Mauro Matalone -The Urgench cattle market
The Urgench cattle market takes place on the outskirts of this remote village in the northern region of Karakalpakstan in Uzbekistan.
The market reaches the village after the celebration of the Uzbek new year called Navrùz, which coincides with the arrival of spring; it is an important event above all for the neighboring agricultural areas which base their economy and livelihood on the ancestral relationship man-animal.
From early hours in the morning breeders, farmers, butchers and traders weave negotiations, forge relationships and introduce young people to the true flavor of “life in the fields”.
The cold air sculpts the faces of men while the sunlight shapes their features and gaze, sometimes rough. The animals paw, get nervous and bellow while exhibiting their grandeur to a multitude of eyes that observe them, evaluate them and negotiate their price.
In this work I wanted to give a face and light, as far as possible, to the boundless multitude of men and animals in the Urgench plain. An event not perfectly defined nor described in travel guides but through which I deeply breathed the strong bond that binds human civilization to the animal world.