His oeuvre was largely unknown in the west until he submitted some black-and-white photographs of village life in Russia to the Alfred Friend Photography Award in 2014. His picture of two boys, upside down on a swing, became the Peace Photo of the Year. Gataullin’s photographs are characterized by a quiet, slightly melancholy, poetry. The pictures are a reflection of Emil Gataullin’s life, beginning with his childhood in a small town beyond Moscow where he spent almost all his holidays with his grandmother and his uncle. His memories reach back into experiences where he tended cattle, gathered mushrooms and went fishing. Gataullin describes these memories as the best time of his life, which is a key sentence for understanding his escape from Moscow, his return to the village, where he lives with his wife and daughter in a suburban estate from the Khrushchev period. Through his camera, he gropes towards a non-verbal communication and pays attention to the people and things he sees.