On the ground photos from Turkmenistan’s “election”
Photoblog, Politics and Society, Turkmenistan3 Comments
These photos are by a fellow citizen journalist inside Turkmenistan. It might be hard for outsiders to understand how courageous this person is, even if the content is “uncontroversial”.
I would also like to draw the viewer’s attention away from the banners and at the context around them. If you look closely, you can see indications of the material impoverishment of my country.
The photograph above is from Ashgabat. It shows all eight of the official candidates. However, there are no posters or advertisements allowed that would show these men individually. By contrast, there are huge posters of Berdimuhamedov just about everywhere.
This banner is hanging over a veritable no man’s land. It reads: “12 February 2012 is the presidential election day!”
“All people to the election!”
And again: “All people to the election!” Naturally, this reminds me of the country’s Soviet past (“All power to the soviets [councils]!”)
Update, 9 February: A road scene from Ashgabat, the capital, with banners on a two way road: “12 February 2012 is the day of the presidential election” (left) and “All people to the election!” (right)
Update, 10 February: During a recent cabinet meeting, it was decided to prohibit the taking of photographs during election day. Indeed, the decision equated taking photographs to a crime! The situation remains deeply secretive in the country.