Message in a Bottle

Photography by Toma Peiu, Luiza Pârvu

River Flows is a photographic series capturing everyday landscapes from the Aral Sea basin. The Naryn-Syr Darya flows down from the high mountains on Kyrgyzstan through the Fergana Valley and then into the Kazakh steppe, towards the North Aral Sea. 

In these images captured in 2018, we seek to capture the relation between this body of water, the people and landscapes that it connects.

This series is a “message in a bottle” between Shamaldy-Say (Kyrgyzstan) on the Naryn river; Kyzylorda and Birlik (Kazakhstan) on the Syr Darya; Aral (Kazakhstan) and Muynaq (Qaraqalpaqstan, Uzbekistan), the two port towns that used to lie on the shores of the sea. We hope that it inspires new conversations between these communities and the geographical and cultural legacy that connects them.

Shamaldy-Sai, Kyrgyz Republic. April 2018

Muynaq, Uzbekistan. July 2018

Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan. August 2018

Birlik, Kyzylorda Oblast, Kazakhstan. August 2018

Aral, Kazakhstan. August 2018