French documentary photographer Patrick Wack’s upcoming book captures changes in the landscape of China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, taken on multiple trips from 2016 and 2019.
June 2016. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. Blindfolded statue of a Kazhak warrior in a Kazakh ethno-park catering to Chinese tourists on the road back from Turpan, a mostly Uyghur oasis town, to Urumqi, Xinjiang autonomous region’s capital. Photo: Patrick Wack.
The images, interspersed with essays by China experts about Beijing’s changing attitudes towards Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region, will be published in October by André Frère Éditions.
November 2016. Luntai County, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. Young Uighur-minority seasonal worker in the last days of the cotton harvest in Luntai county in Xinjiang in between Korla and Kuqa, north of the Taklamakan desert. Photo: Patrick Wack.
May 2017. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. Muslim man of the Hui minority praying at sunset on the shores of Saytam lake in the far-western Xinjiang province at the border with Kazakhstan. Photo: Patrick Wack.
May 2016. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. Ruins of the old city of Kashgar, mostly destroyed by the Chinese authorities in order to build a new version of this ancient silk road city. Photo: Patrick Wack.
May 2016. Xinjiang province, China. Travellers getting on and off the train to Hotan at the Kashgar railway station. This is the only railway linking the oasis towns south of the Taklamakan desert where most of Xinjiang’s Uighur community in Xinjiang lives. Photo: Patrick Wack.
May 2016. View from the old city of Kashgar. Photo: Patrick Wack.
May 2016. Men praying in a mosque in the old city of Kashgar. Photo: Patrick Wack.
May 2016. The old city of Kashgar which has been in big part destroyed by the Chinese authorities. Photo: Patrick Wack.
May 2016. The bazaar of Hotan. Photo: Patrick Wack.
June 2016. Uyghur man looking through the door of his house into the Turpan depression and Ayding lake. Ayding lake is a dried up lake in the Turpan Depression, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Photo: Patrick Wack.
May 2016. Hotan, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. Tuanjie Square, Hotan’s main square, during a night event. In the center of the square stands the statue of Kurban Tulum’s shaking hands with Mao Zedong. Kurban Tulum was a Uighur peasant who lived in Yutian County and was promoted by the Communist Party of China as a symbol of unity with the Uyghurs. Photo: Patrick Wack.
May 2017. Han Chinese migrant worker from the East of China making a call overlooking new constructions in Altay, a county-level city in Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, in far northern Xinjiang, China. It is the administrative centre of Altay Prefecture, and has 142,000 inhabitants. Photo: Patrick Wack.
January 31st 2019. Kashgar, Xinjiang province. Uyghur men walking in a commercial street in the old part of town near the Idkah mosque. Photo: Patrick Wack.
February 3rd 2019. Hotan, Xinjiang province. Uighur-minority locals wait in line for ID check and body searches before entering the local bazar. Photo: Patrick Wack.
February 5th 2019. Young Uighur-minority girl posing for photos in the ruins of an old neighborhood close to the White Jade river in Hotan. Photo: Patrick Wack.
October 2nd 2019. A group of Uighur tourists on the site of the Kizil Gaha Beacon Tower (克孜尔尕哈烽燧 Kèzīěr gǎhā fēngsuì). Located 10km southeast of Kuqa, this was the site of a military facility built during the Han Dynasty. Photo: Patrick Wack.
September 27th 2019. Young Uighur boy sleeping on a small stage covered with traditional Uighur fabrics in a small country-side restaurant. Photo: Patrick Wack.
September 28th 2019. Shanshan County. Motorized miniature tanks attraction on the site of the Kumtag Desert Scenic Area, a desert-tourism park catering mostly to Han-Chinese tourists. In the background tourists climb one of the main dunes of the park. Photo: Patrick Wack.
September 28th 2019. Turpan. Uyghur burial ground in Turpan, encircled by new housing developments. The burial ground looked like a partly-demolished abandoned wasteland. Photo: Patrick Wack.