If you think that Kazakh youth is far too modern and stylish for tribal identity talks, think again. Let’s go back and look beyond the D&G shirts, fast cars and fancy bags that constitute the desired and/or obtained bricolage of a mainstream modern and young Kazakh. Differences in class, occupation, and place of residence may not stand as the main identification points if you wish to talk about pride and “coolness” from the roots’ point of view. It is the Tribe that does relate to all these things above all for many young Kazakhs. Tribal identity packed in the symbolic acoutrement of contemporaneity – cell phone and IPad cases, car plates, and even business stationary – wins its own market in Kazakhstan. The launch of the official social network based on tribes – Rulas.kz – was more or less a logical continuation addressing the urges for Kazakh youth to identify with their tribal heritage. Continue reading Inside Rulas.kz: mapping Kazakh youth’s tribal identity, by Diana Kudaibergenova
“Intersections of History and Literature in Central Asia” was a three-day interactive workshop which invited experts on Central Asian literature. Research papers ranged from nineteenth century Bukhara to Zar-Zaman poetry; from Soviet-era Uzbek, Kazakh, Tajik and Uygur literature to discussions of Turan, postcolonial identity and post-Soviet punk shamanism.
Continue reading Exploring Eurasian Literature and History: CASI/AUCA Workshop on the “Intersections of History and Literature in Central Asia”
From August 4th to the 7th, Nazarbayev University in Astana hosted the European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) XIII Biennial conference with “The Steppe and the Sown” theme. The conference was dedicated to the study and image of both pastoral nomadic and sedentary lifestyles and heritage as well as the complexities between the two. Continue reading "The Steppe and the Sown": European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) Biennial Conference 2013