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Changing Asia

This incomplete sequence of slides was put together for Henry Sara's talk 'On Changing Asia'. Most of the slides show views of Russian Turkestan (now Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan), including photographs of Khiva, Khokand, Tashkent and Samarkand. The slides also include images of 'typical' inhabitants and some examples of Soviet propaganda. The prejudices of the age (early 1920s) can be seen through the various references to 'natives', etc., in the captions, as well as the use of racial profiling. Sara's full captions, together with additional notes and press cuttings are available onlineLink opens in a new window (please contact us if you are unable to access the information in pdf format).

The lantern slides come from several different sources and in the majority of cases pre-date Soviet rule (many were taken by the British clergyman Henry LansdellLink opens in a new window during the 1880s). Some of the lantern slides have the name of the series 'Turkistan and the Afghan Frontier' printed on them, others are marked with the names of the London companies E.G. Wood and Newton & Co.

A short report on Sara's delivery of this lecture at the Weavers' Institute, Padiham, is included in the Burnley Express of 4 March 1936: "A return visit to the township was made by Mr. Henry Sara, of London, last Sunday, when he lectured to a large audience in the Weavers' Institute on "Changing Asia." Mr. Sara spoke at length on life in the southern part of the Russian Empire, and dealt with the history of Turkestan. The lecture, which was held under the auspices of the Padiham and District Weavers' Association, was illustrated by a number of beautiful slides. Mr. James Palmer, president of the Weavers' Association, occupied the chair, and at the conclusion of Mr. Sara's talk he opened an interesting discussion."

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[Document reference for this set of slides: MSS.15B/5/1/1]