Carolyn Drake May 12, 2008Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China, Ohio University.
Tags: China, Uyghur
Traditional Uyghur Home, Western China
Carolyn Drake is a documentary photographer based in Istanbul. Her work has been supported through grants from the Fulbright Program, Duke University, and National Geographic and honored by UNICEF, World Press Photo and POYi. She was chosen as one of Photo District News’ 30 emerging photographers to watch in 2006 and as one of the Magenta Foundation’s emerging photographers in 2007. Her photo career began at the age of 30, when she decided to leave her multimedia job in New York’s Silicon Alley to learn about the world through personal experience. She studied history and media culture while in college at Brown University and later learned photography at ICP and Ohio University.
About the Photograph:
“The photo was taken at prayer time inside a Muslim home in Xinjiang, the autonomous Uyghur region in western China, where traditional life has been in decline for the last 100 years. In Xinjiang, many Uighurs still hold fast to rural traditions, working family farms, and traveling between vast stretches of mountain and desert to trade and mingle, but this lifestyle is quickly deteriorating under China’s vigorous modernization policies. The world’s powerful empires fold together here, influencing ethnic cultures that are among the world’s oldest. I traveled to Xinjiang at the end of a two month journey through the former Soviet Republics of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. It was fascinating to step over the border into China after spending so much time thinking about the region in relation to the Soviet Union.”