When walking or driving up, you might feel as if you’re going to the wrong place. Keep going straight and true after the numerous bars on Sultanali Mashkhadi street all the way to a concrete industrial building – in fact, a former agricultural factory. There, a small space faced entirely in glass, you’ll find 139 Documentary Center. It is a multidisciplinary space with a focus on documentary media. To many, however, it is more like headquarters or a community center.
The space is totally pared down and thus helps to create a laser focus on its purpose: demonstrating the real places, spaces, and communities we inhabit. Here you can experience the works of prominent photographers from Uzbekistan – those who might not have otherwise had a chance to be exhibited. The feeling of seeing something real and true is particularly charged during exhibition opening nights. Photography is not the limit, however. Movie screenings and film festivals, community events, and even music all take place here.
If you want to join an event, rather than only see an exhibition, keep an eye on the gallery’s Instagram page or channel in Telegram. I do recommend visiting opening nights for exhibitions, as well as keeping an eye out for movie screenings. The team works hard to bring artists and filmmakers out to the gallery, whether in person or virtually, for direct contact with visitors.