Women and Children in Tashkent, 1961

Photos from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 1961

1961, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  Students.

1961, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Students.

In 1961, Harvey and Alice Richards took their camera equipment and Harvey’s teenage son, Paul Richards, to the Soviet Union to make a film, A Visit to the Soviet Union, about Soviet women and children. They were pro-socialist, radical activists during the intensely anti-communist Cold War years in the United States.  Their hope was to encourage friendship and understanding between the people of the USSR and the USA and to encourage peaceful international relations.

The photo images in this gallery are from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, a hot dry place where grapes and melons graced the tables and markets full of people from an ancient and colorful culture.  Our stay was brief (a few days), but like Moscow, we visited ordinary locations where women and children spent their time, including parks, schools, child care centers, maternity wards and professional offices.  We were greeted by Soviet Women’s Committee representatives who provided us with transportation and introductions to the locations on our itinerary. Visiting a place for a brief moment is like taking a fast frame photo in the stream of history sweeping invisibly past you.  Now, over 50 years later, these images capture a moment of liberation for Uzbek women from the restrictive cultural bonds that had kept women locked inside the family and home for centuries.


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