Saturday, September 29, 2012

The United States, the Soviet Union, Genghis Khan, and algorithm

Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky (1863-1944)
A Russian photographer and a pioneer of color photography. His technique was to shoot black-and-white photos of the same object three times, each with a red, green, and blue filter. Between 1909 and 1915, he documented the people, the landscape, and the culture throughout the empire. His dream was to educate the schoolchildren of Russia, when color projector became available one day, of the vast and diverse history, culture, and modernization of the empire.
Mohammed Alim Khan (1880-1944)
The last emir of the Emirate of Bukhara. The emirate had became a Russian protectorate before he was born. The emir is claimed to be a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. He succeeded his father in 1911.
He arrived at Bukhara in 1911 and took a set of photos of the emir Alim Khan.Photographer Prokudin-Gorsky took pictures of him in 1911.
Revolution happened in 1917Revolution happened in 1917
Prokudin-Gorsky was appointed to a new professorship under the new regime, but he left the country in 1918. He settled down in Paris in 1922.The Red Army could not take Bukhara in 1918. They did in 1920. Alim Khan fled to Afghanistan eventually.
Died in 1944Died in 1944
The Library of Congress of the United States purchased his work from his heirs in 1948. In the early 21st century, assembling his photos has become exercises in computer science algorithm in many universities.Alim Khan's daughter Shukria Raad Alimi worked as a broadcaster in Afghanistan. She left Afghanistan with her family three months after the Soviet Union invaded the country in 1979, and landed the United States eventually. She joined Voice of America in 1982.