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Sunday, August 28, 2016

'Uzbekistan Illustrated'

Published 19 November 2012

Uzbek-born artist Jasur Rakhimov and his wife have consistently poked fun at the daily nuisances of life in Uzbekistan since launching their "Uzbekistan Illustrated" Facebook page more than a month ago. The page elicits hundreds of Facebook likes and comments every day. Rakhimov initially planned to remain anonymous so as not to distract from the art. But after some Facebook readers threatened to reveal his identity, he decided to preempt them by doing it himself. Rakhimov rejects the label of "dissident artist" and instead prefers to be known as a freelance artist from Samarkand. He is currently a student in Kansas City. (Images courtesy of


This was Rakhimov’s response to his critics. It's captioned “How they sharpen their teeth for us.” The crowd in the background yells as they await their turn to criticize the man with the file, “Partner, be quick. We need the file, too.”


“Need a taxi? I can take you to the airport. If the police ask, just tell them I'm your brother.”
"Private taxis" remain a problem in Uzbekistan despite fines for unlicensed taxi drivers.


“The cell-phone market in Uzbekistan." Ranging from an original in a box (top left) to an “original from China,” (top right), Rakhimov is highlighting the range of mobile phones available on the black market.


Every year, Uzbek students and government employees are forced to work shifts picking cotton in early September. This year, state officials announced that the goal was 3.35 million tons of cotton. With the target looming heavily over the student, he wonders, “Almost home?”


“High-quality mobile communication in Uzbekistan.” Against the backdrop of a crisis last summer at market leader Uzdunrobita that left millions of Uzbek customers without service, Rakhimov is making fun of signal quality.
The figure at the top of the tower proclaims, “I have 3G access,” while the figure at the top left says, “My 3G fell through."
The figure at the top right asks, “Hello? Can you hear me? This is such a great spot, I found three antennas.”
The figure at the bottom complains, “And my connection is getting lost here somehow.”
The figure at bottom right says, “Not bad, generally -- I managed to send an SMS on my second attempt."


“Look! The power of a document.” As Rakhimov explains on his Facebook page, official documents inspire fear and respect, and provide a key to every door.


Two elderly men greet each with a head-butt -- an increasingly common greeting between Uzbek youths -- above the caption: “Head-butting while saying hello! It's a time-tested tradition."