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Photographer's Note

Meet the children of Old Kashgar:
This is the entrance to a covered alleyway tunnel in the old quarter that still survived the commie's hammers. This is one of the many tunnels, the important earmark feature, the cool covered alleyways that wind through the Uighur old quarter, their spiritual homes for 2000 years with twists and turns like a labyrinth. This has become one of the most unique parts of Xinjiang. Walk around and sample the experience of local life, a place where you could hardly feel the passage of time.

The old medival city has witnessed many changes and a shift in population and cultural influence since 2004. In Kashgar, ancient homes in parts of the Uighur Old Town were being demolished to make way for new commercial shopping areas near the Id Ka Mosque in the center of town. The commie government claims that this centuries-old part of the city is not earthquake-safe, and large apartment complexes are planned to replace what many argue should instead be preserved and designated a UNESCO world heritage site. Demolition erases another block of Kashgar's Old City, center of Uighur life in the historic oasis town. Claiming that the long-standing mud-brick structures are unsafe, officials clear space for high-rises.

The Uighur people, who speak a Turkic language and possess cultural and religious beliefs akin to their Central Asian neighbors rather than the Han Chinese, have maintained their unique cultural identity for centuries in this oasis town amid shaded courtyards and labyrinthine alleyways. In recent decades, they have struggled for the right to preserve their cultural and religious practices in Mao's shadow. Old Kashgar embodies the spiritual and cultural heart of the Uighurs' homeland of East Turkestan. Visitors to Kashgar have commented on the apparent rapid progress of bulldozers, as well as on their poignant appreciation of seeing what was left of the Old City before it was consigned to the ashes of history.

My desire has been to preserve through photographs the spirit of their culture and traditional life in the face of an uncertain future. I am hopeful that more people will come to appreciate and empathize with the humanity and dignity of the Uighurs...

In WS :Demolition erases another block of Kashgar's Old City, center of Uighur life in the historic oasis town. Claiming that the long-standing mud-brick structures are unsafe, officials clear space for high-rise building

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4136 W: 141 N: 9534] (41266)
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