The few depictions of Tajikistan that have gained notoriety in the past 10 years usually focus on the civil war and its social consequences: displaced populations, public health, military, poverty, and the drug trade. These social issues are urgent and need attention. However, when taking pictures I've frequently found myself drawn to scenes on the periphery of issues and events: not only to the potential environmental disaster of Lake Sarez, but the cowherd crouching by its shores; not only the militarized zone along the Afghan border, but the hot springs where both soldiers and locals bathe; not only an independence day parade, but its spectators. These pictures are a record of those inconsequential moments, the slight, quiet lives that fill out the texture of a place, and that give it shape.
The following pictures offer a brief glimpse of Tajikistan. Neither based on events nor organized around a preconceived idea of the country and its spaces, they are simply peopled landscapes, compositions encountered throughout the country during the course of travels in 1999.