Godwin-Ternbach Museum exhibits life on the Silk Road

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Godwin-Ternbach Museum hosted a new photography exhibit called “Along the Silk Roads,” which debuted on Oct. 15.

Lynn Gilbert, an artist featured in the exhibit, provided photographs from Turkey. Specifically, her pictures come from Cappadocia, Turkey, ranging from heritage sites to the interior of a 200-year-old house. She also captured the images of the working class in Uzbekistan.

Gilbert recognized the major differences between Turkish and American culture.

“You’re very included in the culture. You don’t see much of that in America,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert wanted people look at her images to understand what she saw in Turkey.

“I fell in love with the country. It wasn’t just Turkey, but the interior of Turkey. Each region has their own characteristics, such as textiles, patterns, and colors,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert highlighted how “family and the home are sacred” in both Uzbekistan and Turkey.

“I learned something important while doing photography. You learn about your own life when you see other people’s lives. You experience life as it comes,” Gilbert said.

Didier Vanderperre is another artist who sent photographs to the exhibit. His work dealt with the Uyghur Muslim community in Xinjiang, China.

Vanderperre differs from Gilbert as he focused more on people in his photos. He showed people working in places such as carpet factories or a cattle market.

“When I travel and do photography, I take pictures of people. I get close to the people when I take pictures and what is really special to me is meeting someone you would have never met,” Vanderperre said. “The Uyghurs are extremely religious, very friendly, open and generally welcoming people. They share what they have.”

Didier learned about the Muslim culture and the people in it after taking photographs.

“I really went there to document the Muslim culture. I wanted to see the Muslim civilization in the Chinese country as thoroughly as possible and tell the story the way it is,” Didier said.

Didier’s photographs also show how women in Xinjiang dress, covering their heads and most of their bodies. In addition, he took pictures of Uyghur children.

For his recent journey, he wanted the mark of the Uyghar culture imprinted in his life.

“I’ve travelled to many different countries and cultures. Each encounter is a new experience and shapes you as a person. Each person you meet is an imprint in you and makes you a better person,” Didier said. “Xinjiang has a different way of life. The Uyghur culture is disappearing and I wanted to capture the culture before it disappears.”

Zulya Rajaboua, founder and president of Silk Roads Treasure Tours, will host a lecture and dance performance about the exhibit at Godwin-Ternback Museum on Nov. 19.

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