In March 2014 Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation. The great majority of Crimean Tatars – the indigenous people of the peninsula – did not support the annexation. It is estimated that after the annexation around 20.000 Crimean Tatars left the peninsula and became Internally Displaced Persons. Small, religious community of Crimean Tatars have found refuge in Drohobych in western Ukraine. In order to preserve their identity they follow their traditions and customs. Crimean Tatars have strong emotional bond with their native land – they were forced to leave it in the past. In 1944, the Soviet authorities ordered the deportation of about 200.000 Crimean Tatars. The project focuses on the relationship between the everyday and rituals, powerlessness against geopolitics and the power of the community. “Haytarma” is a name of traditional Crimean Tatar dance, which can be translated as a “return”.

Justyna Górniak, born in Lublin, Poland, is a freelance reporter and photographer who works in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. She graduated from Journalism studies in Lublin, Poland and Democracy and Human Rights studies at Sarajevo University. She works on long term personal projects and often deals with topics related to forced displacement.

Copyright © Justyna Górniak, all rights reserved

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