Uzbekistan Umida Ahmedova and Oleg Karpov:
Hostages of Eternity

Umida Ahmedova, Oleg Karpov
© Alexey Kubasov

Hostages of Eternity, video 30:26 min., 2007
 
Hostages of Eternity shows a woman relentlessly sweeping a 100 metre-long section of a road in the rain – a job that is traditionally associated with housewife's work in Uzbekistan, but in this instance her efforts are focused on the very road that the president of the country used twice a day. Islam Karimov (1938-2016) was the president of Uzbekistan from 1991 until his death in 2016. During his rule, many opposed to his regime went into exile, large numbers were sentenced to long prison terms and many simply disappeared altogether. In 2005, there were demonstrations in Andijan protesting about the regime. The military opened fire upon the protesters, irrespective of whether they were agitators or ordinary citizens; it is estimated that up to 500 people were killed and approximately 2,000 wounded. To this day, the whereabouts of the bodies of those killed remains a mystery.

Umida Ahmedova and Oleg Karpov made the following comment on the work: "Islam Karimov ruled for twenty-seven years in Uzbekistan and during this time, dozens, hundreds, thousands of people brought offerings to the altar of his eminence, at least they pretended to do so. The woman sweeping water on the President's road is just one nameless heroine among many."

Umida Ahmedova born 1955 in Parkent, Uzbekistan. Filmmaker, photographer, member of the Uzbekistan Art Academy. 1986 The Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK).  Had about 9 personal photo exhibitions throughout the world, two of them were in Bilbao, Spain 2010. Also she took part in Tashkent, Moscow and Bishkek Biennale, as well as she participated in Riga Modern Art Festival.
 
Oleg Karpov, born 1963 in Tashkent. Studied at the Tashkent Polytechnic Institute. Worked at Uzbek Documentary Cinema organisation, UzbekFilm, Uzbek TV. Curator: Video collection of the Central House of Officers in Tashkent (1990 – 2013); Museum of Cinema (2004 – 2009); Festival of videoart and experimental cinema VideoART.uz (2007 – 2013) 27 festivals; Central Asian Festival of Independent Cinema (CAFIF) – 2013; Turkestan photographic archive since 2013 till present.