James Chapman – Project Amu Darya 2023

The Aral Sea was the fourth-largest lake in the world. Today, the Aral Sea has shrunk to one-tenth of its original size. In the last century, no other river on earth has undergone such change.

Aral Sea 1989 and 2014

(Photo: The Aral Sea in 1960 and 2016)

Despite being arguably one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in history, no history of this change has been recorded. Until now. Project Amu Darya is planning to spend August and September 2023 recording oral histories along the Amu Darya River. We will make a film of these interviews with the aim of telling the story of the Aral Sea crisis through the lens of the Amu Darya, and the voices of its people.


(The Team)

The Amu Darya Film will be released in 2024. u Darya.


EXPEDITION DATES: 14 August 2023 to 1 October 2023

EXPEDITION LOCATION: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan

TEAM MEMBERS: James Chapman, Annie Liddell and Oscar Turner


Please CLICK HERE to find out more about this project as well as give support. 


SES members and all other participants in SES endorsed expeditions take part at their own risk, and will not hold SES, its trustees, employees, volunteers, partners or agents liable (whether in contract or in tort or in negligence or for breach of statutory duty or otherwise) for any loss, criminal or reputational damage, personal injury, delay or expense suffered or incurred on any such expedition. SES endorses the aims and objectives of these expeditions only.