Picturing life in the dust bowl remains of the once mighty Aral Sea

Quat is an artemia collector. Artemia is a primitive arthropod also known as brine shrimp, it is used as a rapidly growing food source for farm fish. The salinity level of the water in the Aral Sea does not allow any other life to exist in or near it. A tiny creature you can?t see with the naked eye is all the sea is willing to give.

A portrait of a lone fisherman catching Artemia (a primitive arthropod also known as brine shrimp)

Kristina Varaksina

ONCE the fourth-largest freshwater lake in the world, the Aral Sea has now shrunk from 68,000 square kilometres to just 10 per cent of its former size.

Photographer Kristina Varaksina travelled to the Republic of Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan where the southern part of the lake is. She has documented those living in the area in her picture series The Land Beyond The River, taking elegant portraits and vibrant landscapes.

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