Home > Kyrgyzstan Workshop > Kyrgyzstan 2015, Day 4: The Kitchen Garden

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So this beginner workshop is taking form a little bit differently than workshops in the past. As you know by now, we normally have class and critique in the morning, and then head out on location in the afternoon. There might be a morning shoot in there now and again, but usually we’re all in the evenings. This time however, morning shoots are the norm. We headed out this morning early again with tail-lights at 8:40AM. We had a plan to go out and shoot a lot of stuff today and we were going to hit the ground running. We also had a special reason to be on time because the national news channel was going to meet us on location and film our class in action!

We got out to the village around where the groups would be photographing and the two vans split up, Fred and Kevin’s van going to photograph the irrigation infrastructure and parent’s resource center, while Sarah and Arthur’s groups headed to an old communal farming village. And so Groups 1 and 4 headed out to check out the irrigation (with media in tow), and Groups 2 and 3 headed to three small houses in the community.

Water access and use is a challenge in Kyrgyzstan, so farming and irrigation methods are currently being reviewed in order to develop new strategies. The students walked across large fields of cucumber and wheat to find the farmers and photograph the story of water being used to irrigate crops, supply communities, and to offer a bit of respite from the heat. Apparently the water sluices are good not only for channeling the cool streams, but they also make for great swimming holes as well! It’s like your own private Lazy River.

At the Parent Resource Centers, the students photographed the entirely different story of prenatal health and screening. Doctors in local clinics worked with expectant mothers and fathers to help prepare them for birth and parenting. The students saw health examinations, exercise training, parental training, and quite a few guilty-looking fathers in the clinic. They photographed their subjects with a style, sensitivity and intelligence that made an experience that one might consider at minimum unexciting look pretty interesting.

Arthur and Sarah’s groups each headed into the farming community to photograph families who grow and prepare most of their own foods. Some of the students photographed in small plot mixed gardens, while others watched families preparing and storing the crops they grow. It was an intimate look at family life around the home and in the end each of the groups were given wonderful gifts to take home: fresh vegetables from the fields and gardens and fresh hot bread!

Russian WOTD: Atlichna = Super

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