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The Brotherhood of Kyrgyz Firefighters
Photographer: Sevindj Nurkiyazova
Exhibit Title: The Brotherhood of Kyrgyz Firefighters
In 2020, I spent four months documenting the daily life of a firefighting squad at firehouse #3 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In contrast with the heroic work they do, firefighters' work conditions are far from impressive. Their equipment is outdated, an average salary is $130 a month, and most of them moonlight as hairdressers, plumbers, and taxi drivers. Occupational hazards include revolutions. During the 2020 revolution, protesters carjacked two fire engines from the firehouse and totaled them near the White House, beating up firefighters on duty and breaking one’s arm. Despite all hardships, the firefighters always appeared cheerful and enthusiastic about their job. When I asked why they liked the job, the men explained that they loved the team — their brotherhood.
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