The Kyrgyz border village of Ak-Sai is located at the problematic area near the Tajikistan enclave of Vorukh. In recent years, conflicts over land and water has led to bloody violence. When I was researching around the Ak-Sai and Vorukh border, the Kyrgyz border soldiers came to stop my activity and suspected I was spy. I was traveling with Tourist visa so I insisted I was an innocent tourist adoring their beautiful mountains. Then I showed them the photos I have taken of their compatriots, the Kyrgyz nomads of Pamir in Afghanistan. The photos struck them in awe, so I told them to take any photos they wanted. The trick was a success, we became friends immediately. Then I pretended to be hungry. The hospitable commander decided to take me with his military car to stroll the little village, literally knocking at the people’s houses to ask them to prepare food for me. He then assigned his sergeant to accompany me eating with one of the local families. The sergeant was eager to practice his English with me, and told me many stories. This is how I got much information on the troubled border. (And I think I indeed possess the talent to be a spy).

Ak-Sai, Kyrgyzstan, 2015

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