Street Market, Kashgar
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For the past 15 years, I have been making pilgrimages to the deserts and mountains of China's western borders, focusing on Tibetan and Uyghur communities. These remote frontier regions are laced with contested geographies where religious and cultural legacies confront powerful economic and political transformations. In these far away places, I look for way stations between cultures where one can see the past and future simultaneously. Seeing these changes over such a short time is a perspective that is at once disorienting and tragic. I try to make images that show these things, or at least some of the emotional truths behind them, because I know each time I return everything will be almost unrecognizable. This could be virtually any street in the Uyghur section of Kashgar. These areas smell of grilled lamb and goat and are loud with the sound of people buying and selling. On these streets, you will still find fortune tellers, letter writers and medicine men selling snake oil, as well as people selling sewing machines and making shoes. The government recently decreed that sidewalks would be paved and that merchants would not be able to sell their wares on the street, but my guess is that this declaration will be happily ignored.
Raul Gutierrez | See All Editions