9 November 2019

Tashkent metro photographs

Amos Chapple — photographer for Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty — visited the Tashkent Metro after the ban on taking pictures of it was lifted a few months ago.

The resulting photographs are incredible. I especially like the blue wall around famous Soviet cosmonauts portraits, where the colours of the ceramic mimic the different layers of the atmosphere.

Each caption reveals a different piece of trivia about the Uzbekistan capital and its glorious subway stations, built by the Soviet Union in the seventies. My favourites:

Photography inside the the heavily policed Metro was forbidden until June 2018 because of the military sensitivity of its second role: as a nuclear bomb shelter.

During the Soviet period, planners required a city’s population to top 1 million before work would begin on a subway. Tashkent’s population reached the milestone in the early 1960s.

Artists were brought in from across the Soviet Union to work on the Tashkent Metro. These 5-meter chandeliers were designed by Latvian artist Haim Rykhsin.

Fascinating. These photographs also reminded me to buy this book from Christopher Herwig, so I can reminisce easier my wonderful visit of the Moscow Metro last year.


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