Gateway to the Kyzylkum Desert, Uzbekistan, a once-vibrant plateau now arid after heavy irrigation and agricultural endeavors since USSR interventions (2018)

Old networks and connections are quietly being restored across the spine of Asia as a reorientation away from Europe is happening from the Levant to the Himalayas.  Russia is a major player; so is China—both pursuing immense infrastructure projects to cement strategic dominance.  “Corridor” (of technology, of transit, of economies), thus, is today's key word.  But as I make pictures in Eurasia and Central Asia, “border” is the word I hear over and over.  They are fabrications purposefully crafted to bifurcate communities, which those inside the countries not only know but also talk about, or they were (or even remain) zones of disquiet and unrest.  
The lands harboring the old Silk Road are in various stages of transformation, with some of the paths still wild and remote, while others gleam of smooth asphalt and skyscrapers.  I photograph both, driven by curiosity at how the corridors of connection and the borders of disquiet were woven together.  The travels of 2018, then, were about breadth and a voracious inhalation of sights.  These are the photographs currently on this website.   Behind the photographs, however, are the stories told to me over meals and during drives—stories of war, loss, and displacement that I'm still figuring out how visually to articulate.  That is the humbling ambition of 2019 (and beyond).  As the corridor possibilities are laid out for me, I sense the hopes for a region.  And as the border tensions are explained, I consider how easy it can be to forget what has pushed out or left to ruin up in the high mountains or far off in the deserts, places hard even now to access.  With photography I hope to stave off the potential forgetting, step by step, return journey by return journey.  I hope to successfully share the stories.  With those goals, I move to Eurasia in January 2019 so to become closer with the people and communities I've met, and to be inside the Silk Road lands that already make up my internal landscape.

Graveyard of the Khevsureti, few of whom still populate this severe Greater Caucasus land, located near the Georgia–Chechnya border, after the USSR social-re-engineering programs that moved the Khevsureti from their villages. (2018)

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