Thursday, May 24, 2007

Christopher Herwig: Tajikistan

Image Copyright © Christopher Herwig-All Rights Reserved

Christopher Herwig is a Canadian travel photographer/photojournalist currently based in Monrovia, Liberia, having spent 3 years in Almaty, Kazakhstan, putting together a collection of images on Central Asia. He completed photo projects for international organizations including several UN agencies, the Red Cross and the British Council , as well as commissions from magazines and newspapers in worldwide. He explored the Central Asian region and estimates that he covered over 40,000 km on foot, horseback and back-country skis, by boat, car, 4x4 and train.

Although his earlier work experience was primarily commercial, he has concentrated on travel photography. The photographs of Central Asia on his website are a mix of mainly portraits as well as landscapes, city and industry to illustrate where people live and work.

For TTP, I feature Christopher's photographic gallery of Tajikistan, the roof of Central Asia. Tajikistan means the "Land of the Tajiks", and most likely originates from "Taji," one of the family names of Arab-Muslim invaders during the conversion of Central Asia to Islam and its annexation to the caliphate. In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to spread into Central Asia during the Great Game with Great Britain, and it took control of Tajikistan. Now, it remains of vital strategic importance because of Afghanistan.

The photograph above is of Buzkashi players; a traditional Central Asian team sport played on horseback, where the objective of a player is to grab the carcass of a headless goat or calf, and then get it clear of the other players and pitch it across a goal line.

An interesting, and out of the mainstream,'s Christopher Herwig's Tajikistan website. Be sure to visit his other Central Asian galleries.

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