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In late spring, the capital city of Turkmenistan hosted the International Photo Exhibition and Conference titled "Turkmenistan - Homeland of Neutrality." The exhibition organizers faced a rather complicated task, as they had to bring together the works by masters belonging to different schools from all over the world to reflect as broad as possible the topics of peace, good neighborliness, creativity, i.e. all that is directly related to the ideas of neutrality that Turkmenistan has been demonstrating so vividly over the last quarter century.
The exhibition marking the 25th anniversary of Turkmenistan's neutrality featured over one hundred works by photographers and reporters. Prominent artists, representatives of public associations, national mass media and students of the higher education establishments attended the opening ceremony, which was organized by the Ministry of Culture Turkmenistan.
According to speakers, it is the peaceful foreign policy and equitable international cooperation that provides the foundation for Turkmenistan to implement ambitious plans, bold projects and grandiose programs. In this context, the exhibition's photo panorama was particularly impressive. It reflected the success and rationale of the urban planning policy pursued by the President of Turkmenistan with the view of improving the living standards and creating every condition for work and leisure of the population.
Photographs depicting from different angles the architectural symbols of the state, such as the Independence Monument and the Neutrality Monument, unique new buildings, as well as images of prominent historical figures also attracted the visitors' attention.
The photo exhibition demonstrated the extraordinary skills of gifted photographers. In the daily routine, they can single out catchy and special things, centuries-old traditions of the people and present images in their own way. The high-quality works by foreign participants included the unique landscapes and natural phenomena, original photos of architectural monuments. One could see the unique photographs that once again reminded the viewer of the importance of preserving peace and harmony on our shared planet.
Some photographs presented the history of the Turkmen people, their rich culture and centuries-old traditions, as well as the great achievements of the independence era. Part of the exhibition consisted of paintings, samples of decorative and applied art, ceramics and sculptures, carpet products made in the best national traditions by famous Turkmen masters and young talents.
The photo exhibition was followed by a video-conference with participation of representatives of Afghanistan, Belgium, Germany, India, China, Korea, Russia, Turkey and Uzbekistan. The special assignment photographer of "Turkmenistan" international magazine, member of the Union of Artists of Russia Sergey Monstakov, whose works are well known to the readers of our magazine, was privileged to represent Russian photo art at the exhibition.
The conference participants noted with satisfaction that Turkmenistan proves in practice that the principles of neutrality, peacefulness, good neighborliness remain the basis of its foreign policy, while friendship of people is the main source of Turkmenistan's prosperity, peace and stability and the key to progress and new achievements.
The foreign participants of the video-conference demonstrated their works, shared their artistic plans, expressing sincere gratitude for the high organizational level of the International Photo Exhibition and Conference "Turkmenistan - Homeland of Neutrality" and creation of conditions for successful cultural interaction.
The exhibition concluded with an official ceremony of awarding diplomas and valuable gifts to the photo exhibition participants.

Ahmetdzan NURIEV

©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005