Future unknown~ heartbreaking news coming from Xinjiang about China holding over a million Uighur muslims in re-education centers for the purpose of removing their #faith which they label as a virus. History keeps repeating itself and we humans never seem to learn. Their most recent tactic is breaking up families whose strength and cohesion they perceive as a threat to future China.
It has been said that the chains that bind us are mostly self-manufactured by our own self-esteem and pride. Personal development is an uncomfortable journey upward and into the unknown, if only we dare.
Day 54 of 365~
Image taken in the entrance to the old tea house in Kashgar, Xinjiang
They arrive to this earth relying on our coded ability to host them as they take human form. They are born tiny and helpless and it is up to us to support, care for and nurture them till they can care for themselves. They carry in them the promise and possibility of a better tomorrow. They are our most valuable assets. Why can’t we all put their wellbeing before that of wealth, power and greed?
Day 53 of 365~
Image taken of a child in the old streets of Kashgar, Xinjiang
Is there something that allows you to live life more passionately? Do you find yourself doing something regularly that you cannot not do and it makes time as you know it stretch, fly by or completely come to a halt? Is there a place inside your world that only you hold the key to? Because only when you find your art do you truly know real passion. Don’t you love watching a musician lost inside their music, a dancer moving as if in a trance or a cook absolutely absorbed in what they are creating?
Inside of that magical world of real art there is little room for boredom, lethargy, competition or ego. Inspiration, satisfaction, happiness and the right kind of struggle seem to resonate with it.
That is the world I want to live in if I can be so lucky.
Image of a young boy who loved music and created a self made instrument of wood and string. I met him in 2011 in the old beautiful city of Kashgar, in Xinjiang, China
All humans on this planet are created with the same basic design, spirit, soul, mind, brain, body, emotions, senses… all are born and all will eventually pass on.
Thoughts like these make me see people differently while traveling in strange places. The knowledge that we are all human, that we all get sad, we get happy, we are curious, we are suspicious, we dream, we wish, we love, we dislike, we eat, we sleep, we procreate, we create, and we share this beautiful planet under the great big blue sky. These are the wonders that make me love traveling, discovery and meeting other humans.
photo taken: In the courtyard of the old mosque in Kashgar, a gathering of Uyghur men.
Help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore. ~Hindu Proverb
There is something so endearing about watching siblings helping each other. It is nature’s way. They were placed together to foster bonds in some cases unbreakable and incomprehensible to the outside world. These two boys passing by on my last day in the old city of Kashgar just caught me and drove me into a contemplation about life, family and the mysteries of being human.
For these children their alley will soon become a distant memory…
We often go back to the places where we grew up and most of us find ourselves surprised at how much smaller they look, how much our imagination added to them over the years, how developed they look or how abandoned. For the children of Kashgar, they will come back to find nothing of the old. The city is under demolition and their homes will soon be gone with no trace of them ever having existed. I feel so lucky to have been one of the photographers who captured a slice of this beautiful old culture before it gets forced to metamorphose completely into something else, somewhere else.
photo taken: children playing in an old Kashgar city alley~ Xinjiang
More than two thirds of the old city of Kashgar has been demolished and the rest doomed to follow shortly…
I met this girl in one of the narrow alleys of what is left of the old city as she stood framed by her old family door. Old decorated wooden doors are considered a family treasure among the inhabitants of Kashgar and the carry with them a richness of symbology and lore. A half open door for example is an indication that the master of the house is at home and male visitors may call in. I head while in Kashgar that when the homes are getting demolished, the families, unhinge their doors and take them with them to their assigned new homes, because these doors are holders of their family traditions that they are so afraid of losing.
In some parts of the world and with the older generations, being photographed is taken quite seriously. The pose and expression are premeditated in a way that wants to show the world that they are proud of who they are, and I just love that. I remember finding old portraits of my grandmother in shoeboxes where she looked so incredibly elegant, so refined, dressed in the most elegant of clothing and in my mind this is how she lives. I only met her as a very small child and I have no other recollection of her as she lived across the oceans, so these images embody the essence of how she projected herself to the world.
I asked this lovely man to photograph him outside the old teahouse in Kashgar and he agreed but asked me to wait. He positioned the chair where he wanted it, smoothed his coat and placed his folded hands across his knees and only then he gave me the signal to go ahead.