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NOVELLASIA: A New Fiction-Writing Competition for Central Asia
Written by , Wednesday, 12 Feb, 2014 – 19:17 | No Comment

NewEurasia Citizen Media announces «Novellasia», a new fiction competition for Central Asia. The purpose of this competition is to help raise the profile of the region’s literary talents, both young and old, new and established.

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Bringing the photo-story to Osh: “seeing the beauty and hearing the untold stories”
Written by , Friday, 13 Dec, 2013 – 12:31 | No Comment

One of the photographs from the workshop, by Jazgul Madazimova.

This past weekend, Elyor Nematov and I went to Osh to deliver NewEurasia’s three-day workshop on photojournalism. In fact, calling it a workshop on “photojournalism” is a bit deceptive, since it was much more than just an extended seminar on the technicalities of using photographic and videographic equipment. Elyor explained the principles of creating a photo-story, and he also elaborated the philosophical implications of what it really meant to be a photo-journalist.

This was the third and final workshop of our current arts and culture project, which has been supported by Hivos Foundation. Unfortunately, I’ve been hearing from various sources that our adventure in Osh may very well have been one of the foundation’s last direct endeavors in Central Asia. After 19 years of hard work in the region, it’s perhaps a fitting end for them, too. A cornerstone of Hivos’ mission has been to break down barriers, foster discussion, and in general promote pluralism, and it was precisely these kinds of things which Elyor elaborated upon, both from a philosophical perspective and a technical one. As he put it, the photo-journalist’s duty is not just to record events, but to break down the subject-object divide. In this respect, the photo-story, with its essay-like to meditate upon and explore all the different facets of an issue, is the photo-journalists’ most unique creation and tool.

Moreover, Osh proved to be a perfect site for our workshop. This was my first time visiting that city, and in just a few days, I was nearly overwhelmed with its ethnic and ideological complexity. Osh is more than just an ancient, tiny city in the middle of the Eurasian landmass. With a metropolitan area of almost half a million souls, and with a history that stretches back into the shadows of Central Asia’s early history, the city has long been touted as a melting pot of cultures, almost an archetype of Silk Road and Soviet internationalism. Consequently, Osh emerges as a dual-sided symbol, of what the Kyrgyz call “маданият” — civilization — and what Kyrgyzstan could be. The two sides of this symbol need not be mutually co-exclusive, much less violently so, although controversies continue to swirl around them as a consequence of the June 2010 events.

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Deutsche Welle announces free online workshop on digital safety
Written by , Monday, 2 Dec, 2013 – 8:17 | No Comment

An announcement from the Deutsche Welle website about a potentially very useful workshop their journalism school will be running tomorrow:

Are you are journalist? A blogger? A photographer? A media activist? Sign up for the open online “Digital Safety for Journalists” workshop being offered by DW Akademie in the first week of December, 2013. The workshop, which is being held in conjunction with Reporters Without Borders, will give you a better understanding of how to protect your communications and your data.

All over the world, media professionals are increasingly using digital devices such as cameras, recorders, mobile phones and computers to do their reporting. These might make our lives easier, but they also mean we are increasingly being subject to digital surveillance and hacking attacks. This means digital security has become an imperative.

The “Digital Safety for Journalists” workshop kicks off on Monday December 2 at 4 pm Central European Time with a livestreamed panel discussion about the digital dangers facing journalists and media activists. Hear about Bahraini journalist’s Ala’s Shehabi confrontation with high-grade surveillance software and what she now does to protect herself.

Find out from about digital threats from Anna Roth of Tactical Tech, one of world’s leading NGOs working on digital security for activists and dissidents, and learn more about the situation on the ground for journalists from Hauke Gierow from Reporters without Borders.

Or else take part in one (or all) of our daily live online sessions running from Tuesday December 3 to Friday December 6. There are seminars on topics ranging from mobile phone safety and how hackers can attack you computer to surfing the net without being tracked and collaborating security with other journalists.

The open online format emphasizes sharing and interaction. You can ask questions via chat during the live seminars, leave comments on the Digital Safety Google Plus community page or contribute via Etherpad.

Take a look at the Digital Safety for Journalists website for more details about sessions and further information on how to participate. Blog posts and interviews on different aspects of digital security will also appear daily from November 25 through until the end of the workshop.

And don’t forget, onMedia has been publishing posts on digital security for the past year. Here’s what we’ve covered so far.

A new workshop to bring Osh to the world through the camera lens
Written by , Monday, 25 Nov, 2013 – 15:27 | 5 Comments

NewEurasia announces a free workshop on arts/culture photojournalism in Osh. Professional and amateur journalists, students, bloggers and civil society activists are invited to participate.

The workshop shall teach participants the fundamentals of photojournalism, both in terms of theory and practice, with concrete examples from the history of the field. Participants will also learn skills in identifying and developing local photo-stories.

The workshop will be held 7-9 Decemnber in English and Russian. It will be conducted by Elyor Nematov, an up-and-coming photojournalist from Uzbekistan who is based in Bishkek.

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Who knew that Bill Murray was Turkmen?
Written by , Thursday, 29 Aug, 2013 – 11:06 | No Comment

I’m surprised no one noticed this! In the 2009 horror/comedy film Zombieland, there’s a brief cameo by Bill Murray. The scene takes place in his luxurious Los Angeles mansion, which includes among other things a painting of the comedian in full Turkmen traditional garb situated on the mantle of his fireplace. Clearly, the filmmakers find the getup outlandish, and I wonder how the idea even occured to them. But I’ll tell you this: if that painting’s real, I want it! ;-)

A Social Media Gallery of Central Asia’s ‘New York’
Written by , Wednesday, 28 Aug, 2013 – 21:06 | No Comment

This week, Beyond Moscow is celebrating Kyrgyzstan!

Found on The Moscow Times Facebook page, posted on August 27th, 2013, is the public album “Almaty: Big Apple of Central Asia.” The digital folder hosts a series of photographs that celebrate Kyrgyzstan—its people, city and culture—from a woman feeding birds near Zenkov Cathedral to a vibrat market where colorful dried fruits and nuts are displayed. Via Facbeook, the album is described as:

“Almaty sweeps its foreign visitors into a non-stop whirlwind of surprises. The city’s name literally means “apple town,” and it lives up to this Big Apple status to the fullest.”

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Music In Uzbekistan: If Not About The Motherland, Tune-It-Out?!
Written by , Friday, 16 Aug, 2013 – 19:50 | No Comment

Aside from Uzbekistan’s much respected and official national anthem, first and foremost, how many songs of national esteem does President Islam Karimov desire? Plenty, apparently—at last enough ‘culturally acceptable’ ones to fill radio stations, music stores, concert halls and recording studios nation wide.

Translating the website of Uzbekistan’s Culture and Sports Ministry, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) informs that ““meaningless” songs that fail to “praise the motherland”” are now being banned in Uzbekistan. Thus, RFE/RL tells that those whose music and musical careers have been challenged, due to the revoking of their performance licenses, include singers Dilfuza Rahimova, Otabek Mutalhojaevand Dilshod Rakhmonov and groups Mango and Ummon, as, according to the Culture and Sports Ministry:

“Their songs do not conform to our nation’s cultural traditions, they contradict our moral heritage and mentality. We should not forget about our duty to praise our motherland, our people, and their happiness.”

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J.Lo Isn’t ‘Glad’ About Her Performance In Turkmenistan
Written by , Friday, 12 Jul, 2013 – 7:08 | 2 Comments

Was Jennifer Lopez’s performance in oil-rich Turkmenistan a successful a-political attempt to bring North American music culture, and pop-birthday culture, to this country’s Culture Week… or a show all gone wrong?

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Here’s to Registan.net
Written by , Wednesday, 12 Jun, 2013 – 2:10 | No Comment

A big announcement over at NewEurasia’s long-standing brother-site, The Registan. Essentially, the team from the last few years has broken up. Some are moving onto new careers; others are plowing forward with their present ones; but either way, their ability to blog has been and shall be curtailed. It’s the passing of an era.

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Call for applications: School of Peacemaking and Media Technologies in Bishkek
Written by , Friday, 7 Jun, 2013 – 23:21 | No Comment

School of Peacemaking and Media Technologies on the basis of the “Network of Social Mediators” Public Foundation is happy to announce a competition for the new Camp for Media Innovations among the officially registered print media and online media outlets of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The project is financed by the Media Support Program of Soros Foundation – Kyrgyzstan and the National Endowment for Democracy and aims at strengthening overall potential of the local media by teaching for contemporary tools of creating content and technical modernization. During six days 20 selected participants will undergo the training on creating and distributing multimedia content, promoting the product online and writing unbiased articles for a poly-ethnic audience and media management. They will also be given an opportunity to participate in the competition for technical assistance, which is necessary for the effective work of their editorial offices.

The training will be conducted by media experts from Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The location is Bishkek, in July, 23-30 of 2013. All expenses will be covered by the party organizing the event. To
participate, it will be necessary to send an up-to-date CV/Resume, motivation letter and the filled out application form to the email address peacemakingschool@gmail.com. The application form can be downloaded from our website www.ca-mediators.net (section titled “Camp for Media Innovations”) or requested through our email.

Documents will be accepted both in Russian and Kyrgyz. Deadline for applications is July 1, 2013 not later than 18:00 pm. Only full package of documentation will be considered eligible.

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