Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Picture and a Story

So yes, before we even get started I will admit that this is my big artsy picture. I took it on Election Day during my semester abroad in Kazakhstan (last December). Now in Kazakhstan there haven’t been many elections, and this was a Presidential election, something that had only happened twice before. On paper Kazakhstan looks like a Democracy, but the same guy has been running the country for over sixteen years and there have been a lot of less than democratic things going on. What really put everyone on edge was the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, which somewhat violently threw out a President rather similar to Kazakhstan’s.

So around election things were tense and there was talk of revolution and also a more noticeable police presence. Oh yeah, and they banned demonstration and large gatherings of people. Now I was well placed in my host family, because whenever we heard fireworks during my entire stay we all joked that the revolution was starting, had a good laugh, and then went back to drinking vodka. Good times. Anyway, in the end the opposition candidate lost, the stats were inflated to say 92% of voters voted for the incumbent President and though the election results were criticized, very little changed.

On Election Day I wandered around Almaty, which was eerily calm and sort of tranquil, and I found this torn poster for Zharmkhan Tuyakbai, the main opposition candidate, and took a picture. When I looked back over it, it looked like he was starting to cry.


ruth said...

i like that photo. but i'm a sucker for slightly pretentious arty photos.

Barbarossa said...

I was proud of me for my slightly pretentious artsy photo.