The Silk Road against the flow

When the Venetian merchants went to the Far East in the 13th century, they ended up in an unknown, mysterious world. They traveled for years on land, with caravans along the silk routes, the long dangerous routes over mountains and through deserts to the ancient imperial capitals Xi’an and Jin, present-day Beijing. Large flows of goods have since flowed from the producing Far East to the consuming West. But to what extent has traffic against that flow affected the daily lives of people along the Silk Road? In the 21st century we see Western clothing, customs and symbols that have mixed with the ancient, traditional cultures of Central Asia. Logo’s on a hat or umbrella, western versions of ancient games, cows that have taken the place of camels on Kashgar animal market, these are the visual witnesses of this cross-pollination.

With our camera at hand, we traveled for 30 days due east, from Ashgabat to Beijing and found a world much more familiar to us than it would have been in Marco Polo’s time.

(10/6/2019 – 10/7/2019)