Walk with Manzura Uljabaeva, costume designer at Todjikfilm and professor at the Institute of Art and Design in Dushanbe and Nisso Rasulova, journalist and activist, in the company of Michel Tarran, French Ambassador to Tajikistan. Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan, a landlocked country in Central Asia, which was one of the 15 republics of the USSR before gaining independence in 1991. Dushanbe was originally a village, then the Soviet regime made it a capital in 1922. It was then developed. Since the end of the 1990s, the city has been undergoing a major transformation. The old buildings from the Soviet era are being demolished and replaced by high-rise buildings. The rapid destruction of the historic centre of Dushanbe and the new Dubai-inspired buildings are causing heated debate in Tajik civil society.