Camilla Kardel’s first solo exhibition in The Ramp Gallery, March 19–28

What: Decay and Development From the Rooftop of the World by Camilla Kardel

When: March 19–March 28, 2013

Where: The Ramp Gallery, a community curated space at 934 Brannan St. (between 8th and 9th)

Kardel is a freelance journalist and photographer. She has lived, worked and studied abroad in many countries including Iran, India, Italy, France, Jordan, Morocco, Tajikistan and Qatar. Kardel speaks six languages and has a background in international development as well as a commitment to humanitarian work, particularly for women and children’s rights.

This new body of work, Decay and Development From the Rooftop of the World, was taken in Tajikistan and consists of 10 color and black and white documentary photographs that reveal a pastoral and urban world rarely visited due to 60 years of Soviet presence and five years of civil war. The choices of the subjects depicted attempt to highlight the disparate identities, ethnicities and faces from Dushanbe to the independent province of Badakhshan. This region referred to as the “Rooftop of the World” borders Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush.

Many of the subjects are engaged in ancient activities that persist in contemporary Tajik culture, from traditional sports to agriculture. In the black and white image with horses you can see the Central Asian game of Buzkashi played with the headless carcass of a goat dangling from the rider.  Other images reveal a decaying Soviet past and contemporary agrarian professions.

Kardel is concerned with the process by which Tajiks forge new identities that reconcile Central Asian ethnicities with 60 years of Soviet influence.  Despite extreme poverty and hardship, subjects emanate warmth, kindness and receptiveness to the outside world. Kardel beckons us to learn about Tajikistan’s rich past and current plight; the poorest of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

This is Kardel’s call to action; artist revenue, after cost of materials, will be donated to the Women’s Resource Center of Garm in Tajikistan and help fund the advancement of humanitarian aid in Tajikistan through.

About The Ramp Gallery
The Ramp Gallery, a community curated space in the SOMArts lobby, accepts exhibition proposals on a continual basis. To view submission information as well as past exhibitions, please visit The Ramp Gallery page of our website here. To purchase work on display or for more information email You can visit The Ramp Gallery any time SOMArts Cultural Center is open.

Pictured above: “Uzbek Salesman,” 2012, DSLR photograph by Camilla Kardel  and “Soviet Bus Stop,” 2012, DSLR photograph by Camilla Kardel