April 2017

Following the Silk Road Through Central Asia

Art Hop Reception: Thursday, April 6, 2017 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Friday Photography Live: Slide Show: Following the Silk Road Through Central Asia
April 28, 2017 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Following the Silk Road through the countries of Central Asia, affectionately known as the Stans, is one of life's great adventures. Bordering on Iran, Afghanistan and China at various points, the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were created along tribal boundaries following the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. Their ancient history is monumental with spurs of the Great Silk Road criss-crossing each country and legends of such great conquerors as Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great and Timur (Tamerlane) pervasive in their culture.

Each of these countries is Islamic by history and tradition, with superb mosques and madrassas testifying to their heritage; attempts to introduce radical Islamic ways are not tolerated by the state and the trend is increasingly secular, especially in the more oil-wealthy countries such as Turkmenistan. Breakup of the Soviet Union with its "birth to death" security was very difficult for a few years, particularly for the older folks so there is still a bit of nostalgia for the "old days" ... and ties to Russia are still very strong.

The photographic opportunities are extraordinary, from the colorful mosaics to the ancient rock fortresses of Samarkand and Bukhara to the bustling markets, to the colorful dress of the women ... all so photogenic! Especially in Uzbekistan, the home-based handicraft industry is spectacular --- the textiles, ceramics and woodwork are truly works of art.

Armed with my trusty Canon camera, I wandered the streets, villages, markets and monumental structures. The current exhibit of color images captures a small fraction of my many impressions. The slide show on April 28 which accompanies this print exhibit expands on these impressions. Please join me for all!