COTTON CANDY STATION
LIMITED EDITION OF 75
Artist Matilde Gattoni
Tashkent, Uzbekistan I 2019
A cotton candy seller stands in the metro station. Tashkent metro was built in 1972 after a major earthquake and each station could serve as a nuclear shelter.
For the past 28 years, Tashkent was the capital of one of the world’s most secretive and brutal dictatorships. Uzbekistan authorities systematically tortured political opponents, jailed religious figures without trial and sent hundreds of thousands of citizens, including children, to forced labour. Locals were not permitted to leave the country, while their paranoid government imposed a total ban on Western culture and foreign journalists.
Following the recent death of long-time dictator Islam Karimov, last February Uzbekistan cautiously began to open up to the modern world. Matilde Gattoni and her colleague were the first reporters allowed into Tashkent under the new policy.