Natalia Li, part of the 2019 Rights Reframed cohort, is a photographer from Kazakhstan. Her project challenges master narratives around oil drilling in Western regions of the country.
Focusing on the case of Berezovka, where children’s health and futures have been seriously compromised due to poisoning from the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field, Natalia has produced a multimedia exhibit on the theme of dreams.
Using photography and audio interviews, she shows the fate of one child who struggles to reconnect to her childhood dreams that were compromised by the tragedy. Her dreams are held up against the “oil dream” pushed by authorities as the singular vision of prosperity for Western Kazakhstan.
The exhibition attempts to provoke her target audiences—young people and families—to question and take ownership over the country’s future imaginary. This slide show is a composite of the multimedia experience exhibition goers have. This is the first time she has created a traveling multimedia exhibition.