I was in Tajikistan in 2016 and met a scholar specialising in ethnolinguistic studies there. He was the first to tell me about the existence of the Parya people. They have been discovered in the 1960s by the Soviet linguist Iosef Mikhailovich Oranski.
Two days after meeting the scholar, I was hitting the road straight toward the direction of the Uzbek-Tajik border. We stopped at the Afghonobod village where the Parya settled 200 years ago. Since then they have been acculturated. The elders are still speaking their mother tongue, but for how long?
Most of the language and historical documentation related to their ethnic group is either missing or deteriorating. As it is an only-spoken language, the Parya have already lost most of their record. This series was created to seek funding to document their stories and daily life and to help them in preserving their endangered language.
“The Flying Man” is inspired by one of the legends of the Parya.