Unholy Matrimony – Noriko Hayashi

“I know that we might break the law if my son kidnaps a woman to marry.

But at the same time it is not easy to suddenly change our tradition.”

When a man decides to kidnap a woman, he and a group of his friends drive cars to where she is and take her,

often violently grabbing her and shoving her into one of their cars to be taken back to his home,

where the wedding has already been prepared by the kidnappers family.

Noriko Hayashi went to explore bride kidnappings in Kyrgyzstan, and tells

the story of four women who have been affected by this phenomenon:

Fardia, a 20 year old woman who was kidnapped but resisted and was eventually rescued

by her brother from her suitor’s family; Cholpon and Dinara, two women who were kidnapped,

but decided to give in and continue with the marriage;

and Urus, a young woman who was kidnapped and released but committed suicide after the ordeal.

Noriko Hayashi

is a documentary photographer based in Tokyo. Early in her career, Noriko worked in Gambi, West Africa, a small country that is rarely the focus of international news but is full of interesting stories. Working in that environment taught her the value of detailing the overlooked realities of every stand of society. Her award-winning work documenting these overlooked realities has been published internationally in The Washington Post, National Geographic Japan, and Der Spiegel.


Location : Saida – 사이다 from Nov 1st till the 15th

XYZ Gallery