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! ;-)
I’m freshly returned from an impromptu vacation to Croatia. It’s an intriguing country, a borsch soup of Germanic, Slavic, Christian, and Communistic ingredients. The geographical and aesthetic diversity is quite surprising, ranging from the Mediterannean-like qualities of Istria and Dalmatia, to the Velebit’s sunbaked, naked seaward side and misty, wooded landward side, to the abruptly Continental interior around Zagreb. I intersected with two close Belgian friends, a couple from the Antwerp area, in Zagreb. There’s something gloomy and mirky about the Belgian national character — they are, in a sense, the most “Slavic” of the Northern Europeans, and just about…
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.
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…
What, if any, is the connection between the Boston bombings and Kyrgyzstan? NewEurasia’s Schwartz suspects not much. What will be more interesting, he says, is how online forums shall start thinking about the possible linkages.
The Alpamysh epic is not yet finished! Since our last installment, we’ve been editing the last batch of posts. So, if you’re hankering for more steppe legendarium, stick around! And we would also like to remind our readers that this edition of the Alpamysh is based upon H.B. Paksoy’s critical academic edition in English. Go check it out if you’re curious to learn more about the editorial and conceptual history behind the epic. :-)
Although not an official holiday of the European Union, that didn’t stop the European Parliament in Brussels from partying hard to commemorate Nawrúz this year. My friend and colleague Kawa Ahangari, a Kurdish secularist/federalist activist from Iran, has provided NewEurasia with a cache of photos from the event, which saw representatives from across the Iranian-Central Asian world, from Azerbaijan and Iraqi Kurdistan in the west to Tajikistan in the east.
2012 is over — and good riddance! NewEurasia’s Schwartz introduces the new team and the new direction, and wishes for a brighter 2013.
The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) invites paper proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop: Muslims and Sports (event date: July 2013).
On 20 October, after nearly two years, NewEurasia’s Paksoy’s translation of the ancient Turkic epic “Alpamysh” shall resume! This is a huge undertaking involving a long series of posts over the course of the remainder of 2012.