Sur Rue Amelot, tchaïkhana ouzbèke avec spécialités d’Asie centrale

It’s the academic dénouement in Belgium, and to unwind a little, I went down to Paris this week. Even though the ville de lumière is only two hours away by train and four by bus, this is actually only the second time I’ve been there. Seems I have an incipient knack for stumbling upon Uzbek proprietors outside of Uzebkistan, because on Rue Amelot, I stumbled upon the restaurant/chaikhana “Boukhara” ( [Ed.: The URL appears to be broken. Instead go here.]).

Call for Applications: “Rebooting the world, rethinking Central Asia” (Seminar)

Press release from the OSCE Central Asian Youth Network (CAYN): The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Centre in Astana, Kazakhstan is pleased to invite undergraduate students currently enrolled in universities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, including students from Mongolia and Afghanistan studying at Central Asian universities to submit applications for competitive selection to attend the OSCE Central Asian Youth Network Seminar, which will be hosted by the OSCE Centre in Astana and held on 4-6 September 2012 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The seminar will bring together promising students from Central Asian OSCE participating States to enhance…

Socialist realism in capitalist clothing

NewEurasia’s readers are no strangers to the aesthetic art form of Soviet and post-Soviet socialist realism, but are they familiar with its analogue in the Western financial industry? Of course, “capitalist realism”, like socialist realism, is a meta-category, grouping together what are actually a very diverse range of architectural, painting and sculptural styles. Nevertheless, I think there’s something to the concept.

Grant and training opportunity for documentary photographers

The Open Society Documentary Photography Project ( and Arts and Culture Program ( announce a grant and training opportunity for documentary photographers from Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan. The grant is being offered to: * visually document issues of importance in the region; and * provide training and support to photographers from the region. Approximately 10 cash stipends in the amount of $3,500 each will be awarded to photographers to produce a photo essay on a current human rights or social issue in the region. Grantees will participate in two master-level workshops on visual storytelling through…

Tchaikovsky in Turkmenistan, 21st Century-style

Although we all know that Central Asian societies were for generations succoured on Soviet media that was pedagogical and ideological, we often forget what this fully means. Soviet media was often in outright denial, e.g., nary breathing a word about the Chernobyl disaster. It’s my understanding that if you heard a bit too much classical music on the radio meant, there was a crisis: apparently Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” signalled the death of a leader, and was even played on 19 August, 1991, rather prophetically. Content may change, as well as values, but form persists. In Turkmenistan today, gone is the…

Happy Naw-Rúz! “May all national anthems be harmonized into one melody…”

Everyone here at NewEurasia would like to wish our readers a Happy Naw-Rúz (or, if you prefer, Nouruz, Norouz, Norooz, Narooz, Newroz, Newruz, Nauruz, Nawroz, Noruz, Nohrooz, Novruz, Nauroz, Navroz)! We know it’s been a slow few months, but we’ve got really good news on the horizon. It’s looking to be a fertile spring indeed!

Kumtor truck convoys in Barskayn + unhappy new hydrology report

The rather crappy photos above are of Kumtor tractor trailer convoys in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan. The close-up shows one convoy parked outside of Barksayn (Барскаун, a.k.a., Barskoon, Barkaun, etc.), the second shows a full convoy that had been blocked on the road in Barskayn for mechanical reasons (an engine overheated in the lead truck), and the third shows a convoy with a police escort in one of the hamlets that rest along the Lake’s South Shore, which is less populated than the more touristy North Shore. I remember the cops being rather dramatic: sirens wailing, driving way up…

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