The photographer’s pictures, a charmed Uzbekistan
London photographer Marco Barbieri have always been interested in countries where politics and religion play a key role in people’s lives. He decided to go to Uzbekistan, when I saw the photos of the vanishing Aral sea. But his project has evolved far beyond what he planned initially. A series of photographs, “Water in the desert” puts water in the system relationship and talks about how dictatorship is able to turn the logic inside out and turn the absurd into an acceptable part of everyday life.
History of Uzbekistan — a curious mixture of Soviet legacy and Islamic culture. It is the most populous country in Central Asia, and in the last 26 years, the authoritarian Republic. Uzbekistan did not protest and no opposition as such. In fact, no one discusses politics, if not in order to praise the government for stability compared to neighbouring countries, such as Afghanistan. But in fact, the ruling circles are using the fight against terror as an argument to silence the discontented.
Even nature is subject to the whims of the regime. In the cities men and women sent to cut the grass under the scorching sun. Despite the arid climate in Uzbekistan is surprisingly green and along the roads one can see numerous cotton fields.
In the 60s, the Soviet authorities decided to turn Uzbekistan into a cotton Paradise. Were built irrigation canals. Still on these channels of two largest rivers — the Syrdarya and the Amudarya water flows to the cotton fields and irrigates incredibly green landscapes.
The decision to grow cotton in a place not suitable for this culture is the reason for the gradual disappearance of the Aral sea. It was once the fourth largest lake in the world, and now it is believed that by 2020 the Aral sea will disappear completely.
The moynaq, once a port city, is now more than 200 kilometers from the retreating shoreline. What is left of the Aral sea, toxic to animals, and reduction of water supplies impact on local climate: in winter temperatures drop to values comparable with the Siberian, and in the summer there is unbearable heat.
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