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6 February, 2006

30 January - 10 February, 2006

The opening ceremony of the photo-exhibition entitled “125 Years of Uzbek Photography” was held in the European Parliament in Brussels on 31 January, 2006. This unique photo-exhibition, which comprises 100 works of masters of Uzbek photography, dated from 1870-es until present time, is taking place at the espace “Atrium” 2nd floor of European Parliament’s PHS building until 10 February 2006.

The organizers of photoexhibition “125 Years of Uzbek Photography” from Uzbek side are Fund “Forum of Culture and Art of Uzbekistan” and Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. Coorganizers of the exhibition from European side is the EP Delegation for relations with Central Asia and Mongolia.  

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mrs. Ona Jukneviciene, MEP, the Chair of the EP Delegation for Relations with Central Asia and Mongolia said, that she is very pleased to open this important and exciting photoexhibition that shows personal histories of Uzbek people, the history of the country as a whole, through photographic lands. In these pictures, which speak on themselves, one can see strong characters, the lifestyles and moments of life of Uzbek people, captured on the film. These frozen moments let us imagine comprehend works and pastimes of the people of all the generations. These documentary and artistic portraits of the people and places communicate a very strong message, which can not be described in words. Through this message we will be able to learn at least a small bit of Uzbek culture, customs and traditions.

Mrs. O.Jukneviciene expressed the hope that Uzbekistan will foster further its old creative traditions and cultural treasures and will share its cultural heritage with the Europeans.

Mrs. Elisabeth Jeggle, MEP, member of the EP Delegation for relations with Central Asia and Mongolia, emphasized that she has a great honour to speak on the occasion of outstanding photoexhibition on Uzbekistan, which is taking place in the European Parliament.

Mrs. E.Jeggle said that this year Uzbekistan will celebrate the 15th anniversary of its independence. Uzbekistan is a fairly young independent country, which should receive all needed help from the EU in order to achieve further respect and tolerance for each other, said German MEP.

Uzbekistan, which is located in the centre of the ancient Great Silk Road, was always for Europeans full of mysteries. It is worthy to mention the landscape, historical styles, the deep rooted traditions, handicrafts and cordiality of the people.

By taking a look to these expressive photos you can gain an insight looks at the beauty of Uzbekistan.

The photo art of Uzbekistan developed during centuries and made many discoveries. The original photo art of Uzbekistan is worth to be carefully studied.

Mr. Tursunali Kuziev,chairman of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, said that during the whole headlong 20th century art of Uzbek photography has actively been involved into the social and cultural processes, which covered the whole world and our country as well.

The history of penetration of photography to Turkistan and its rapid flourishing there was full of sometimes seeming improbable collisions. Nevertheless, they are real and represent quaint game of fortuities and regularities.

It was lucky chance that among 200 German families which emigrated to Khorezm at the second half of 19th century from Russian Volga region was man named Penner, who brought photo camera and necessary accessories and began to take photos of new neighbors, mainly children and teenagers. Among them was so curious young man to whom later aged Panor buva or “Grandfather Light” - so nicknamed Penner by neighbors in the village - gave his photo equipment. This young man was Khudaybergen Divanov, the son of the secretary of chancellery of the Khan (King) of Khiva and now his name is well known and respected in our country as a founder of Uzbek photography. There are some works of this remarkable master of photography, who left to us many unique photos, which are presented in the exhibition.

In mid 30-s of the XXth century “The Uzbek Madonna” picture by Tashkent photographer Maks Penson was awarded Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1938 and gained a wide publicity.

H.E. Mr. Vladimir Norov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Belgium, Head of Mission of Uzbekistan to the European Communities expressed his gratitude to all the participants of the opening ceremony of Uzbek photo exhibition in the European Parliament, which undoubtedly is the evidence of their sincere interest to rich history and culture of Uzbekistan, as well as respect to the people of Uzbekistan. 

That it is memorable, that photo exhibition opens at the beginning of 2006 in the European Parliament, where important and significant decisions are taken for providing prosperity and security not only for the European countries, but also other nations aspiring close cooperation with Europe and building democracy. 

2006 is particular year for our people, Ambassador V.Norov said.  This year Uzbekistan will broadly celebrate 15th anniversary of its independence. Of course, 15 years is not a big term in comparison with more than 2000 years of history of statehood of our country, which along the centuries was one of the cradles of world civilization serving as a connecting link on the Great Silk Road, the place of contiguity and active trade, economic and spiritual cooperation between East and West.

But during this short period of independent development, Uzbekistan has achieved big successes and progress on the path of revival of its historical and cultural riches, consecutive construction of democratic and civil society with socially oriented market economy as well as liberalization of judicial and legal system and occupied its deserved place in the international community.
The history of development of democracy with those countries which we have very close historical and cultural ties, testifies that democracy should become value of a society, value of each person to be sure that it has entered into a real life of the state and its institutes. I would like to quote outstanding Indian politician Mahatma Gandhi here, who said: “The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart”, V.Norov said.
Really, democracy, which has not found place in culture of people, cannot become component of their daily life. For this purpose it is necessary to have enough period of preparation and mastering of principles of democracy. For this purpose some states including European ones needed change of many generations.
While having the possibility to see historical photos of Uzbekistan you will also have the opportunity to see for yourself that a very big efforts were needed for people of Uzbekistan to reach current level of social-economic development of the country, which we nowadays want to increase in order to reach the level of developed countries of the world, Ambassador V.Norov said.

Speaking on the photoexhibition “125 years of Uzbek photography”, Mrs. Ann-Marie Lizin, Speaker of the Senate of the Belgian Parliament, said that it is a nice exhibition with old pictures and that Belgians are happy to discover a culture of Uzbekistan.
We think that it is a good opportunity to the Belgian Presidency of OCSE to discover better the member-countries of OCSE and Parliamentary Assembly, Mrs. A.M.Lizin said.

Mr Jan Kubis, EU special representative to countries of Central Asia, also emphasized the importance of organizing of such interesting photoexhibition on Uzbekistan in the European Parliament, where a lot of MEP will have an opportunity to be acquainted with rich culture of Uzbekistan through this exhibition.

The participants of the opening ceremony of the photoexhibition also had a possibility to watch movie on modern life of the country entitled “Welcome to Uzbekistan”.

During the opening ceremony of the photoexhibition Uzbek artists Davranbek Akbarbekov and Feruza Azatova presented a colourful program, comprised from the dances of the different regions of Uzbekistan.

Additional information.

The photo-exhibition “125 Years of Uzbek Photography” was prepared on the basis of archive researches where hundreds of negatives of highly artistic quality photos made in Uzbekistan at the end of 19th century and first third part of 20th century was found. Within these activities the first volume of three-volume anthology-catalogue “125 years of Uzbek Photography” was prepared and published.

The first photos on the territory of current Uzbekistan were dated in 1870 by Europeans who brought with themselves photo-cameras made in Europe. It is very symbolic that just at that time the first Uzbek photographer Khudaybergen DUVANOV (1879-1940) was born in Khiva city. Thanks to his artistic talent and aspiration to study everything new in life Duvanov was able to learn the art of photography that allowed him to capture skillfully the images of his contemporaries, the look of Uzbek cities and settlements at the beginning of 20th century, and to leave for descendants documental chronicles of his time. Today in Khiva, the home city of Duvanov, there is a museum where his unique photos and photo-equipment of that time are exposed.  

The works of other outstanding Uzbek photographer Max Penson (1893-1959), who gained the huge international recognition, occupy the deserved place in the exposition “125 Years of Uzbek Photography”. Thanks to his efforts, the people in the whole world learned about the distinctive culture of the people of Uzbekistan, watched the expressive and kind faces of the inhabitants of this sunny land and were inspired with their expectations and concerns.

The works of other legendary masters and founders of Uzbek photography among them P.Kildushev, Fedorov, Gazeev, Yakubov and others, each of whom left his individual page in the history and development of the national photographic art of Uzbekistan are also presented at the exhosition.

The photos of the photo-exhibition “125 Years of Uzbek Photography” are allowing to see with one’s own eyes the national culture, spiritual world and social life of Uzbekistan. Thanks to these photos it is possible to discover the ancient history, sights, unique views and life of the ordinary people of Uzbekistan. This exhibition also visually demonstrates the talent and endowment of Uzbek photographers.

The photoexhibition “125 Years of Uzbek Photography” was launched for last year and was presented in Moscow in March 2005 and in Beijing in April 2005. 

The first European premiere of the exhibition “125 Years of Uzbek Photography” took place in the city of Arlon of the province of Luxembourg from 13 to 27 February 2006. It is planned to show the photoexhibition “125 Years of Uzbek Photography” also in other Belgian cities and provinces and also in France, Germany and other European countries.