Opening: 8.4.2016, 19 Uhr
via Skype: Aleksey Kondratyev
Exhibition: 9.4. – 7.5.2016
Fabrica, March 2016. Formations, photo project by Aleksey Kondratyev for Fabrica, will be exhibited from April 8 to May 7 in Foto Forum, photo gallery in Bolzano, Italy.
Kondratyev is a young Kyrgyzstani-American photographer, who spent the period between November 2014 and June 2015 travelling on Fabrica’s assignment in Central Asia and produced a visual itinerary of these barely known and distant places. The result is Formations, the most recent photo book produced by Fabrica.
The definition of “Central Asia” aims at getting together the five ex-Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan e Uzbekistan. During his journey Kondratyev realized that these countries seem resistant to categorization.
Kazakhs to the North, Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Turkmens to the south, Uighur peoples on the Chinese side: the roughly 60 million people of Central Asia are predominately Muslim, speak mostly Turkic languages, and share a historical heritage that mixes Persian, Mongol and Russian influences.
The Soviet Union, in a way, created Central Asia. It was the Soviets who drew the boundaries that exist today and divided up the people there into rigid ethnic groups. Today, when Soviet Union does not exist anymore, these countries are in the process of formation. Formations shows how each one of them is reinventing itself in the new millennium: as Joshua Kucera says in the introduction, “Kazakhstan has used its oil and natural-gas wealth to build a futuristic new capital city”; “Uzbekistan was positioned to be the regional leader, but a repressive, isolationist government has instead closed it off from its neighbors and from the world”; “Turkmenistan restricts access to media, and so it wasn’t possible to visit for this project”; “Tajikistan is now ruled by a kleptocracy”; “Kyrgyzstan, the only one of the five to have any claim to democracy, has seen a rise in aggressive nationalism and intolerance”.