You Don’t Have to Believe Me

You Don’t Have to Believe Me
An Exhibition and Participatory Event About the Cotton Harvest.

On 20 January, 2022, at 19:00, the Ilkhom Theatre is proud to present an exhibition and participatory event in its gallery. Farrah Karapetian has been working with local artists to highlight our personal histories about picking cotton. She will exhibit large-scale cyanotype prints made with local participants from excerpts from interviews with three generations of local people who have picked cotton. She will also invite Arlaeem Goovajdi will perform a selection of songs that these people associate with their experience on the fields. To unite the three generations, Arlaeem will be accompanied by Yan Dobrynin and performer Kama Moon. In between these live music sets, visitors to the exhibition are invited to contribute their own stories anonymously to a written book, and/or to act these stories out as equally anonymous shadow play in our galleries.

Farrah Karapetian (b. 1978 U.S.) is an artist and professor based on the border between California and Mexico. With a B.A. from Yale University and an MFA from University of California at Los Angeles, as well as through stipends from the Fulbright Program, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Warhol Arts Writers Grant, Karapetian has worked with people around the world, engaging them in the process of their own representation. Her artwork is collected in institutions such as the Getty Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art, and she has exhibited in Russia at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. She is in Uzbekistan as a 2021 Art Prospect Fellow with CEC Artslink, because she read about the cotton fields through Langston Hughes, an American poet’s, experience here in 1932, and was so impressed with the beauty of his story that she wanted to see for herself how things have changed.

Karapetian deeply appreciates your participation in sharing the beautiful, surprising, and sometimes challenging memories you have from this collective experience that has so shaped your region, and hopes to meet you soon.

To share a story in advance of June 20, please email or fill out this anonymous Google form It is also possible to share your story anonymously in person in handwritten form. Please use any language with which you’re comfortable. You may also share a song that you associate with your cotton-picking experience.

Thank you again.
The project involves:
the artist Mohira Mullyadjanova , musician and actor of the Ilkhom theatre Yan Dobrynin , performer Kama Moon