The Other Turkestan’: photography of the Russian empire’s Orient frontier

This side project resorts under Bruno De Cordier’s work line on Central Asian history. Its main output is a 14-chapter reader by scholars as well as non-professional historians and history bloggers from Russia and from the European Union (Munich, Paris, and Ghent) examining late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century photographs of the Central Asian region, its populations and its societies, by Russian and Western-Central European visitors and residents. Through various case studies, the book is to discuss the relevance of these photographic materials in understanding the region’s social history, the way the region and its people were perceived by outsiders, and Central Asia’s transition to forms of modernity at that time. Another planned output of this activity is an online database run by the Observatoire Alerte Héritage where the book’s images as well as similar photo materials (which are now often scattered over a wide range of private collections, history blogs and specialized social media groups that might be discontinued one day) will/can be saved and consulted.  

  • Funded by: CNRS’ EURORBEM, Ghent University and Gerda Henkel Stiftung (2019-2021)
  • Contact: Bruno De Cordier