Uyghur Culture in Kashgar: A Photo Essay

November 27 | 3 Comments

“These photos were taken across Xinjiang, and are an effort to increase awareness of, and interest in, the Uyghur culture, Uyghur people and the threat they face.” – Photographer Brett Elmer

If you want to know more about the Xinjiang city of Kashgar, check out:

About the Photographer

Brett Elmer is from Perth, Western Australia but is currently based in Hong Kong where he teaches, works on his PhD thesis and takes photos. He’s recently begun a photography project related to Chinese government policies enacted, he believes, to hasten the assimilation of the Uyghur minority of China’s north-west Xinjiang province, with the greater Chinese state.

About Josh Summers

Josh is the author of Xinjiang | A Traveler's Guide to Far West China, the most highly-reviewed and comprehensive travel guide on China's western region of Xinjiang. He lived, studied and run a business in Xinjiang, China for more than 10 years, earning recognition for his work from CCTV, BBC, Lonely Planet and many others.

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  1. These are mostly photographs of demolition sites; they don’t really explain or persuade to the cause of “preserving Uyghur culture”. The hutongs, for example, have a rich and well-known history, while these just look like ordinary residential buildings and not for example, mosques or markets of significance?

    Actually, the most interesting thing in the picture are the scary full-face veils that you would only see in Kashgar, which defy the stereotype of “easy-going Islam” that some commentators apply to Xinjiang as a whole.


  2. Beautiful, sad pictures. It would take a far harder heart than mine not to be touched by the picture of the old man in the ruins of his home.

    I wonder if the two replies above me are from people who’ve lived in Xinjiang? I have, and I never found the women’s veils scary in any way. I found the sheer range of Uyghur women’s clothing fascinating rather than scary.