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Bēhance

Oasis city of Kashgar

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  • More than eight million Uygurs live in the oasis that encircle the Taklamakan, one of the world's most desolate deserts. For thousands years the oasis served as the marketplaces of the Silk Road trade and flourished form cultural exchange. Today it seems that in the ancient capital of Kashgar, the heart of Uygur tradition, much of the market had not changed since Marco Polo passed through centuries ago. It vibrantly stretches through the city and bustles with life, the cosmopolitan sprit of the Old Silk Road is still very much alive.
    Once occupied the center of the known world the Uygurs, today are becoming strangers in their own land as Han Chinese pour in. Despite the governments' efforts of systematically bulldozing the Old City and moving the inhabitants into new settlements, Kashgar still represents the best-preserved yet fast-eroding example of a traditional Islamic city to be found anywhere in Central Asia.
    Series of photos presented here are taken few months after the unrests taken place in July 2009 and are far from depicting the pressures and discriminations that Uygur people are facing - given the hide and seek I had to play during my stay. The essence of the story lays within the memories of people that I encountered.
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