Rare footage of Bishkek in the Nineteen Eighties

The other day I met with Maria Antonova, the director of the American University of Central Asia’s First Year Seminar. A child of Perestroika, she emigrated to the United States for many years before returning here for her present gig. When she left Bishkek, the city was, in her words, “a crucible of a tiny intelligentsia in the mountains”. As she recalled, this demographic core was largely derived from intellectuals and professionals sent from St. Petersburg during the Soviet period. I, myself, have met many of them and their grandchildren. The ones I’ve met are largely pensioners today, working bit…

Bishkek, men seni syiemin!

A special guest post by Aigul Pyatayeva, a Kazakh philosophy student at the International University of Kyrgyzstan. This week Bishkek is commemorating Revolutions… I was lucky to get a glimpse of hope by participating in a Student Conference on 7th April. And today being warned not to cross locations of possible riots, I skipped my lessons and walked the streets of Bishkek I never walked before… and came across a graffiti wall – some images illustrate city’s craziness, dynamics and aspirations. But nevertheless, Bishkek, men seni syiemin!

The women left behind in Armenia

Editor’s Note: Oxfam’s Armine Gevorgyan blogs from inside Armenia, where many young men are migrating abroad in search of employment and new opportunities, leaving their wives and daughters behind. Almost a third of homes in Armenia are now entirely led by women. Here in the rural village of Khor Virap in Southern Armenia, women sit around gossiping about the man who left for Russia, found a mistress and left his wife. Sveta, a mother of one, says, “I wonder what happened to that poor woman and her four children.” This is a fear shared by many women left behind but…

Bringing the photo-story to Osh: “seeing the beauty and hearing the untold stories”

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…

Deutsche Welle announces free online workshop on digital safety

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…

A new workshop to bring Osh to the world through the camera lens

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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