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The Forgotten Photographer Of Soviet Uzbekistan

As Central Asia was transformed under Soviet rule, one man made a remarkable record of life in the fledgling Uzbek S.S.R. before being driven from his career and toward tragedy.

For nearly three decades between 1921 to 1949, photographer Max Penson chronicled the profound transformations in Uzbekistan.
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A worker's rally in the courtyard of a textile mill in Tashkent. Between 1925 and 1949, photographer Max Penson documented life in Soviet Uzbekistan.
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A worker's rally in the courtyard of a textile mill in Tashkent. Between 1925 and 1949, photographer Max Penson documented life in Soviet Uzbekistan.

Max Penson sits for a self portrait. The photographer was born in what is today Belarus in 1893, but fled anti-Semitic violence there after the outbreak of World War I to settle in what would become Uzbekistan.
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Max Penson sits for a self portrait. The photographer was born in what is today Belarus in 1893, but fled anti-Semitic violence there after the outbreak of World War I to settle in what would become Uzbekistan.

Girls in a classroom in Tashkent. Penson began his new life in Central Asia as an art teacher.
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Girls in a classroom in Tashkent. Penson began his new life in Central Asia as an art teacher.

One of Penson's early photographs showing a runner cheered by burqa-clad women. After winning a camera as a reward for excellence in teaching, the young immigrant threw himself into photography.
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One of Penson's early photographs showing a runner cheered by burqa-clad women. After winning a camera as a reward for excellence in teaching, the young immigrant threw himself into photography.

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