It seems to me that every country in the world only has a few really outstanding photographers identified with it. Frankly, the country of Uzbekistan was not in my consciousness before I saw Umida Akhmedova's pictures of it. The pictures—you can see about 50 of them here—are honest and unflinching, as all good photography must be, but they show a country breathtaking in its beauty as well as a proud people for whom the photographer obviously has much affection.
The impact on me of seeing her pictures is that it makes me wish to visit Uzbekistan or, at least, to learn more about the country and its people.
(Thanks to Michael Seltzer)
Featured Comment by Ian Loveday: "Yes, they are great pictures for an outsider to see (when or if I'll get to visit Uzbekistan I have no idea, but they certainly attract me). My point is...natives of a country (or region or city I suppose) can react badly to portrayals by (and to a large extent for) outsiders. I bought a book of photographs of China recently (China: A Visual Adventure, published by Carlton Books). Not a self consciously arty or prestigious book to be sure, but I liked some of the off-beat and non-tourist-cliché images it included, like wannabe punk rockers in Beijing. My Chinese wife was horrified. 'It must have been shot by a westerner,' she said. 'No Chinese photographer would publish pictures like that.'"
Mike adds: And don't forget it took a Swiss to do The Americans.