White Road

By Ivan Sigal ’91. Steidl, 2012. White Road, which means “safe journey” in Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek, is the documentary work of Ivan Sigal, who, from 1998 to 2005, worked, lived, traveled and photographed in Central Asia, traversing Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. The images from his multi-year odyssey reveal the unsettled lives of Eurasians in provincial towns and cities. Alongside the photos, an episodic narrative unfolds: vignettes chronicling Sigal’s encounters while tracing his restless passage through the landscape. Through image and text, White Road addresses what was left behind when the Soviet Union’s ideological superstructure was stripped away, eliminating the grand narrative that imposed meaning on people’s lives. The cumulative effect is that of a search without a center or an apparent goal.