nation because Pridnestrovie being unrecognized, cannot partecipate in any international sport event.
  12. Title 12
    Title 12
    Description
  13. Bender, Pridnestrovie. From right to left Kristina Zveryanskaya, Ekaterina Metlinskaya and Olga Roshka during a daily painting lesson in the Benderian high art college.
  14. NKR Frontline with Azerbaijan, Agdam area. A soldier is walking into the trenches. Cans and barbed wires are use to alarm in case of an Azeri saboteurs entry. Along the contact line, the closest point between the two armies is just 25 meters and the skirmishes are increasing.
  15. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. Arseniy Stelya, 26 years old with Elisabeth Nalivaico, 20 years old and their kid Kirill, 7 months in their house. She left her work to be a mum, He wants to become a journalist. His life is completely changed after the born of Kirill because he found the strengh to quit using drugs. They earn 300$ per month and receive 100$ extra from the government as a social aid to young couples.
  16. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. Athletic stadium, javelin daily trainings. From right to left Oleinik Aleksej, 17 years old european vice-champion, Picus Denis, 18 years old Ukrainian champion and Orlon Nikolaj (red shirt), 17 years old Russian champion. All of them are forced to compete under the flag of an other nation because Pridnestrovie being unrecognized, cannot partecipate in any international sport event.
  17. Stepanakert, NKR. Members of Guard of Honor of NKR Army during the Sungait victims annual commemoration. The Sumgait pogrom was a pogrom that targeted the Armenian population of the seaside town of Sumgait in Soviet Azerbaijan in late February 1988. The pogrom took place during the early stages of the Karabakh movement. On February 27, 1988, mobs made up largely of ethnic Azerbaijanis formed into groups and attacked and killed Armenians on the streets and in their apartments; widespread looting and a general lack of concern from police officers allowed the situation to continue for three days.
  18. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. A young boy is playing with a mobile phone under the Alexander Suvorov monument in the city center. Suvorov was the founder of the city in 1792.
  19. Stepanakert, NKR. A woman just gave birth at the maternity hospital. To increase the population growth the state gives several concessions to large families arriving to give an home to families with 4 children
  20. Shushi, NKR. Inside an heavy damaged building in the citycenter. Shushi has been theatre of very heavy fights in 1992 and the conquer of the town by the Armenian forces has been a turning point for the fate of the war since Shushi was the stronghold from where the Azere seized Stepanakert.
  21. NKR Frontline with Azerbaijan, Hadrut region. A Young soldier is walking on a field on the frontline during a break of the fightings. Along the contact line, the closest point between the two armies is just 200 meters. During the 4 days war 85 Armenian-Karabakhian soldiers were killed and more than 300 were wounded. Despite the ceasefire, the clashes still continuing and there are injured or killed soldiers almost daily. All the soldiers and the volunteers who joined the army after the war events are very young.
  22. Bender, Pridnestrovie. Soviet Union simbols in a city park.
  23. Stepanakert, NKR. Students outside Artsak State Univerity. Being an unrecognized country, graduation has value only in NKR and Armenia
  24. Shushi, NKR. Shushi Liberal Arts College Arsen Khachatryan. Larisa davtyan, reflecting in the mirror during a painting lesson.
  25. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. Sdiassor 2 im.B.Dolgina sport center, Daily trainings of two athletes. All the Pridnestrovian athlets are forced to compete under the flag of an other nation because Pridnestrovie being unrecognized, cannot partecipate in any international sport event.
  26. Madagis village, Martakert region,NKR. Artsakh Sargsyan and his wife Hripsime Aslanyan. They have 3 children (2 twins). She works in the local municipality office but now she is on maternity leave. He is a professional military officer.
  27. Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie. Sdiassor 2 im.B.Dolgina sport center, Daily trainings of an athlete. All the Pridnestrovian athlets are forced to compete under the flag of an other nation because Pridnestrovie being unrecognized, cannot partecipate in any international sport event.
  28. NKR Frontline with Azerbaijan, Hadrut region. Young soldiers daily life's inside the trenches. Arayik Khachatryan, 19, Davit Hakobjanyan, 19, Hayk Melqumyan, 19, Grisha Barseghyan, 20, Edgar Prikyan, 19 and Vahe Mkrtchyan, 19 during a break of the fightings. Along the contact line, the closest point between the two armies is just 200 meters. During the 4 days war 85 Armenian-Karabakhian soldiers were killed and more than 300 were wounded. Despite the ceasefire, the clashes still continuing and there are injured or killed soldiers almost daily. All the soldiers and the volunteers who joined the army after the war events are very young.
  29. Stepanakert, NKR. inside the Secondary school number 7 Yenghishe Charents there's also a class where students can learn to use a rifle and have military teachings.