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Photographer's Note

I haven’t posted a portrait for a while so today I am posting this photograph of a country woman taken on the steps of Chorsu Bazaar, one of the largest farmers’ markets in Tashkent. The woman was standing in front of some enamel bowls filled with tomatoes and cucumbers – which I assume were from her own farm or vegetable garden. Although most of the produce is sold inside the market from stalls that are numbered and no doubt subject to some government procedure of allocation, many people line up around the steps and alongside the pathways outside of the market to sell small quantities of vegetables. The farmers’ markets are held in many different parts of Tashkent, and each day the farmers send their wives into town to sell what produce they can. About 60 percent of Uzbekistan’s population still lives in rural areas.

Many of the farmers’ wives wear these brightly coloured coats made of a velvet-like fabric, with a headscarf – I suppose you could call this their ‘traditional dress.’ The fabrics are very gaudy, but perhaps that is a way of brightening up their lives in Uzbekistan which is still a very poor country. Most of the population (88%) are Muslim, so many women wear headscarves, but their dress looks more like 1960s Russian style than Islamic.

I tried cropping this much tighter, but I decided to leave it in this square format so that more of the coat could be seen – because I felt that the gaudy coat was as much a highlight of this composition as the portrait.

Usual PP: cropped, adjusted levels, contrast, saturation and USM.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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