Category Archives: Naryn

Naryn, Non-Human

Bridges of Naryn

The Naryn and Syr Darya bridges we have now are not spectacular. They are not celebrated like the San Francisco Golden Gate or other famous bridges. These roads over rivers are mostly treated like  background infrastructure. And yet, a big fish monster is said to lurk under the main bridge in Naryn town. Right next to the road bridge,  a foot-bridge has been cobbled together with boards and girders slung across the wild Naryn waters below. Ladies with bags of shopping pick their way across what local people call a ‘devil’s bridge’. 

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Human, Naryn

Naryn is water-rich, Naryn is water-poor?

‘Water is the Source of Life’

It is not only all over Central Asia that one can hear people exclaiming ‘Water is the Source of Life’. Along the Naryn river in Kyrgyzstan, one can often see such slogans decorating the protective walls around drinking-water infrastructure or irrigation – as here. You can find some people being very careful not to spit or spill soap into water-courses, while other people find the embankment of the local canal a really good place to wash their car or spring-clean their carpets. With more cars and carpets washed by the river, will Naryn be richer or poorer?

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Human, Naryn

An Imagined Bridge Biography

1840: It is spring. The steeply wooded valleys along the Naryn ring with the sound of axes as men in boots and chapans fell 40 m high Tian Shan firs. They drag them to bank of the river and strip them of their bark. The huge trunks dry as the sun wheels into autumn and winter. When the ice has grown strong on the Naryn, the men return to harness the huge logs up to horses, and drag them 20 km downriver to where the At Bashy valley leads up to the Torugart pass. Here, where the Naryn is at it’s very narrowest, they raise the logs across the escarpment, one by one, creating a new path across the water. 

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Beginnings 2019, Kazaly, Naryn, Non-Human, Shamaldy-Sai

Aral Sea Stories and the River Naryn

Peter Cusack

The recordings in this exhibition are part of a project entitled “Aral Sea Stories and the River Naryn”. It concerns the disappearance and partial restoration of the Aral Sea in Central Asia since the 1960s. Because The River Naryn is one of the primary sources of water for the Aral Sea it is also vital to the story. My project focusses on the amazing variety of sounds created by the river, the sea, the surrounding environment and the people who live in these areas. It asks the question, “What can we learn of water uses and abuses by listening to their sounds?” and follows the stories and directions suggested.

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