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La peste di Anzob (1898)

Cronaca di una ricerca sul campo

Gian Pietro Basello    Università degli Studi di Napoli «L’Orientale», Italia    

Paolo Ognibene    Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, Italia    



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.

Copyright: © 2014 Gian Pietro Basello, Paolo Ognibene. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.