Searching Through Central Asia
Long have the steppes, mountains and deserts of Central Asia been home to secrets. Even today they are an area of the world greatly misunderstood or unheard of by the majority in our country. Toss out places like Ashgabat, Bishkek, Almaty, Bukhara, Khiva or Kokand and you’ll get blank looks. But it’s these locales and their people that have shaped the world far more than we know. And it’s those same places that are shaping out future.
I’m in the remotes of Kazakhstan in an area few visit known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The very name elicits feelings of awe and almost stupefying glee in me. This is the future we were promised, the dreams I had as a kid of going to space. And here all around me is a place they make that happen.
Unlike Cape Carnaval, this is not a tourist destination. People don’t flock here to see rocket launches. Few can even get close. But it is a land dedicated to pushing humanity to the stars. Where some would see it as desolate, the long grass left to reclaim the remains of scattered rocket boosters, I see something beautiful. The rusting hulks around me are not a sign of failure, but the experimentations of a species in their drive for something better and how even in that they remain grounded.
Not everything is a ruin here. There is simply so much space that it has made more sense for the Russians who run the cosmodrome to not concern themselves with plowing over the past. In doing so, they’ve built a museum and one we’ll be thankful for when we’re looking back at Earth and recounting our history there.
Today’s art is courtesy of John Park from Chino, USA.