You want me to help you taking pictures of you with the statue? No? But at least you can help me with food. I am hungry. I work 24 hours, from 8 morning until 8 the next morning. Then I will have 24 hours rest. I have to protect this statue. Many naughty boys like to play without any respect to our national hero. For all this work, I only earn 100 dollars one month. I have one wife, two kids. I am poor, I am hungry. What? You said 9 years ago you came here and the police here also told you that he was hungry? Maybe I know him, I can meet you with him. But, you should help me first, I am hungry. Yes, Tajikistan has changed a lot, life is better, people have more money. The president is good, he has brought many changes. You see, there is restaurant there, they have very good food. Why every five minutes I talk about food? Because I am hungry. If you come again tomorrow, please come before 8. Don’t forget to bring some food for me. I am hungry.

–a police guarding the statue of King Ismoil Somoni

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 2015

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