Punhana means in Azeri a ‘secret’. I have got to know her as she became my guide in Azerbaijan. She was diligent, perceptive and intuitive. She made a very positive impression on me. Her outgoing personality was enhanced by a very natural look, reserved, introvert, beautiful young face with long hair and no makeup.
Despite her excellent education and current employment as an English language teacher, she told me that her main aspiration was to establish a restaurant with healthy and vegetarian food. She insisted that her main ambition was to become a manager of such an establishment.
We spent a fair amount of time together wandering around art galleries, museums and other areas of cultural significance. I felt privileged to be able to invite her for a drink and a dinner. This provided an excellent opportunity to open up and talk.
Having gained a little of her trust and friendship, I started to ask her probing questions about her uncertainties and explored the nature of her anxieties. I was eager to find out what she was really waiting for. What were the most precious dreams and desires in her life.
The true answer arrived with time.
Her main dream is to marry a man and start a family.
Punhana revealed her deepest secret.
She also told me that her faith is to accomplish this desire before the age of 25. ( in less than three years time).
I have, subsequently, started with the process of developing a range of ideas for further exploration of this avenue. To extend on primary sources, I have asked her to send me some photographs of her family and other images from her past.
Secretive Punhana with her dream family.
I would also like to set my line of questioning in the broader context of political, cultural and religious issues, which will have a substantial impact on my visual response.