For this particular shoot, Zarina Sembinova and her creative team took inspiration from the Pagan religion and mythology of the Kazak people. The initial idea of paganism comes from pre-Christian religions, Greek mythology can be classified as a form of paganism. It was a term used to describe more “alternative religions”.
A recurring theme for ancient religions was the emphasis on three worlds, as well as the creatures found in them. These worlds are usually referred to as the: Upperworld, Underworld, and Earthrealm. Consequently, coming up with their own interpretation of these worlds. To represent the Upperworld a bright, almost angelic creature was placed in the first of three-photo series. Representing enlightenment and the “all-knowing” godly energy. It seems to be everywhere at all times. The polar opposite of this is the Underworld. It holds large parts of dark space filled with water and soil as well as a selection of demonic-looking beings. The Underworld creature represents a distraught being, wet and devoid of any gender. While the Earthrealm, the middle ground for both worlds acts as the embodiment of balance and serenity. The ways of basic survival and living in a perfect balance with nature are emphasized. The creature in this world resembles an ancient human in perfect stability with the world around it.
Despite religion losing influence on a large part of society today we can all agree on the importance it had in the past. It held people together and tried to find an explanation for the things people weren’t able to explain to themselves.
Observe photographer Zarina Sembinova and creative director Nurtas Sissekenov creating a dynamic fantasy world in which past and present coexist.