New East Digital Archive

Visit Kazakhstan’s beautified building sites with this Polish photographer

27 April 2018

A Polish photographer has won a global award for shots of some of Kazakhstan’s most iconic landscapes — wrapped around building sites in the city of Almaty.

Tomasz Padlo took images of the decorative plastic sheeting used to beautify the many construction sites in Kazakhstan’s rapidly-transforming cultural capital. The resulting series, Greetings from Kazakhastan, was given 3rd Place in the Landscape Category of the Sony World Photography Awards’ professional competition.

Padlo said he was drawn to the country in a bid to photograph its “re-Kazakhisation” — the nation’s ongoing bid to reassert its identity free of Soviet rule. Each plastic wrap is decorated with a picture of the country’s natural beauty, but cannot escape the urban environment that surrounds it.

“These sheets are an attempt to change the stereotypical view of the country, but due to their dirty surroundings, they remind me of a Potemkin village rather than professional ads”, he told The Calvert Journal.