Little people, big river

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Format: long read

Countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan

English translations (Russian originals in brackets):

Life by the river: the Naryn in Kyrgyzstan (Сила нарына)
Talas and its people: life by a Central Asian river affected by climate change (Tалас и его люди)

There used to be a river here (Раньше была река)
The last captains of the Ural River (Последние из капитанов)
A disappearing river: the fate of the Ural (Урал – территория исчезновения)
(Three long reads about the Ural River)

The project “Little people, big river” explores how transboundary rivers in Central Asia – the Ural River in Kazakhstan, the Naryn and the Talas rivers in Kyrgyzstan – are changing under the influence of climate change and environmental problems and how these changes affect the lives and livelihoods of people who live along the rivers. Raul Uporov, a journalist from the Kazakhstani media outlet “Uralskaya Nedelya” (Ural Week) and Vlad Ushakov, a photographer from Kyrgyzstan, undertook several expeditions to remote regions of their countries, and talked to local people, representatives of various businesses, scientists, experts and those who are directly experiencing the changes. The participants’ work resulted in a series of long reads that can serve as an important extension of the narrative on the problems of rivers in Central Asia, as well as showing what kind of threat the region could face in the next few years.

The work was coordinated by Vladislav Son from Have a look at the documentation to see how the team worked!

The long reads have also been published in German and in French.