Edition 2006


Beyond the Steppes

Closed on 17 September 2006
“I met her when she was a young photographer in New York. Her success wasn’t a matter of chance: she really knows photography and she found her niche, getting close to people with a very human approach allied to enormous visual strength. I’m really pleased to be able to show her work on Central Asia. She’s a great talent and deserves even more recognition. She’s a very French photographer, in the Le Querrec mould – someone with human values, who shares with people, doesn’t steal and catches the right moment. Very strong work that’s going to grow with time. Anywhere in the world Claudine is in harmony with the people she photographs.”
Raymond Depardon
Beyond the Steppes
Over the period 2002-2004, I visited the Aral region of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the banks of the Issyk Koul in Kirghizstan and Xin-Jiang in China. I had read Jamila by the Khirghiz poet Chingiz Aitmatov – “the world’s most beautiful love story”, said Louis Aragon – and dreamed of kolkhozes deep in the steppes, and of the Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kirghizes and Karakalpaks whose borders, like their alphabets, are subject to endless change. Beyond the Steppes is the story of these men from the “middle of the worlds”, heirs to lost kingdoms marked by almost a century of Soviet culture: fishermen with no sea, girls with a myriad of braids, children who dance to call back parents gone to work in Korea, Lola who dreams of America, and men listening to the sands singing. I wanted to reveal the traces history has left on the land and its peoples, and the period of transition during which the imprint left by Russia on an age-old civilisation will soon disappear forever. This is the story of a slow disappearing into sand and time: a journey into post-Soviet Central Asia.
Claudine Doury


  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture