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
Critiques | Translate
williewhistler (13541) 2012-06-14 5:27
the three charming, innocent children posing cheerfully beside a darkened tunnel somehow evokes in me a feeling of unease regarding their future.
The picture is powerful and very thought provoking,there would appear to be many traditional buildings and values being sacrificed in the name of progress,thank you for recording these important scenes.
Best regards Les.
daddo (23603) 2012-06-14 5:57
Salam Abmdsudi.Sweet image of these innocent children who are unaware that the Han invasion ultimately means the end of their culture. Many a crime has been committed in the name of progress. I wonder who will live in the highrise boxes- the Han no less. When I was in Shanghai in 2,000 I went to some of the biggest CD shops looking for Uighur music. No luck at all. I presume that says it all in terms of multiculturalism and interest in minorities.Coming from a minority myself, whose language will become extinct in a few decades, I feel for these people. There doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the "tunnel" for these little ones. Finally you have written what had been on your mind when you posted your earlier shots. Salam dear friend. Klaudio.
CanmoreKevin (2111) 2012-06-14 6:04
I really like how you have grouped the children all in one side giving a feeling of mystery into the tunnel.
siolaw (38262) 2012-06-14 6:10
That trend is, unfortunately, spreading worldwide.... destroy popular and traditional lifestyle and replace it with shopping centers, wear western style clothes, eat cheese burgers and drink coke... and don't forget to get rid of the poor.... by relocating them in remote, barren areas....
Good off centre compo and an interesting subject!
ourania (29417) 2012-06-14 6:39
your photo is wonderful, eloquent and symbolic; your notes are sad and shocking. I don't know how people destroy a way of living and a cultural heritage so cold heartedly, how shopping centres take priority over culture, environment and everything else that matters.
Your composition is most effective, placing the small group of lovely smiling children on the one side of the frame, the bright side, and the perspective towards the other side leading to a gloomy darkness. All technical demands are met excellently, light management is superb. Congratulations for the stunning photo and notes. Also for your courage and eagerness to dig into this subject. Thank you!
All the best,
papera (13942) 2012-06-14 7:48
your picture stands out on TE's pages like a flower in a desert - not only because of its quality but also (and in my opinion, most importantly) because of its human value and the feeling of empathy from your side that it conveys.
your note reminds me of a documentary I saw on German TV a couple of years back, most of the material had been shot secretly in Shanghai, where the journalist had met people who protested against the demolition of the old town and the building of new commercial areas and offices; these people were either under surveillance by the police or had relatives who had been arrested after having protested against the forced eviction.
in its matter-of-fact tone and narrative the documentary was truly heartbreaking.
thanks for sharing this image and for your note.
lousat (75049) 2012-06-14 8:43
A magnificent perpsective! I like your choice to take the 3 childs on the left,leaving a lot of space on the dark side on the right,beautiful and original work and very impressive quality! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano
JFS (32459) 2012-06-14 10:03
Very creatif shot, I like the composition, the sharpness and the play with the shadow. Excellent work my friend!
All the best,
PaulVDV (21657) 2012-06-14 11:39
I visited Kashgar and the Id Ka Mosque in the summer of 2000.
Compared to Urumqi Kashgar then was still a predominantly Uyghur town.
I cannot imagine to see new commercial shopping areas around the Id Ka Mosque. The mosque will degrade to a mere monument instead of remaining a center of daily creed.
Hopefully this picture will not become a testimony to a bygone past and these alleywey tunnels won't disappear.
Beautiful daily life picture of the smiling children in a mix of traditional and western clothing.
Best regards, Paul
yquem46 (38532) 2012-06-14 13:48
i like this triple portrait of these kids, with the red writing above them and the long tunnel going to shade as an illustration of your title
have a nice day, cheers
kato (11630) 2012-06-14 14:11
You're capturing well this daily life shot by a good composition and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see cute and innocent children in front of old wall. The face of Uighur people seems to differ from the standard Chinese Han race's face and their clothes are also lovely. And, it's tasteful for the old wall with red characters.
Have a nice day.
kwekwekan (1022) 2012-06-14 16:48
A great political photograph. Good interplay between light and shadow & excellent choice of composition. Good natural expressions on the children's faces as well.
willperrett (6632) 2012-06-15 2:15
A great street photograph, and a very informative note to give it context: it takes on a melancholy and nostalgic tone in the light of the modern developments you describe, despite the happy smiles of the children. The composition is excellent; the children's costumes are significant, given your comment on the culture of the Uighur; the sign above is also interestingly not written in Mandarin, I believe. Very interesting work.
delpeoples (52929) 2012-06-15 3:11
Hello dear Abmdsudi
This photo makes me smile. These kids are so cute and you really have brought out all the joy and mischief in their little faces. It's easy to tell that they like their photographer. Excellent play of light and shade. You have positioned them very carefully at the left side of the tunnel.
Thanks for sharing, have a beautiful day
dkmurphys (48088) 2012-06-15 3:33
Very beautiful capture with those three children. I like the depth of the image and the high quality. Well seen.
bayno (18342) 2012-06-15 6:08
I really like the light that fades from left to right, indeed a very good management of it, framing is perfect as the BG, the kids are very nice and seem to be curious and a little intimidated about your lens, maybe someone will have to be objected on the cut legs off the children but I like it...very good Ws too the area seem very poar and distroit...
very good work...
BennyV (13578) 2012-06-15 6:29
It is my belief that a good photographer needs not only good eyes, but also a good heart. This is a picture with a heart. I remember getting lost in the maze of old Kashgar, joking with the kids...such a long, long time ago already.
Great work. Have a good weekend.
danos (85187) 2012-06-15 6:54
well placed the three little clildren in the frame as pose so charmy in front of your lens.The younger is a bit bashful from the others,i think.
Excellent the light and the colour management as the clarity of the image.
ahmet54 (3045) 2012-06-15 12:47
those children seem to have fun. They like your attention. The composition is great. The uyghur writing on the wall is no slogan it's an advertisement. It says: Repair of washing-machines, refridgerators and gas-stoves 135...
Thanks for sharing.
annjackman (18983) 2012-06-15 13:03
This is and artistic portrait with the three children grouped to one side and the dark entrance to the tunnel on the other. It sets a mood and asks questions. Very well taken and supported by an informative note.
Kind Regards, Ann
ciakgiak (30409) 2012-06-15 14:15
Hello my dear friend,
This is an outstanding image, and not only for the great subjects, but also for the perfect composition in which you decided to put them on the left, and leaving great space to the magnificent BG. Congratulations for the great quality too.
mayjayne (3221) 2012-06-15 18:09
Interesting composition of simple subjects that is enhanced by interesting play of light and shadows and positioning.
Cricri (104461) 2012-06-16 0:03
Une note touchante, intéressante, puisse le monde vous entendre....
Trois mignon petits portraits d'enfants avec de beaux sourires, texture et couleurs comme le bon POV du mur, intéressante et triste image présenter en WS!!!
Waylim (25182) 2012-06-16 0:13
This is so cute, I just want to reach out or go over there give all this kids a hug. I wouldn't have thought placing the children so close to the edge of the frame would work, but you prove me wrong, this turn out great and as the perspective goes in, it get darker, giving a nice contrast as a sense of mystery.
Great work, once again. I really admire all your china portrait shots.
bukitgolfb301 (35236) 2012-06-16 1:21
Hi dear Abmdsudi YTH, apa kabar?
Saya minta maaf, terlambat pembalasanya.
This is so fantastic snap shot.
Widefocus appraoch makes good result.
Marvelous and wonderful expression, each of them are different, that is very very impressive and also funny and cute. Best balanced framework and sharp image as usual.
Thanks for your sharing, and have a good Sat. evening!
Takero from rainy Tokyo
Graal (96450) 2012-06-17 2:45
nice portraits of childrens. Pleasant smiles on the faces. Image is fine composed. Good WS and interesting note also. Photos are well done.
Have a nice day.
Silvio1953 (119639) 2012-06-17 6:14
Ciao Abmdsudi, lovely composition with cute trio, excellent perspective, splendid light and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio
adramad (36959) 2012-06-17 14:53
I love this composition, with the charming smile of the two children and the small, rotating head as shyly.
I also love the magnificent lighting of the figures and as the light is decreasing to the right.
It is a portrait of great sharpness and color range, beautiful and natural. Great job, I love it.
I wish you a good start this week.
lpi (4857) 2012-06-18 11:25
Une belle rencontre avec ses enfants!
J'aime la composition.
jmdias (54117) 2012-06-19 7:33
very beautiful portrait, the children have notion how their life are being modified. interesting framing catching the letters, the children and the darkness of the tunel.I can understand that an old building isn't so safe for people but new ones can be build in a safe zone preservating the old buildings, even some empty.
eldancer1 (26786) 2012-06-21 10:24
At least the children are smiling and look happy and healthy (I hope they are). I like the composition, the off center placement of the subjects. Great lighting and good dof with nice details. Well done, tfs.
holmertz (39529) 2012-06-23 3:14
It's a sad story (although not unknown) you tell us in the note. These cute children are yet too small to understand what is happening and how their culture is doomed for destruction, along with their homes. The same things are happening in Tibet. Actually, I think a major part of old Beijing is now also lost forever, but that destruction doesn't have the same ethnic connotation.
All these things apart this is a fine group portait with very good handling of the light, fine colours and an eye-catching inclusion of some writing on the wall.
- Copyright: abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) (41998)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-04-16
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: NIKON D200, TOKINA AT-X PRO 16-50 F2.8 DX, ISO 100 RAW
- Exposure: f/2.8, 1/100 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2012-06-14 5:10