Risking safety to travel to areas where inter-tribal fighting is still common, Jurukovski has visited the Suri many times. By setting her subjects against simple, black backdrops, she removes any visual distractions from the people she photographs and manages to pay respectful homage to the women and their culture. The Surma are known for their beautification rituals that include body makeup and scarification, and Jurukovski captures the rich details of their traditions without diminishing the Surma to a stereotype. As she continuously travels to Ethiopia to visit more tribes, she also returns to areas in order to show her models their portraits, bringing the project full circle.

“I was always a dreamer. From a very young age, I was dreaming about far away places and getting to know different cultures. I was always fascinated by traditions and the traditional clothes of different cultures and loved learning about them. On my first trip to outside of the normal tourist destinations, in Punjab, I was so blown away with the colors, the street life, and their culture so I started thinking that I want to capture all of that and to share it with others. At that time, it never struck me that later I would be doing what I’m doing today—traveling to some of the most remote areas in the search to photograph different cultures. Loving to do something is one thing but it is not always easy to start doing it. You see, being a wife, mother, and working full-time, you always think of everybody else first before you even starting thinking about what you want.” – Biljana Jurukovski

Image : Biljana-Jurukovski-Tribal-Muse-Tribal-Allure

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