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I think it is fair to say that the average Westerner’s understanding of the ethnic conflicts in Southern Kyrgyzstan is small to non existent. And I’d include myself in that.

I would have remained distant and uninformed if it wasn’t for Ikuru Kuwajima in Kyrgyzstan’s coverage. Kuwajima worked with Save the Children. He says, “About 2000 people were thought to be killed in the recent clashes in the southern Kyrgyzstan. A number of people, especially ethnic Uzbeks lost houses due to arsons and looting, and hundreds, or thousands, of IDPs still don’t know where to move.”

For some reason, Kuwajima’s work distinguished itself above and beyond other B&W dispatches from the caucuses/Middle-East/Far East that run the risk of getting lumped together in Westerns viewers’ minds.

I am not exactly sure why Kuwajima’s work made such an impression? It just a delicately edited collection of images.

Medecins Sans Frontieres photoblog is a poke in the eye to remind us of the urgent humanitarian needs beyond the front pages of our daily news-web-papers.


Today William Daniels‘ photograph reminded us of ongoing medical efforts against Extremely-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in the Kyrgyzstan and the former Soviet Union, particularly in prison colonies.

Prisoners of the colonies in the former USSR received treatment under the Soviet regime, but when the Russian empire collapsed, drug treatment was abandoned and even more severe strains of TB developed.*

I highly recommend Daniel’s Faded Tulips project.

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Which reminds me …


It seems to me that generally the central Asia territories are simply unknown to many in the West. Carolyn Drake supports this notion with her commentary about environmental and river politics in the five provinces established after the fall of the U.S.S.R. (Orion Magazine)

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* I have talked about James Nachtwey‘s work in Siberian prison colonies previously on Prison Photography.


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