Schore Mehrdju

The Second 


'The Second' is a series that explores women's social status and polygamous marriages in Tajikistan.


“A woman without a husband is worthless here!” – this is what the artist regularly heard from the very women she photographed. To be respected by society, Tajik women must be married, whether as a first or second wife.


This is the main reason why the concept of polygamy has become widespread in Tajik society, even though it is punished by law.The Muslim marriage contract, or Nikoh, allows polygamous marriages, but leaves second wives and their children without any rights. This is why the artist has worked in collaboration with these women to create anonymous portraits away from any stigmatization.


Carpintarias de São Lázaro



“The Second” is a series that explores women’s social status and polygamous marriages in Tajikistan. “A woman without a husband is worthless here!” – this is what the artist regularly heard from the very women she photographed. To be respected by society, Tajik women must be married, whether as a first or second wife. This is the main reason why the concept of polygamy has become widespread in Tajik society, even though it is punished by law.The Muslim marriage contract, or Nikoh, allows polygamous marriages, but leaves second wives and their children without any rights. This is why the artist has worked in collaboration with these women to create anonymous portraits away from any stigmatization.

Schore Mehrdju is a German-Iranian photographer who graduated from the Ostkreuz School of Photography. Her parents fled Iran, where she was born, after the Islamic revolution. She grew up in Germany, which she now calls home. Her work comprises photographs, archive documents and interviews and explores deeply personal life stories. Schore lives and works in Berlin.

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