Natavan Vahabova is a young Azerbaijani photographer who was born in Baku. Natavan is a member of the Azerbaijan Photographers’ Union since 2004. She has presented a project called “Children of Shelter” was produced in the frame of Multimedia Lab Production Grant Program for South Caucasus Female Photographers May-October 2019 mentored by Justyna Mielnikiewicz at the Tbilisi Multimedia and Photography Museum.
The photo project depicts the daily life of women and their children living in one of the women’s shelters in Baku. According to advocates of human rights in 2019 43% of women in Azerbaijan were subjected to psychological and domestic violence, and in 29% of cases, the abuse was found to be caused by the husbands or other relatives of these women. Although most of the women in the shelter were married and had relatives, they were forcibly relocated with their children here. The children in the shelter go to school, play with their toys, celebrate holidays, laugh, have fun, cry and go on with their lives as if nothing had happened and usually their mothers just leave them here and go to find a work and earn money. The shelter has existed for 18 years and although the residents change frequently, it is almost never empty.