Organizers: "Bonum Factum" Gallery


General partner: Swiss Cooperation Office of the Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan.


The project includes archival photographs, contemporary photographs, videos:

  • Photo-cinema archive of the first Uzbek photographer and cinematography Khudaibergan Divanov (1879-1938), who celebrates his 140th birthday this year;

  • Cinema archive of the period 1930-1960;

  • Archival film and photo materials of the educational media project "Kinolektoriy" (author and director Eldzhon Abbasov, scientific consultant Nigora Karimova);

  • Photos of contemporary authors: Aytor Lara (Spain), Victor Ana (Uzbekistan), Pavel Kim (Uzbekistan).


In recent years, people all over the world are beginning to pay more and more attention to their identity - national, racial, gender, religious, territorial.


Central Asia in the Middle Ages was the center of education, science and culture. Uzbekistan occupies a key place in Central Asia. It includes almost all the historical centers of the state formations of the region - from Khorezm in the west to Fergana in the east, from Tashkent in the north to Termez in the south.


At the beginning of the XX century. the peoples of Central Asia named themselves by the names of the regions and cities in which they lived. For example, Khivans, Bukharians, Kokands, Andijan, Ferghans, Tashkent, etc. After the revolutionary upheavals, the lands of Central Asia were divided into administrative parts: Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Karakalpaks and Tajiks, acquired independent formations as part of the young Soviet state. The map of Central Asia was redrawn so that the population of the Turkestan Territory could be conveniently controlled territorially, geographically and administratively. This decision radically changed the situation in the region.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of independent states, freely developing peoples, realizing themselves as a nation, considered it necessary to write a new history of their people. Original thoughts and ideas began to appear, special concepts of building their own statehood began to be developed. In order to assess their validity and scientific significance, it is necessary to know well the historical roots. And this is one of the pressing problems today.


The project visually tells about the history of the formation of Khorezm, one of the most ancient historical and cultural regions of Central Asia. Currently, most of this territory is located in Karakalpakstan, surrounded on one side by the desert, on the other - by the dried up Aral Sea and the ruined remains of ancient settlements.


Initially, Khorezm was the center of an independent state, which did not obey any of the dominant empires, which from time to time rolled into Central Asia from the south. Neither the Persian Achaemenids nor Alexander the Great took possession of Khorezm.


If we accept the point of view that the religious teaching of Zoroastrianism was formed over several centuries, and the system described in its sacred book "Avesta" was associated with statehood, we can say that Khorezm was the birthplace of Zarathushtra, which, along with the states of Western Asia, was one of the most ancient state formations.


The period of the appearance of Zoroastrianism (especially the 5th-1st centuries BC) is the heyday of Khorezm. There are a lot of monuments from this period, and they are diverse. Almost all the cities of the ancient period of this region were built to protect it from neighboring tribes. Stretched along the right bank of the Amu Darya, the luxurious Kanga-kala, Dzhanbas-kala, Bazar-kala, Kyrkkyz, Kurgoshin-kala, Ayaz-kala and Toprak-kala were built near irrigation facilities and close to each other for defense, which showed the real power of Khorezm of that period ...


“How could we understand the meaning of time and space without a subject conscious of the past, present and future, or the difference between right and left? And above all, how could we know about this if we are not able to see what the world is like when no one perceives it? " Quentin Meillassoux "Time Without Becoming".


Ancient Khorezm is the land of the ancient Aryans, Great Scythia and Zoroastrianism. This is a place where an ancient civilization once flourished and some of the first foundations of statehood were laid. Currently, the place is surrounded by a desert, destroyed by the remains of ancient monuments and the dried up Aral Sea.

Khorezm is shrouded in folk legends and legends that live to this day. For example, according to one of the legends, in the ancient town of Mizdahkan there is a World Clock that counts down life on Earth. According to legend, every year one brick falls out of the ancient walls, and when the last of them touches the ground, the end of the world will come. However, here you can see many small pyramids built by pilgrims from the fallen bricks. Each pyramid consists of seven stones, and people believe that in this way they extend the life of the planet by seven years and hope that the Almighty will hear their prayers.


This complex is also surrounded by mysticism and magic of numbers, history and folk legends are intertwined here. There is a legend that it is here that the grave of Adam is located. Scientists identify this hypothesis with the tomb of Gayomard, the first person on Earth in Zoroastrian mythology.

In the same place nowadays infertile women perform a fertility ritual.

Khorezm gave birth, received, synthesized and transmitted knowledge, religions, trends, cultures. The earth gave birth to famous philosophers, poets, politicians, scientists such as the creator of algebra al-Khwarizmi (whose very name was transformed into the word "algorithm" ...), astronomer, historian and geographer al-Biruni (XI century), Ibn Sina (Avicenna ) - whose works are very relevant at the present time.


“And by all means scattered and destroyed Kuteiba everyone who knew the writing of the Khorezmians, who kept their legends, all the scientists who were among them, so that all this was covered with darkness and there is no true knowledge about what was known from their history during the coming to them Islam ... "Al-Biruni.


Exhibition “Land of Silence. Forgotten Civilization ”- the result of three creative expeditions from 2005-2019 by famous Uzbek and foreign photographers who presented and recorded their views on the history of a forgotten civilization.

The viewer will also be able to look at the past, captured in unique archival film and photo materials. The "voices" of the desert reproduced in the dynamics will allow the exhibitor to plunge into the atmosphere of this forgotten and lost world.

Shakhnoza Karimbabaeva

Unknown Track - Unknown Artist
00:00 / 00:00