It was lunchtime at Chorsu Bazaar, and the wooden benches of the choykhona were filling up with hungry families. The room was dark from the smoke of cigarettes and shashlyk. I took a space opposite an older middle-aged couple, sitting with a boy of about six. … More A miracle in Tashkent
It’s long past midnight in a rugged little town high up in the Caucasus Mountains, and I’m lying on my back in the middle of an icy street, gazing up at the stars. There is freezing air in my lungs, a mountain climb in my legs, and half a bottle of chacha in my veins. I am so happy I can’t move.
I arrived in northern Georgia from Tbilisi the night before, and booked a room in a guesthouse in Stepantsminda (also called Kazbegi), to make the trek up to Gergeti Trinity Church – one of the most beautiful places in the Caucasus. … More Getting drunk on my own in the former Soviet republics: Confessions of an alcohol analyst
Spending time in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s grand, roomy capital, I learned a lot about daily life in Central Asia: … More Six things I felt in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
On 4 and 5 April 2019, two of my photographs will be displayed at the photo exhibition ‘Daily Life in Central Asia’, at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. … More My photographs in SEnECA’s ‘Daily Lives in Central Asia’ exhibition (BOZAR, Brussels – April 2019)
I dreamed of Uzbekistan for 12 years. Imagining being under an Uzbek sky – wandering through a market, exploring, talking with people, taking their photograph, savouring every taste, sound and smell – became a preoccupation. Then it became an obsession: with each year that passed, overdrawn, tied to a different life, this journey seemed more impossible, until just the word ‘Uzbekistan’ made me upset. I gave up on my dream, and resigned myself to always feeling this way. … More Memories of Chorsu Bazaar – Tashkent, Uzbekistan
The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2014 includes a short piece that I wrote for its ‘Cricket Round The World’ section, about Uzbekistan’s first ever cricket tournament. Cricket Round The World this year comes from Colombia, Hungary, Iran, Nauru and Japan, as well as Uzbekistan and other places. Wisden 2014 has essays by Gideon Haigh, Ed Smith and its editor Lawrence Booth. … More Cricket in Uzbekistan: some writing for the 2014 Wisden Almanack