Central Asia

About This Project

Peter travels south-east towards the modern Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan, formerly known as Bactria at the time when stunning Roxanne had her devastating effect upon Alexander the Great. His series of photographs explore the Silk Road and the majestic cities of the Great Khans: Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Crossing the land of the ferocious Timur the Lame (Tamerlane), who was based at Samarkand, we learn more about the customs of his imposing women. It was here that Yauguraga, ‘Queen of Hearts’, and Cano, the ‘Great Queen’ and her 300 stunning lady’s maids lived. Moving beyond the veil, Peter encounters the former harems and their codex of beauty, the One Thousand and One Nights recounted by Sheherazade, his photographs granting us a unique insight into these women’s customs and rituals of seduction and beautification. We learn more from the father of medicine and ingenious inventor of cosmetics, Avicenna (Ali Ibn Sina), son of Bukhara, and take the opportunity to look into the treasures of his mysterious tomes. Siberian shamans share their ancient tribal knowledge distilled from the huge Siberian steppes, while Peter’s journey to the capitals of Central Asia reflects upon how Stalin’s cruel mass deportations have paradoxically resulted in an unprecedented ethnic mix, whose beautiful women are now in great demand from fashion magazines the world over.