hidden features

Sanat Ongarbaev


Sanat Ongarbaev is a documentary photography who was born in Kazakhstan in 1982. His works have been published through the online platform Bird in Flight, amongst others.


The Former Sea


The Aral Sea is an ulcer on the Earth’s body. Fifty years ago, its inflows Amu Darya and Syr Darya were turned in order to irrigate Uzbekistan’s cotton fields and rice plantations. That’s when the slow countdown to death of the Aral Sea began. The overall sea’s reservoir has shrunk and declined to 10% of its original size. In 2005, a dam was built, restored one third of the sea. This allowed the water levels to rise by 30 meters. However, it hasn’t changed the situation – the large sea continues to dry out. Abandoned ships remain as memorials to the former sea borders of the Aral Sea. They are located in the former sea gulf Sarishiganak (Kazakhstan) nearby a former harbor Mo’ynoq (Karakalpakia, Uzbekistan). The Aral Sea was a sea in the past. It will never come back to life.


This project is in the first stage of its development. Its goal is to attract the international attention to preserving a unique water reservoir that is essential for the life of people from this region.

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