Carolyn Drake was born in California and is now based in Athens, Georgia. Between 2007 and 2013, Carolyn traveled frequently to Central Asia from her base in Istanbul to work on two widely acclaimed photography projects. The first, “Two Rivers,” explores the shifting borders, histories, and life systems between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, looking at the connections between ecology, culture and political power. The second project is an amalgem of photographs, drawings, and embroideries made in collaboration with Uyghurs in western China. Framed between passages from Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s story “Wild Pigeon,” it is an allegory about the situation of Uyghurs, and more broadly, about the encroachment of modernity on individual and cultural freedom. Carolyn is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, the Lange Taylor Prize, and a Fulbright fellowship, among other awards.
An audio slideshow that accompanies the text of Carolyn Drake’s “Return to the Center of the World,” which appeared in the March/April 2010 Orion.