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Clyde Haulman

KASHGAR 1985:
A PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBIT


© 1985, 2024 Clyde Haulman

Photographs by Clyde Haulman,
Fulbright Scholar, China 1985-86

Photographic Prints by Hernan Navarrete

Travel Journal by Fredrika Teute


In November 1985, the fabled Silk Road city of Kashgar had recently been opened to Western visitors after decades of being closed. During my year as a Fulbright Scholar at Wuhan University, I had the opportunity to travel to Kashgar and Urumqi with my wife Fredrika Teute.

An oasis and one of the westernmost cities in China, Kashgar has been a major trading center for over 2,000 years on the historic Silk Road.

Over the last fifteen years the Old City of Kashgar has been destroyed and redeveloped. Repression of the Uyghar, the region’s culturally distinct, Turkic-speaking, Muslim ethnic group, has intensified, particularly after 2014 and even more so after 2017.

The photographs in this exhibit provide a glimpse into what has been lost of the Old City and its Uyghar culture as a result of those changes
.

When I think of Kashgar, I remember first the sounds: the jingle of bells on the horses’ harness; clip-clop of hooves; Uyghars shouting “push, push” (get out of the way of their donkey carts); hammering of tinsmiths and blacksmiths; the call of the muezzins to Muslim prayer; insidious whispers of “change money”; little children shouting “bye-bye” as we passed; the melodious tones of the Uygher language. Second are the smells: fresh baked, hot bread; lamb shish kebab roasting; camel dust; donkey and horse sweat and manure.

We took an early morning flight from Urumqi to Kashgar. As we walked out on the tarmac to the Russian turbo-prop, Middle Eastern music played over the loudspeakers. The darkness, music, foreignness of it all created a sense of adventure – felt like we were in a Humphrey Bogart movie.

We arrived at an airstrip in the desert with a couple of adobe buildings. A string of hot red peppers was hanging on the wall of one, drying in the sun. The air was just beginning to warm – China is all one time zone, so the sun doesn’t rise in Xinjiang until 9 or 9:30AM. The day is just getting underway by noon. -- Fredrika Teute, Journal 1985




 

  

 


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this page updated May 16, 2024