Around this time three years ago, I posted about the video game “Metro 2033″, based on the novel by Russian journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky. The sequel (“Last Light”) has just been released, thus prompting this post. The setting of the series is an underground society founded by survivors of a nuclear war that was waged in 2013 (yikes!). They scrape by in the Moscow subway system, which has transformed into an almost Biblical sheol. NewEurasia’s snobbish managing editor Sanjar says, “it’s no War and Peace”. Sure, sure. But speaking as a person who’s probably imbibed way too much post-apocalyptic fiction since childhood, Glukhovsky and his compatriots at 4A Games have made one of the more engrossing scenarios in the genre. The series mixes mysticism, science fiction, and politics in an unusual way. It’s also nice to see some Eurasian sensibilities injected into Western popular culture; we’ve been surely lacking it since the Seventies.
I may have had a slight geek-out with the Almaty metro today, visiting all the stations (there’s only 7 at present) to see what they looked like. It was worth it, I reckon. London might have the oldest underground train system, but Moscow, St Petersburg and Almaty win on grandioseness – and Almaty also wins for fewest people using it, which is a big plus point as far as I’m concerned :)
In this article, Alex Ulko wants to challenge the current mainstream perceptions of the origin, role and function of so-called ‘national values’ in the region
The Central Asia was infected with Harlem Shake virus! Watch our special compilation with best Harlem Shakes from our region! Kazkahstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistam, Turkmenistam and Uzbekistan are going mad!
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Alex Ulko continues his series of works about Central Asian architecture. Today he will discuss highly important architectural forms as statues and sculptures erected in the past 20 or so years across the region.
Recently I have visited the Obbo Winter Collection Fashion Show in Bishkek. Here’re the pictures from the Tengri-Style Event:
So, last week a court in Kazakhstan banned Stan.tv from operating on the charge of extremism — and in a few weeks, Astana shall ascend to the UN Human Rights Council. There’s a full-on censorhip tsunami sweeping the country, taking out news agencies, websites, broadcasters, political parties and even the US Peace Corps, and one way or another, it seems the epicentre of the earthquake is in the 2011 Zhanoazen riots.
Of course, I don’t want to diminish the huge concern the world should have about this situation, but at the same time, I don’t want us captured by illusion either. “Free press” in Kazakhstan has always been a flexible, philosophical concept. As Freedom House (and others) note, “Kazakhstan’s media outlets are privately owned but ﬁrmly under the control of major ﬁnancial groups aﬃliated with the regime.” In other words, the media is under the control of national elites, and what we on the outside see as “opposition” is frequently just disagreements and feuds between them (not to mention the fact that opposition and independence are not the same concept). This situation includes several of the agencies that have been recently drowned.
We should never forget that few regimes are as skilled at the spectacle of neo-liberalism as Kazakhstan’s. The “opposition” voices that shall survive this tsunami will be those pre-selected/pre-filtered, thereby giving a veneer of modernization to the country. And in the aftermath, they shall all be sounding the same cry as on Kazakhstan’s official new holiday, 1 December, “First President’s Day”, proclaiming: “One Country! One Destiny! One Leader!”
The Central Asian Pavilion at the the 55th Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia), curators Ayatgali Tuleubek and Tiago Bom would like to invite artists to submit proposals of works to be hosted at the exhibition.
La Biennale di Venezia has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Ever since its foundation, it has been at the forefront in the research and promotion of new artistic trends. The 55th Venice Biennale will take place from June to November 2013.
The exhibition’s working title “Winter” is inspired by Abay’s poem. This project aims to address and bring a visual reflection on the complexity of the current socio-political context of the Central Asian region by employing the tools of the poetical and metaphorical language.
Artists from or living in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are invited to propose works that could explore this given context. Young and emergent artists are encouraged to apply.
For more information: http://www.cap2013.net/opencall/
Deadline: 15th of October 2012
War; triumph; love; romance; empire; defeat; power; loneliness; togetherness; sacrifice; friendship; honour; homeland; youth; freedom; perseverance; legend.
Move over “Borat”! A new – epic, patriotic, heroic, non-offensive, cultural stimulating and historically perfected – film about Kazakhstan has been shot and put up on screen for the world to learn from and enjoy.
Released in Kazakhstan on May 3rd, the state administered Kazakhfilm Studio introduced “Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe“, a movie about Kazakhs overthrowing their Mongolian oppressors. The film was made by well-known Kazakh Director Akan Satayev, at an estimated $12 million, and the film brought in $1 million on its first weekend at the box office. The film’s team includes “Central Asia’s leading DoP Khassan Kydyraliyev (“The Light Thief”), script doctor Claire Downs, editors Nicolas Trembasiewicz (“Transporter”) and Christopher Bell (“The Bourne Ultimatum”) and action consultant Teddy Chen (“Bodyguards And Assassins”).” Moreover, the “Myn Bala” Facebook page (supported by 216 ‘Likes’) informs that the film’s leading roles are played by teenage actors of Kazakhstan, who were chosen from 40,000 hopefuls that showed up to auditions spread through out the country.
They say that negative attention is better than no attention at all.
This tagline has been well linked to the comedic and controversial movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Borat), which enlightens the audience on the culture of Kazakhstan (among other things), for a long time.
But, in terms of tourism in 2012, the tables are beginning to turn – some negative attention is turning positive, in terms of plane tickets and passports.
Borat is the infamous movie/ mocumentary/ satire/ comedy wherein Sacha Baron Cohen plays the character of Borat (BORДT) Sagdiyev, a “sexist, homophobic and anti-semitic“ Kazakh journalist who travels through the United States, with the goal of meeting Pamela Anderson. Check out neweurasia’s views on all topics (positive and negative) Boart.