The Taklamakan desert in the Xinjiang province of northwest China is expanding relentlessly. Swiss photographers Stéphanie Borcard and Nicolas Métraux document the gradual disappearance of Uighur culture.
Most of the photos in their work “Xinjiang – Untitled” were taken in the oasis town of Hotan, which was once a stop on the Silk Road from China to Europe. The Muslims reputedly triumphed over the Buddhists there in the 10th century. Today it is the Han Chinese who are putting pressure on the once dominant culture of the Muslim Uighurs. Since the discovery of extensive gas and oil reserves in the Taklamakan desert, the Chinese government has made massive investments in infrastructure in the area, including an elaborate network of roads.