“Travelling is the greatest inspiration for me,” Moscow-born photographer Anastasia Korosteleva tells us. “I’ve been to the Maldives several times, being attracted by their nature as well as their people. Unlike most of the tourists, I stayed not in a hotel island but on small islands inhabited by locals.”
Anastasia’s new project Weightless was taken on the manmade Hulhumale island. “The island is located near the capital and is popular among Maldivians for its beaches,” Anastasia says. “The land of the island stands very low above the water. Walks along the shore made me see the possible threat of the rising sea level.” At present, over 80 per cent of Maldives’ land is under one metre over sea level and, if the sea level rises in line with current expectations, the islands will be underwater by the end of this century.
In Weightless, Anastasia considers the future of a nation through portraits of Maldivian girls floating in the very ocean which threatens to submerge them. “The photos were taken during the school holidays, when youngsters spend lots of time in the water.” Anastasia says. “The girls caught my attention by their bright outfits and their genuine love of the ocean which literally becomes a second home to them. Though the amount of dry land decreases, young generation of Maldivians do not hold a grudge against water. These girls enjoy spending time in the warm salty ocean feeling weightless and safe.”