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Oziel Gomez: In Bishkek adore “Simplemente María”, burrito and Lionel Messi

Сourtesy of Oziel Gomez
Photo Сourtesy of Oziel Gomez
Oziel Gomez came to Kyrgyzstan a year ago. After graduating from the Faculty of Communication at the University of Montemorelos (Mexico), looked for a job that would allow traveling and learning about a new culture. The plans included the Middle East, where Oziel lived a year during the student days, and Africa.

But he was offered work in Kyrgyzstan. After reading about the history and geography of the country, the young photographer decided to take the opportunity, but didn’t plan to stay here for more than a year.

Now in love with the country photographer is looking for long-term projects in Kyrgyzstan. He says that he didn’t have time to open and capture the beauty of nature and people.

— You have wonderful photos: the country, people, cities, including Bishkek, they are warm, colorful, sincere. It is clear that you have good impressions of the country...

— Yes, Kyrgyzstan amazed me: it’s a completely different culture.

I love to shoot mountains: these are stunning scenery at any time of the year — bright green shades in spring and blue in winter. Lakes, green fields and canyons make each trip unique. And when you combine this with the beautiful soul of its villagers, who are always open to help and offer a cup of tea, you get an unforgettable experience.

In Bishkek, I discovered an amazing symbiosis between green natural areas and urban infrastructure. Walking along a small avenue among cars and buildings, and the next second you find a green park with trees, lawn and flowers, where you feel like in a meadow.

In parks and squares there are many married couples with children, young people spend time together in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. It shows the social culture and speaks about the preservation of family values.

Oziel Gomez

— What do you like and dislike with a close acquaintance with the local population?

— I don’t know neither Russian nor Kyrgyz, but from the first weeks I felt quite comfortable in the country. I live here for a year, but the local culture, nature and cuisine are still amazing.

Immediately I tried to concentrate and disclose the life, essence and spirit of the Kyrgyz. Several times I went to Osh city and to the Issyk-Kul lake. While traveling I try to spend time with locals. I am glad that I get the opportunity to learn and photograph not only amazing places, but also people.

Сourtesy of Oziel Gomez
Photo Сourtesy of Oziel Gomez

Of course, many are surprised how I talk to the local population without knowing the language. But I’ll tell you: when a person is sincere and open, the language barrier disappears by itself. In villages, foreigners are treated with a gentle hand, people try to help, immediately ask in to tea.

The city is a little different. Usually I’m confused with Indians, so sometimes not so well received.

When they find out that I’m Mexican, the attitude changes at once, they start asking about burritos, sombrero, actors of «Simplemente María» and about Lionel Messi, who in fact is Argentine.

Oziel Gomez

— Is there a place in Bishkek you like to visit more often than usual?

— Behind the park named after Dair Asanov, at the South Gate, there is a small mountain river. There is a beautiful view of the mountains from its banks. And the sunset there is gorgeous — as a picture. This is an ideal place for day walks.

Сourtesy of Oziel Gomez
Photo Сourtesy of Oziel Gomez

Bishkek is very similar to my hometown: bright and colorful sunsets, sellers of fruits and sweets in the streets, the noise of children on playgrounds and crowded minibuses.

— Surely the national cuisine surprised you no less than nature...

— I love beshbarmak and pilaf. I haven’t yet tried horse meat, but added it to the list of «next exotics».

— What would you like to change in Bishkek?

— It would be good to light up the night Bishkek. Townspeople and guests of the capital should enjoy the beauty of the city after sunset too.

Сourtesy of Oziel Gomez
Photo Сourtesy of Oziel Gomez

It would be nice to have more galleries, where any young artist, singer, musician could perform and show his works, and places where it would be possible to hold seminars. I would also like to see more bookstores and cafes to relax and have a good time.

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