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The Aga Khan Foundation UK present an an exclusive virtual private view of their open-air photography exhibition about the people, places and cultures encountered across 17 countries between the UK and China along the ancient Silk Road.
Comprised of nearly 160 photographs mounted on 24 photo benches, The Silk Road: A Living History invites the viewer to take a 40,000km journey from London to Beijing. The exhibition documents an overland journey photographer Christopher Wilton-Steer undertook in 2019 following the historic trade route.
The show aims to celebrate the diversity of cultural expressions found along the route, highlight examples of how historical practices, rituals and customs live on today, and also reveal some of the connections between what appear at first glance to be very different cultures. It also seeks to engender interest and understanding between distant cultures and challenge perceptions of less well known and understood parts of the world. Photographs from Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, India, China and elsewhere will feature. Additionally, the exhibition aims to raise awareness about AKDN’s contributions to improving the quality of life across social, economic and cultural spheres in Central and South Asia as well as the Middle East.
Christopher Wilton-Steer is a travel photographer and Head of Communications at Aga Khan Foundation UK. His professional and personal work take him to remote locations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Through his photography, he is interested in exploring less well documented and often misunderstood parts of the world in an effort to help demystify them and build bridges of interest and understanding between different cultures. Ultimately, he wishes for his photographs to encourage others to take the road less travelled and explore, experience and encounter new places, people and cultures. His work has been featured in magazines and newspapers around the world including National Geographic, The Guardian, CNN, Financial Times, and Der Spiegel amongst others.
Photo credit © Christopher Wilton-Steer