• Creative Bishkek: Ulan Djaparov

    CAF interviews Ulan Djaparov, the godfather of contemporary art in post-Soviet Bishkek.

  • Creative Bishkek: Chihoon Jeong

    ‘I saw Bishkek as an unfilled linen canvas; one that I wanted to paint on’. Chihoon Jeong is a South Korean entrepreneur based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. His Korean chicken restaurant Chicken Star has quickly established itself as a creative hub in the city, with regular cultural events and local art on the walls (including works…

  • How Post-Soviet countries in Central Asia are redefining their identities.

    Although an external observer still tends to label the five major countries of Central Asia’s vast region (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) as ‘Post-Soviet’, it might just be the wrong prism to use.

  • Creative Bishkek: Aida Sulova

    Creative Bishkek: Aida Sulova is the second interview of the series introducing the lives and work of talented and creative people from Bishkek, who are helping to establish Kyrgyzstan’s capital as the region’s cultural hub Kyrgyz artist and curator, Aida Sulova, developed Bishkek’s leading art centre: Asanbay. She has helped produce public art in the…

  • Creative Bishkek: Maksat Sydykov

    Maksat Sydykov reflects on his role in the world of contemporary Kyrgyz ballet.

  • The New Recommendation

    On the 5th of December, the Eurasian Council of Foreign Affairs (ECFA) published the recommendation for EU’s new strategy on Central Asia at the annual meeting in Cliveden House. As a student from Central Asia, I was extremely excited to be invited to the meeting as a part of the Central Asia Forum (CAF) delegation…

  • Central Asia Between Eastern Europe and the Developing Asia: Academic Invisibility from a World Systems Theoretical Point of View

    World systems theory (WST) dates back to Immanuel Wallerstein, who developed his understanding on world power relations by building on Marxist concepts of capitalist world system and on the core-periphery models of dependency theories. WST suggests the division of the world (of anything) to central, peripheral and semi-peripheral agents. While most analysts used WST to…

  • An Optimist about Central Asia – and for Good Reason

    Suma Chakrabarti is president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development I am, by temperament and outlook on life, an optimist. That makes me a strong enthusiast for all the different regions where the EBRD works. I am, however, particularly excited about the future of Central Asia – and not just because I was…

  • Baghdad, Crossroads of the Universe

    Baghdad – A City of the Silk Road By the river of Tigris, home of the mythical merchant and sailor Sinbad, Baghdad was at the heart of a complex network of trade routes and markets: the Silk Road. This is represented in the various sources and destinations of the trade activity of the city including…

  • A celebration of history and culture: the World Nomad Games

    Nomadic culture leaves a deep and colourful imprint on Eurasian history. Nomadic empires first arose as shadow empires in response to the centralisation of China according to one of the main academic debates. On the eastern side of the steppe, necessity forced the nomads into creating a centrally-administered Mongolia to conduct potentially violent business with…

  • Walking in forgotten lands: conservation in Kyrgyzstan

    The rural climbs of Kyrgyzstan are legendary. They are also under threat. Brett Wilson has been working as part of an international effort to secure the future of Central Asia’s unique native flora.

  • Europe and Kazakhstan

    Former Austrian foreign minister, Dr Benita Ferrero-Waldner, outlines the growing interdependence of Kazakhstan and the European Union.