Path:Sino-US›› China News>> Xinjiang>> Xinjiang››
People of Xinjiang portrayed in pages

Kurbanjan Samat is a 32-year-old ethnic Uighur photographer, posing in front of his book I'm From Xinjiang at Javits Convention Center on Thursday during the BEA in New York. Photo: China Daily

Kurbanjan Samat, a 32-year-old photographer, brought his project of portraits of Xinjiang people to New York for the 2015 BEA, which this year features China as its guest of honor for the first time.

It is the first time his book, I'm from Xinjiang, a selection of 100 stories from the more than 500 people he spoke to, was released in the US, after the Chinese version was well received last year.

Every photo is a portrait snapped since late 2013, focusing on Xinjiang natives working in other parts of the country and abroad.

"Our people have been alienated, sometimes labeled violent, and I want my pictures to show their true faces," said Kurbanjan Samat during a launch for the English-language edition at the Javits Convention Center in New York on Thursday.

Born in Hotan, Xinjiang, Kurbanjan is a Uyghur independent photographer and documentary cameraman. He has orchestrated a number of award-winning photo exhibitions and participated in the shooting of documentary films, including The Silk Road - Journey Restarted and A Bite of China. He was also a winner of the Annual Outstanding Youth Photographer Award at the 7th PhotoChina Original International Photographic Exhibition and a visiting professor at the College of Humanities of Xinjiang University.

Kurbanjan has lived in Beijing for eight years and a problem that has been concerning him is people's lack of understanding of Xinjiang's people.

Bigotry derives from ignorance about the people of Xinjiang, which is inhabited by 13 ethnic groups, not one of which represents the entire population, he said.

In the book there are Uygur people, Han people and Mongolian people as well as other ethnic groups across all age groups and professions, from street peddlers to corporate executives, each of which share barely anything in common except the fact that they all hail from Xinjiang.

"I want to interpret my people with photos," said Kurbanjan. "I want to make the photo book bridge cultures between different ethnicities."
The book has been well received among Chinese readers since being published last year.

"When I watch the news, Xinjiang seems to be an outlandish and unfamiliar region, but when I read the book it seems familiar and close," said Bai Yansong, a CCTV talk show host.

"From these photographs and texts, we see nothing but ourselves and I have no idea what these stories will do to change the status quo, but their very presence before readers means change itself."

As a Uyghur youth, Kurbanjan has a unique and profound understanding of the various changes that have taken place in the region in recent years. The book is a natural expression of the rich and deep perspectives of his thoughtful mind, said Chen Xiaoqing, chief director of A Bite of China.

Explore Hunan Promote Hunan
Related Stories
Share this page
Touched Sympathetic Bored Angry Amused Sad Happy No comment
About us

Rhythm Media Group is a multi-media company, operating a US-based Chinese daily newspaper, The China Press, and the paper's website - (which has mobile-app version), as well as a Beijing-based English website The group boasts 15 branch offices across the US, and a number of cultural centers focusing on culture-related business in the North America, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Launched in September 2012, the is designed to serve as a bridge between China and the US, and to keep its readership inside or outside China better informed by providing news and insights on China's current affairs, culture, life, business, people and sports.

Our Partners

About us - Contact us - Copyright - Terms of use - Privacy policy

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved