Nomads Land: The Kazakhstan Project
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan has undergone a profound transformation. Physical relics of that bygone era have largely been left to the gnawing of time, as new symbols of prosperity, seeded by the country’s vast mineral wealth, have arisen in their stead. The German photographer Dieter Seitz has been especially attuned to the uncanny contradictions that these dramatic changes have wrought. In this album of more than a hundred of his photographs, “continuity, decay and change in a post-socialist society” are made visible in provocative compositions: glistening office towers rise above trash bins, a middle-class family poses with a wolf pelt on the wall, and plastic horses race in front of an opulent opera house. The collection is a melancholic yet honest portrayal of a nation whose visage of a nomadic past has been seemingly and irreconcilably lost, yet whose future seems at once promising and beguilingly uncertain.