The veteran photographer of the print and electronic media of Turkmenistan, Yuri Shkurin, passed away last week. Because of his iconic work he had become a legend in his lifetime. Every picture taken by him was a work of art. The following is the article paying homage to him, carried by the media outlets of Turkmenistan. Ed.
A newspaper is, first of all, people who work on the next issue: the editor-in-chief, journalists, photojournalists, proofreaders, typesetters, etc. As a rule, their working day is irregular; they are given to work even on Saturday and Sunday. They are often at the forefront of events in the country. At any moment they are ready to go on a new assignment. For 44 years, the main old-timer of the newspaper, a photojournalist Yuri Ivanovich Shkurin, worked in such a tough format for the newspaper “Turkmenistan”. Unfortunately, at the age of 73, he left us and went into eternity.
Almost every day, we met side by side with a professional in his field, Yuri Shkurin, since he, fortunately, was a photojournalist for our newspaper, “Turkmenistan: Golden Age”. And thanks to the good-natured and open character of Yuri Ivanovich, almost everyone knew him.
He was born and raised in Ashgabat. He began his career as an assistant cameraman at the Turkmenfilm film studio. Here Yuri Ivanovich took a camera in his hands for the first time. Perhaps he would have remained a “filmmaker” if not for the part-time job in the newspaper “Komsomolets Turkmenistan”. During this period of time, he just started a family and was expecting his first child, so additional earnings were not superfluous. By the way, about the family – Yuri Ivanovich and his wife Irina Nikolaevna lived a long and happy family life surrounded by their son, daughter, and also a grandson and two granddaughters. But this will be later, but for now the photographs for the youth newspaper, which he took in his free time, were very much liked by the editorial office of Komsomolets Turkmenistan, and the young talented photographer was soon invited there as a staff member.
– At that time I was thin and tall, Yuri Ivanovich joked, it was hard to carry a movie camera and a tripod, let alone an elegant camera. So I turned from a “filmmaker” into a “newspaperman”.
Thanks to the newspaper, he plunged into bright events that he told friends about throughout his life. For example, how he captured with a photographic lens the resettlement of kulans by helicopter from Batkhyz to Gyaurs, where upon arrival they were released into the mountains. Once, due to a flood, a flock of sheep was lost, and, despite the fog and cold, helicopter pilots found it on a small island. A note in the newspaper came out with a loud headline – “Aviation came to the aid of the flock”, and the photo report of Yuri Shkurin eloquently told about how the sheep were rescued by air.
As a rule, he became the first witness to a wide variety of events. So, I remember his photo reports on the reconstruction of the Krasnovodsk oil refinery, which was destined to become the Turkmenbashi complex of oil refineries (now the flagship of the domestic fuel and energy complex). During the construction of Secondary School No. 50, a domed roof was planned. Yuri Ivanovich also prepared a photo report on how a 2-ton dome was installed using a helicopter. Now in the capital, you won’t surprise anyone with domes, but then it was a sensation, as, indeed, was a dental clinic on wheels. The first car with a trailer went to the drilling rig in Ovadandepe, and together with the dentists, Yuri Shkurin went to the drillers to immortalize in a photograph the first patient who received help at his place of work.
And Yuri Ivanovich has an incredible number of such stories. Photos with the caption “Yuri Shkurin” began to appear in Moscow magazines, where they were happy to take picturesque, tasteful photographs. In 1977, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Turkmenistan” Begench Kerimi summoned Yuri Ivanovich to his office and made him an offer that he could not refuse.
So, 44 years ago, Yuri Ivanovich became a correspondent for the illustration department of the central newspaper “Turkmenistan”. And time only confirmed that Begench Kerimi invited a real master of his craft to the newspaper.
Each editorial assignment was an opportunity for Yuri Ivanovich for professional growth. Bringing the shades of fiction into the photo narration requires the gaze of a person with a bright personality.
The editorial staff of newspapers and magazines in our country is replenished with young journalists who keep their finger on the pulse of bright social events. And each of them dreams that the photographs for their materials were made by a high-class professional, such as the wonderful photo chronicler and the kindest person Yuri Ivanovich Shkurin, who talentedly captured interesting facts from the life of our society. /// nCa, 1 September 2021 (originally carried by Altyn Asyr, 31 Aug)