The idyllic beauty in the photographs of landscapes and people in Patrick Wack’s monograph “Dust” is deceptive. Shot in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, as it is now officially named, “Dust” is the culmination of four years of Wack’s work to document the region, its minority peoples and the oppression enacted by the Chinese administration. The book’s cover already reveals the extent of the situation, with red symbols marking concentration camps on a map of the Xinjiang region.
In stunning photographs, Wack portrays the land and the culture of the Uyghurs threatened with repression and cultural erasure, with multiple essays (in French and English) providing in-depth background information on the situation and its history as well as Wack’s personal experiences during his numerous travels to the region.
“In 2016 and 2017, Wack spent more than two months in Xinjiang photographing Out West, his first long-term project about the region. He decided to return in 2018, upon reading reports of the mass arbitrary detention system being set up there. In 2019, he travelled to Xinjiang on two separate occasions for another project, The Night Is Thick. This second reportage aimed at documenting life under acute repression among the Uyghur minority alongside the disturbing simultaneous increase of Han-Chinese tourism in the region.
Recent events in Xinjiang are now considered some of the most severe crimes against humanity currently unfolding in the world and this project is possibly the most complete photographic documentation of the region in recent years.”
― from the publisher’s description