“I took this photo at a wedding celebration in a tiny village in Tajikistan’s Pamir mountains. The guests all squeezed into the central room of the house, and the opening in the roof cast a fantastic light on people as they took turns dancing. These are Ismailis—Shia muslims whose spiritual leader Aga Khan (pictured on the back wall) is a descendant of Muhammad. It was the end of a bumpy journey up the Bartang river valley, one of the most isolated spots in the Pamirs.
“The photo is part of a broader project about water in Central Asia. I’m following the two rivers that flow from the pristine Pamir and Tian Shan mountains, criss-cross national borders, get diverted into irrigation canals, and peter out before reaching the Aral Sea. It’s about a forsaken landscape, but it’s the glimpses of human life along the way that I hope will give the work meaning.”