Liquid Land is co-authored with my father Rustam Effendi, a dissident scientist and entomologist who devoted his life to studying, hunting and collecting over 30,000 butterflies in the Soviet Union. Inherited by the State Institute of Zoology after his death in 1991, his vast collection is disintegrating. Alongside with thousands of glass boxes filled with perished butterflies, the only remaining visual evidence of his life’s work - is the fifty photographs of endangered butterflies made for a manuscript he never had a chance to publish.
Next to my father’s dead, but iridescent butterflies, my photographs show persistent life in the world’s most polluted areas around Baku and the Absheron peninsula, where I was born and grew up. In my mind, the two opposite images gravitate towards each other. As I worked on this book with my father, I, in my own way, got to know him much closer than when he was alive.