Khutor, a charming old neighborhood in Baku, close to the transportation hub of 20 Yanvar (20th January). It is on one side bordered by the city highway Ziya Bünyadov prospecti, which is currently extended. Parts of Khutor were already demolished and anger about insufficient compensation lead to protests by house owners last year in 2013.

Its days may be counted. Follow me on a visit at a summer evening and night in an urban neighborhood life in Baku.

It is the street life of the people in the nearly carless lanes through the maze of the typical one-story houses with their little yards, that makes this just normal quarter so charming. And everywhere are green plants and colorful flowers.


I love the peek views through entrances into the yards
peek into the yard
as well as the ornamented drapes at the entrances. When it gets dark and people switch on the light, the doors are like invitations into this quiet life and the windows glow in the dark. The visitor wonders what is behind them …

Kids play on the streets and of course the foreigner attracts their attention. And yes, they want to have their picture taken, either as the gang they are

three friends

or individually.

And there were the triplets.

And the grown-ups sit outside, either contemplating on their own or share the latest neighborhood news with their neighbor. Or they come back home from work, an errant or the close grocery store. It is the old, detailed- and texture-rich environment and great faces that gives so much appeal to black and white pictures.

The late evening is always a special time with its yellow light from the lamps and still some daylight in the sky. The natural mirror of a puddle doubles the effect of the scene and the cycling boy brings life to the scene.

shop at night

People often ask me niye – why? – or üçün – what for? – when I take pictures. Also this woman could not understand why I wanted to take pictures. And yet the picture of her says it all.

It is often the foreigners that appreciate a place common to local people – and it is a different perspective if one does not life in the charming, but also simple dwellings.


7 thoughts on “Khutor – how long will it survive?

  1. Pingback: A foreigner – kids caught between curiosity and fear | Life in Baku

  2. you made me smile with your portraits – a new level of photography – and a real work of photo art:
    “The natural mirror of a puddle doubles the effect of the scene and the cycling boy brings life to the scene…”

  3. Pingback: 5 photos, 5 stories: Azerbaijan, the first… | Life in Baku

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