KASHGAR, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region- Amid the swirling dust, one by one, the old mud brick houses were being torn down. This is the ancient city of Kashgar, capitol and westernmost area of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Kashgar has long been a Silk Road junction and continues to be the hub for Uyghurs around the region. Large scale bazaars still thrive throughout the city.
The Old City of Kashgar, an area about eight square km, is where the traditional Uyghur dwellings stand. The unique living environment has been the result of many years of altercation and extensions, and the tangle of side streets conjures a feel of stepping into a mysterious labyrinth, making it a popular destination for tourists.
Under the banner of redevelopment, the Chinese government continues to evict the 65,000 households, or approximately 220,000 Uyghur residents, and demolish the Old City. Parts of the city are planned to be conserved as a tourist attraction, but most of the area will be torn down.
For those who chose to move out, modern apartment houses were arranged in the outskirts of the city and new high rise apartments have already started to spring up where once the ancient dwellings stood.
Photo & Text By Yuki Iwanami
Translation by Taro Konishi