|Photo © Nicole Tung-All Rights Reserved|
Beijing has been pouring billions of dollars into Kashgar, which was designated as a special economic zone back in 2010, and one of only half a dozen such zones in China, with the intent of transforming it into the transport hub of old - opening up markets in Central Asia and beyond. In the process, many of its historic buildings were demolished....and an old way of life is fast disappearing, raising the anger and discomfort of local the Uighur community.
I thought of featuring Nicole Tung's Old Kashgar Renewed photo essay, which is about 3 years old, which perfectly captures the spirit and ambiance of Kashgar. I haven't come across any recent photographs of the impact of Kashgar's "Sinification".
Kashgar is a important hub on the Old Silk Road, a vibrant Islamic centre within Chinese territory, where over a thousand years ago, traders from all over Asia, sold and bought their goods on its streets. It is the largest oasis city in Chinese Central Asia and 90% of its population are Uygur.
Nicole Tung graduated from NYU after studying journalism and history, and freelances for The New York Times and other international newspapers. Her work has been recognized by the International Photography Awards, the Maybach Foundation, the Hearst Foundation, and the NYPPA. She won the PX3 silver award (war reportage professional category) for her work in Libya in 2012. She was also widely exhibited in various international venues.
A recent interview with Ms Tung on her work from Syria was published here.