Ashgabat is Turkmenistan capital, an old colony of the former Soviet Union until 1991 and is the 6th country in the world with most metro reserves. Since 2018 has overtaken North Korea in repression and isolation with a dictatorship that bans the freedom of the press.
Its current president since 2006 Gurbangulí Berdimujamédov is Sparmurat Niyazov successor, which was the former regional leader during the old Soviet Union regime and supported the rising against Michael Gorbachov and banned the comment party when they become independent.
Turkmenistan is locked from the outside world. Limited visas are provided to foreigners, internet, phone and TV restrictions applied and a press used only as the regime’s voice. For citizens, bans such as growing a beard for the under 40’s, to buy cigarettes, have a pet anuran such as a dog, Opera and ballet performances, are amongst some of the restrictions suffered. To these random bans and in a country “ decorated” with big portraits of the ostentatiously dressed dictator, a complement are the buildings. The president’s trend for the past few years has been to breathe all-time Guinness record, by building as many white marble buildings and even the biggest indoor Ferries wheel in the world.
Through this type of “totalitarian” architecture, by using exclusive materials, enhancing the gradndious and shinny, the constant use of gold, the message that wants to transmit its citizens and few visitors is clear: bow to the greatness of the kingdom.
He was born in Barcelona in 1984. Firstly He studied DOP until 2009 and He started to work in cinema and video. In 2015 he moved to Madrid, where he began to study photography in EFTI and LENS. His first project, called Re-form, had been exhibit in some festivals like Revela’t, Mirades or Pa-ta-ta. His pictures appeared in magazines like El País Semanal, XL Semanal, Ignant, GUP, Wired or the British Journal of Photography. In 2018 He was selected to Encontros da artistas novos recidency. Nowadays He combines personal projects with assignments related with architecture and design.
© text and pictures by Arnau Rovira Vidal
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