Article Archive for Year 2012
Speaking frankly, I’m not just glad 2012′s over, I’m relieved. Wow, what a tough year it’s been for NewEurasia, both in front and behind the computer screen. I guess you can say we went through our own private little Mayan apocalypse, although it happened well before 21 December. But I’m happy to report that we appear to have pulled through, and with a new team to boot!
Editor’s note: NewEurasia already written about the Open Central Asian literary forum. Our special blogger Alex Ulko gives his opinion on the event and on the development of Central Asian art in general
In 2005 the Russian curator Victor Miziano spoke of Central Asian culture and art as of the only unclearly marked areas on the map of the world’s contemporary art. This begs a legitimate question whether anything has changed over seven years which is a long period of time from a contemporary art’s perspective. Actually, not much. We have been waiting for years for a decisive moment to come when Central Asia would suddenly surface as the new Other, unknown until that time in the West, when it would unexpectedly evoke some special interest, but this breakthrough has not come yet. Some occasional names and random works get a mention or two somewhere but so far Central Asian art has not really emerged on the international scene.
While whole world expected Apocalypse on December 21, Tashkent enjoyed rock’n'roll from the band “Origami Wings”. “IlkhomRockFest” gathered full house of the “Ilkhom” theater, and all the fears connected with so-called “doomsday” inevitably melted!
You can find more information about Uzbek band “Origami Wings” in their page on Facebook, where you can also watch a video of this concert.
Photos by Munira Alimukhamedova
“Coca-Cola” company Christams truck appeared on the streets of Tashkent. Using the internationaly well-known anthem “Holidays are coming, holidays are coming”, red truck rides through the streets and handing out gifts to the surprised citizens. Read the full story »
Take a look at this video. What do you think, what year it was shooted? In 1975? In 1991? No, in 2011! This TV show on Uzbek TV channel «Forum», and it is our harsh reality.
In the Republic of Karakalpakstan, which is part of the Republic of Uzbekistan since the collapse of the USSR, authorities are once again forcing child labor on the cotton fields. In this region of one of the worst ecological disaster in the world and bad economical crisis, child labor aggravates the state of the Karakalpaks.
Headed by Elena Urlaeva, the activists of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan reported that from September to December in the areas of Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan there is continued use of child labor on the cotton fields. For example, in late October, activists saw elementary school students working on the fields of villages in Kashkadarya, and underage students working on the fields of many regions of Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan. Many children are severely ill and exhausted by the long hours of hard labor; they are not provided with health care, adequate food, and accommodation. Children work in conditions of fear and oppression, which is reflected in their psyche. This Fall, fortunately, the use of children to gather the harvest cotton has lessened from previous years.
NewEurasia’s special blogg Alex Ulko reports on the hard life of Uzbek labour migrants in Russia. “What I could not remember was whether Dante required those stuck in limbo to abandon hope or not,” he writes.
More than 1,300 people attended 30 events in Bishkek as part of Kyrgyzstan’s first such forum, opened by ex-President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Roza Otunbayeva, and with appearances by international literary stars including Janusz Leon Wisniewski (Poland), Hamid Ismailov (UK and Uzbekistan), and Elchin Safarli (Azerbaijan).
The winner of the festival’s literary contest, Zarina Karayeva, and forum organiser Marat Akhmedjanov appeared on the breakfast show of Kyrgyzstan’s NTS television station on 26 November, with coverage also featuring in 20 other media including Vechernii Bishkek, the BBC World Service, K-News, News Asia, The Times of Central Asia, Uzbek and Tajik media, and Mir.
After having killed his only son, Karajan approaches the finish line…
Seven days passed. Now, from whom do you hear the news? Hear it from the Kalmak, Taysha:
“Observers were looking. They could see anyone coming. There was one observer from Taysha Khan, and another from Karajan. They spotted the horse coming. Taysha Khan’s observer said:
‘My Khan’s happiness shall be increased shortly, there will be an end to his worries. [Indeed], Barchin Jan now belongs to the Khan, [for his horse] Tarlan is in sight!’
However, Karajan’s observer [recognized] the gold amulet upon the animal’s neck and declared:
‘Once the battle begins, all worries are forgotten; you cannot say contradictory words. The one coming is Baychobar!’
Upon hearing these words, Alpamysh climbed the white hill and saw Baychobar coming. He reflected,
‘I hung the golden amulet on his neck, saying,
“Whoever rides you shall forget his worries.
Glory shall be won by one’s self.
May I be sacrificed to your eyes Baychobar!
I do not have tulips blooming on the nearby mountain,
[but] you are priceless, even beyond one hundred thousand tumans!
When you walk, you earn honor.
God is my witness, I do not have elders.
I have no roses blooming in the spring if you do not run, earning honor.
God is my witness, I have no brothers,
I am but a poor beggar, away from my land.
But forty saints have touched my head,
and when you run, my worries disappear.
May I be sacrificed to your eyes!
When you win, the future of the Kungrats shall be secure!”‘
The race was to end where Alpamysh stood, at Kakbali Karatash. Taysha conferred with his vezirs:
‘Whoever’s horse comes across this rock shall have Barchin.’
Alpamysh was standing there…”
Editor’s Note: Turkmenistan’s internal tribal divisions are rarely discussed, but they are real, and can be seen even in the infrastructure of the country. NewEurasia’s Annasoltan attempts to tackle the issue. “Ultimately, [the problem is not] about nefarious machinations on the part of one Turkmen tribe against all the others,” she writes. “It’s about power, privilege, and corruption, a problem that transcends tribe.”
Turkmenistan sits on top of huge energy reserves, but also huge tribal fault lines. It’s a profoundly difficult and sensitive issue to bring up, especially as it goes to the heart of Turkmenhood.
If you look closely at the map, you can detect a certain mismatch. Mary, Lebap and Daşoguz provinces are the three main cotton-growing provinces of our country, yet the textile factories are concentrated in Ahal province. Similarly, the fish are harvest along the Caspian Sea in Balkan province and in the Amu Darya in Lebap province, but the processing facilities are also located in Ahal province. Yet, official propaganda says that new facilities are being opened all across the five provinces for the benefit of Turkmenistan’s people as a whole. It’s a carefully tailored message: the authorities are aware that high unemployment outside of Ahal province is generating widespread discontent, and that discontent is taking a tribal character, particularly in northern Dasoguz province and eastern Lebap province.