from Issue 1

Steppe 1 Cover

Top Ten: Bus Stops

While buses do eventually arrive in Central Asia, it is unlikely that three will come at once. Bus stops must therefore provide shelter and shade as protection against potentially inclement weather. This is all the more important since many of these bus stops appear isolated and often they will be miles from the villages or settlements which they serve. The decorative techniques used: mosaics, murals, pebbledash, and the artistic flair applied to these simple, functional buildings make them extraordinary icons of the landscape. Those built in the Soviet period tend to display strong patriotic overtones, with workers smiling, for example, as they march towards the local factory; post-Soviet bus stops, on the other hand, emphasize a new identity for these young nations, such as their Islamic and nomadic heritage.

Photographs by Chris Herwig