La peste di Anzob (1898)
Cronaca di una ricerca sul campo
The discovery of a photographic album acquired on the antiquarian market and entitled Po r. Jagnobu 1898-1900 («Along the Yaghnob river 1898-1900», in Russian) prompted a research on K.M. Aframovicˇ whose name is handwritten below a piece of poetry on the second page of the album. The photographs show a wide range of mountain landscapes, focusing especially on a Central Asia village and a group of three women in Western clothes; works in progress, involving open air areas paved with stones by local workers controlled by Russian soldiers, are also depicted in the album. Thanks to some newspapers and medical journal chronicles, it has been possible to discover that Aframovič (1857-?) was a doctor sent to the village of Anzob together with some nurses to fight a plague broken out in 1898 and leading to the death of more than 200 local people. The open air works were related to the construction of two graveyards, still visible today at Anzob. The authors visited Anzob, now in northern Tajikistan (Sughd province), several times in recent years and found many of the places depicted in the album, collecting many memories of the plague from today inhabitants, descendants of the survivors.