Category: Uncategorized

  • In Conversation with Polina Ivanova and Mehdi Hesamizadeh

    In Conversation with Polina Ivanova and Mehdi Hesamizadeh

    I met historian Polina Ivanova and artist Mehdi Hesamizadeh in Yerevan, Armenia in January 2020 when I travelled there to participate in Mejlis Institute’s Persian Language and Cinema Winter Programme. Mejlis Institute was launched by Polina and Mehdi in 2019 as a non-profit organisation with the aim to bring to life the premodern meaning of…

  • Kushtdepdi of the Turkmen and Its Origins

    Kushtdepdi of the Turkmen and Its Origins

    I heard singing with the distinct “hu hu” breathing pattern, and instantly, a small circle of people gently formed in the middle of the crowd in the courtyard of the groom’s house. The people in the circle—children and adults—danced around the circle stamping their right foot on the ground, and afterwards, jumping up and throwing…

  • ‘Where the Wind Blew’ – with art against nuclear weapons

    ‘Where the Wind Blew’ – with art against nuclear weapons

    The Central Asia Forum team attended the screening this September of the documentary  ‘Where the Wind Blew’ by famous British director Mr Andre Singer, at the First President Foundation Office in London. The event, organised by Kazakhstan’s First President Foundation in the UK, honoured the International Day against Nuclear Tests, which marks the closing, in…

  • Language policy in Central Asia

    Language policy in Central Asia

    The language policies of the Central Asian republics since their independence have needed to respond to linguistic complexities that emerged during the period of colonisation by Russia. These issues include the development of local languages as languages of administration and education, the ethnolinguistic profile of the region, the impact of the Russian language on local…

  • Why can you buy German bread in Kazakhstan?

    Why can you buy German bread in Kazakhstan?

    A story of mass movements throughout Central Asia, by Nikolai Klassen. Not only is Russia a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma: fragments of the puzzle are also replicated and recapitulated throughout Central Asia, with the five ‘stans’ all bearing idiosyncrasies that point to a past as rich and unpredictable as the present.…

  • Creative Bishkek: Rafael Vargas-Suarez

    Creative Bishkek: Rafael Vargas-Suarez

    Vargas-Suarez Universal , is a contemporary artist based between New York and, for the last three years, Bishkek

  • Review of Overcoming a Taboo: Normalizing Sexuality Education in Kazakhstan

    Recent reports show the rates of child abandonment as a consequence of unwanted teenage pregnancies are alarmingly high in Kazakhstan. This problem along with other sexual health problems could be the result of a number of factors, including the lack of effective sexuality education programs in the school curriculum that would shape young people’s sexual…

  • Creative Bishkek: Group 705

    Creative Bishkek: Group 705

    For the latest interview in the Central Asia Forum’s Creative Bishkek series; meet Group 705; Kyrgyzstan’s answer to the Situationist International. Marat Raiymkulov is a Kyrgyz artist who has been involved in Bishkek-based art collective Group 705 since its inception in 2005. Drawing on an absurdist philosophy, the group is primarily concerned with animation, drawing,…

  • Creative Bishkek: Ulan Djaparov

    Creative Bishkek: Ulan Djaparov

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

  • Creative Bishkek: Chihoon Jeong

    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…