It's been 9 years since Australian photographer Alexander Khimushin left home to travel the world, and he's since been to over 80 countries. While many travelers prefer short-term sightseeing tours, Khimushin is a firm believer that off the beaten path is the only way of traveling. Meeting indigenous people all over the world was the most inspiring part of his journey. This realization led to a personal project called, "The World in Faces," which he started around three years ago.
Travel and photography are two inseparable things in Khimushin's life. He has been photographing people he met during his trips since the very beginning. Three years ago while going through the archives of thousands of photos, Khimushin realized that he can put those portraits together to make a project. These were the people he met; they were the most interesting part of his travel experiences in the most distinct parts of the world. Inspired by the idea, he decided not only to publish those portraits, but to continue taking more of them as an ongoing photo project. It has become the main purpose of his journey.
I never take portraits in the studio or arrange a photo session with someone, so all the travel portraits are taken purely by chance — the one and only."
There are hundreds of unique ethnic minority groups in the world. These people are just incredible. However, due to globalization, economic hardship, war, racism, and religious discrimination, many of them are living on the edge, losing national identity, language, traditions, and, in many cases, facing total extinction. Watching it all happening before my eyes, I came up with an idea of the photo project, 'The World in Faces.'
There are more than 10,000 ethnic groups living on this planet. Sadly, many of them are disappearing. Khimushin wants to show diversity of our world through the portraits of the people he meets on his road. Imagine spending one-and-a-half months in Guatemalan Highlands with only one mission: to visit and take portraits of all the various ethnic groups of Mayan people or to reach remote locations of Siberia for the portraits of ethnic groups on the edge of disappearance. This photographer insists that if we all realize how unique and amazing we, the people, are, we will care more about each other and will be more tolerant to people of another ethnicity, religion, and culture.
While traveling around Wakhan Valley (one of the most remote places in the country), I was invited by locals to their traditional home. Inside, I was welcomed by an extended family and neighbors who gathered just to see the guest. There were many kids playing together. A little girl with her unusually blond hair and blue eyes was one of them. Natural light was coming to the room from a ceiling opening that they use for light and ventilation. She was sitting right beneath it on a clay cook top when I took her photo.
Indian Himalayas, tribal areas of Ethiopia, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Djibouti, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Guatemala, Cuba, Japan, tribal Africa, Central Asia — this is a small list of the places Khimushin has visited. His dream is to take portraits of people of all the ethnic minorities of the world and publish a photo book about them. Raising awareness of issues they're facing today is the biggest goal of the project.