Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Umida Akhmedova

At the end of last year, Uzbek documentary photographer and filmmaker Umida Akhmedova had criminal charges filed against her, and was accused of defamation and of "insult and slander of the Uzbek nation."

She was one of several people who were charged due to having participated in a project sponsored by the Swiss Embassy Gender Program. Akhmedova's contribution was the photo book Women and men: from dawn till dusk from 2007 - 110 photographs documenting aspects of life in rural Uzbekistan. In court, an expert panel of 'specialists in the fields of religious affairs, spirituality, and psychology' found that her images portrayed Uzbekistan in a negative light to Western audiences: "a foreigner who has never been to Uzbekistan, but who is familiar with this album, would reach the conclusion that [Uzbekistan] is a country where people live in the Middle Ages".

On February 10th Akhmedova was found guilty of slandering and insulting the Uzbek people, but could walk away free, as the judge granted her an amnesty in honor of the 18th anniversary of Uzbek independence.

However, many fear that this case is "exemplary" - paving the way for many more cases like it against artists and journalists who are too critical or "unflattering".

Here are a few photos from Women and men: from dawn till dusk that are relevant to Chirayliq (click to enlarge!). See many more at and

1 comment:

Rozmin said...

What the...what is wrong with them? I see nothing there that says anything negative. Beautiful countryside and happy people...the first photo is a kid playing in the sprinklers, right? Actually, we do that in the West, too.