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Ivan Sigal: –White Road


The expression “white road ” is a way to wish someone “bon voyage” in Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek. These words are written on road signs at the edges of Asian towns, wishing travelers good luck as they leave civilization to enter the desert lands of the steppe. From 1998 to 2005, the American photographer Ivan Sigal worked, lived and traveled throughout Central Asia, crossing Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. During this odyssey, he played two roles: that of a supporter and trainer of local journalists, and that of a traveling documentary photographer.

His passion for these people led him to photograph their daily lives, games, cultural events and family moments, depicted here in poetic black and white. Candid shots, landscapes, and portraits of men and animals all reveal the history of these post-Soviet states. The large series is also rare in its disregard for technical shortcomings like out-of-focus shots, uncommon for documentary work. Despite a few postcards inserted into the middle of this book, and a separate notebook containing a written chronicle of the voyage, there is a complete absence of captions or any other information about the photographs. But this only encourages the viewer to look past the context and to be carried away by the faces of these countless unknown people and the lives they have lived.

Jonas Cuénin

Ivan Sigal, White Road
By Steidl
Edited by Ivan Sigal and Paul Roth
Two books housed in a box
Book 1: 368 pages with 255 tritone photographs
25.5 x 18.5 cm
Book 2: 104 pages text
18.5 cm x 25.5
Clothbound hardcover
Price: €65.00 £50.00 $88.00
ISBN 978-3-86930-538-7

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