Today, despite all the efforts of the right-wing politicians to divide us, we understand more and more that the young generation worldwide is profoundly connected. We are born into different climate zones, and sadly often with unequal positions in terms of travel and education. Yet, there are lots of things we share: not only DIY tattoos, chokers and Nirvana T-shirts, but also hopes, dreams and desire to be heard, regardless of where we come from. These ideas were key for photographer Hassan Kurbanbaev from Uzbekistan. His country, located in Central Asia, is terra incognita for most – and he decided to change that through his honest portrait of the country’s emerging generation.
“The idea of this project started from portraits of young people I took on the streets of my native Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. It was a few months before the country’s 25th anniversary of independence. I realised that over this period of our history, the whole new generation emerged. For them, Soviet Union is distant history, and many are already over 20, adults with their own fully formed view on the world. In that exact moment making this seemingly simple project was very important to me,” remembers Kurbanbaev.
Uzbekistan was a Soviet republic for most of 20th-century, and became independent in 1991. While doing research for his project, Kurbanbaev realised that the contemporary Tashkent is the city of youth in the country of youth. “With my friends, we looked through the statistics and demographic data and realised that over 60 percent of the city’s population is young people below 25, and 64 per cent of the whole population of Uzbekistan is young”, he says. The rich history of immigration also made Tashkent incredibly diverse, with a mixture of Koreans, Crimean Tatars, Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians and Armenians mingling with the native population for several generations. “It’s normal here, we don’t really divide people by different nations”, the photographer adds. “The multiculturalism of Tashkent is one of its main strengths.”
Read more at Dazed.