Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cotton Picking and other Labour

Cotton picking has a long history in Uzbekistan. Cotton has been grown in Uzbekistan for about 2000 years. In Soviet times land has been made arable with irrigating Amu Darya and Syr Darya, which later caused the catastrophe of the diminishing Aral Sea with the subsequent pollution and salination of the sea. Forced child labour has been a problem; look at the article of the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/dec/15/cotton-child-labour-uzbekistan-fashion. Maybe adult forced labour is still a problem, but it’s hard to tell, any driver stopping at cotton fields, where people pick cotton, will loose his licence. And therefore all you can see is people picking cotton out of the moving car or bus.

Cotton blossom

A cotton field without pickers could be watched from out of the bus

And that's as near as you get, the bus is going at 60 km/h

In Samarkand the Registan was prepared for a conference on tourism. I don’t think that the women cleaning the huge place were doing this as volunteers. But that’s how it is in totalitarian countries.

While some perform menial tasks, others pursue loftier endeavours

I think the pictures tell quite a lot about the form of government and the position of women in the current society.

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