Uzbekistan is a moderate Muslim country on the up, proud of its multi-ethnic roots and its history. In recent years, its capital Tashkent has developed into a vibrant centre in Central Asia. Magnificent new buildings have gone up between massive Soviet buildings, wide avenues contrast with the winding alleys of the marketplace, the Chorsu, where colourful tapestries (called suzani) in cotton, silk and other fabrics are on offer. Contrasts characterize daily life. Just like ceramic artist Abdulvahid Karimov, most Uzbeks speak both Uzbek as well as Persian-influenced Tadzhik and Russian. Karimov wants to return to Bukhara and set up a ceramics workshop there. “I was born in Bukhara, every stone on its facades has influenced me.” He wants to bring something new to the idea of the old Silk Road. Using the earth of his homeland, the artistry of his hands and the heritage of his forefathers in the heart of Central Asia.

Text: Karin Pollack
Photo(s): Pauline Thurn und Taxis