• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09365 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09365 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09365 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09365 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09365 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09365 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09365 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09365 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 12

Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan Nominate Traditional Craft of ‘Guram’ for UNESCO Cultural Heritage List

Turkmenistan's National Commission to UNESCO is actively working towards the international promotion of the country's cultural heritage and in collaboration with Azerbaijan, has nominated the patchwork art of 'guram' for inclusion in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Regarding the move, Chinar Rustemova, Executive Secretary of the National Commission of Turkmenistan for UNESCO, stated, "We have also started talks with the Turkic History and Culture Foundation of the Republic of Turkey (TURKTAV) on cooperation in popularizing the cultural heritage of the Turkmen people in the Turkic world. The plans include expanding exhibition and library activities and organizing specific events within the framework of the regional project 'Our Heritage' proposed by the Turkmen side." It should be noted that this year, on the initiative of Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Iran, preparations are underway to nominate "Traditions of making cradles and singing cradle songs" for inclusion in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Kazakhstan and China Cement Strategic Partnership

On July 3 , Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev held a meeting in Astana with Chinese President Xi Jinping, during the latter's state visit to Kazakhstan. Tokayev opened the talks by hailing China a strategic partner and one of Kazakhstan’s main allies. In response, Xi Jinping announced that China considers Kazakhstan a priority in its foreign policy relations with neighbouring countries and an important partner in Central Asia, whilst confirming,  “I assure you that China will always be a reliable support for Kazakhstan.” Negotiations revolved around the development of cooperation in investment in various sectors, including e-commerce, the manufacture of automobiles and auto parts, transit and transport, logistics, energy, agriculture, finance, and tourism. Following the meeting, Tokayev told journalists that the development of strong political relations between Kazakhstan and China is based on mutual trust and support and emphasized, “There are no unresolved issues between us. We intend to unite our forces for intensifying trade, economic, scientific, technical, cultural and humanitarian ties. President Xi Jinping and I have just signed a Joint Statement -outlining- important achievements and long-term tasks for our countries. China is Kazakhstan's leading trading partner. Last year, bilateral trade turnover amounted to $41 billion. In the near future we intend to double this figure. Beijing is one of our main foreign investors. Over the past 15 years, about $25 billion has been invested in Kazakhstan [by China].” According to Tokayev, in 2023, Chinese investment in Kazakhstan’s economy increased by 16% and reached $1.8 billion. “Today, 45 projects are being implemented in Kazakhstan at a total cost of $14.5 billion -and we now have over 4,700 enterprises funded with Chinese capital. During negotiations, the importance of further implementation of mutually beneficial investment projects in the fields of energy, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, finance, transport, aerospace, and IT was emphasized. We are ready to create favourable conditions for Chinese companies wishing to develop the Kazakh market.” Referencing the fact that in 2023, exports of agricultural products from Kazakhstan to China doubled to reach $1 billion, the president continued,  “We look forward to increasing supplies of high-quality natural meat products, oilseeds and grain crops to the Chinese market- and exploring - opportunities to increase the volume of grain exports to 2 million tons.” Via teleconference, the two leaders participated in the ceremonial launch of ferries transporting trucks and railway containers along the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route. Tokayev and Xi also opened a Kazakh cultural centre in Beijing and a Chinese cultural centre in Astana, both of which will host various cultural events, exhibitions, lectures, and masterclasses aimed at strengthening mutual understanding between the peoples of the two allied countries. In addition to the above, the two leaders opened a branch of the Beijing Language and Culture University at Astana International University.    

A Permanent Piece of ‘Home’: The Trend for Kyrgyz Ornament Tattoos

An interview with Master Tattoo Artist, Zarema Kubanychbekova In recent years, there has been a growing interest in representing traditional, national ornament in the art of tattooing in Kyrgyzstan. TCA met Zarema Kubanychbekova, a talented tattoo artist with nine years' experience, to discuss this trend and its peculiarities.   TCA: How did you become involved in the tattoo industry? I first picked up a tattooing machine on October 17, 2015, almost 9 years ago. It was challenging but exciting. I have been drawing since early childhood, literally from kindergarten, and subsequently all my activities were somehow connected with creativity, but I never imagined that my life would be connected with tattooing. The decision to embark on this path was absolutely spontaneous, but after completing my first piece, I was in no doubt that it was exactly what I wanted to do. [caption id="attachment_19780" align="aligncenter" width="431"] Zarema[/caption]   TCA: What can you say about the popularity of tattoos incorporating traditional Kyrgyz motifs? There is definitely a trend, and it is good to see. I believe that it is mostly because people have begun to value their roots and culture. A lot of tattoos are made for people who travelling abroad, want something to remind them of home. Tourists regard them as souvenirs of their time spent in Kyrgyzstan whilst locals want something to remind them of their origins.   TCA: What features of Kyrgyz ornament do you use most frequently in your work and what do they symbolise? Some time ago, we collaborated with a client on the idea to ‘embroider’ the ornament on the skin. In other words, to replicate the texture of threads to make it resemble a ‘tush-kiyiz’ or traditional wall-hanging. It came together somehow by itself, although the initial request was for a simple contour work, and the result was both highly unusual and beautiful. I often create patterns inspired by petroglyphs using point by point (dot work), which is interesting, because motifs were originally applied to these ancient stones by almost the same method. Each ornament has its own unique meaning, and people generally choose those which best resonate with them.   [caption id="attachment_19779" align="aligncenter" width="476"] artist's own tattoo[/caption]   TCA: Do you consider such tattoos a form of self-expression? Yes; in recent years I have noticed more and more, people's desire to express themselves through their ethnicity and love for their land. It's great!   TCA: What are the difficulties or peculiarities of creating tattoos from traditional motifs compared to other styles? There are no particular difficulties as such. There was however, a case whereby my client and I consulted with a woman specialist in runes/ornaments to clarify how best to marry two symbols so that when combined, they would not lose their meaning. [caption id="attachment_19781" align="aligncenter" width="494"] Zarema[/caption]   TCA: How do you view the future of this current trend in Kyrgyzstan? I think the theme of Kyrgyz ornamental tattoos will always be relevant. Time passes, the world changes, but our roots remain solid.

 ‘Save the Berkuts’ Campaign Launched in Kazakhstan

On June 19, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Kazakhstan and Efes Kazakhstan signed a Memorandum to implement “Save the Berkuts”; a campaign aimed to preserve and restore Kazakhstan’s population of golden eagles. The Asian golden eagle known as a berkut, is revered as a living emblem of the country’s culture and history and symbolizing Kazkhstan’s national identity, was incorporated into the country’s flag designed by Shaken Niyazbekov in 1992. With a wingspan of up to two metres, it is the largest member of the hawk family and a formidable hunter,  plays a crucial role in controlling numbers of rabbits, hares, marmots, foxes and even deer. Integral to Kazakhstan’s heritage, the berkut has been famously used by traditional hunters for centuries but its population is now threatened by a gradual destruction of its natural habitat, persecution, and illegal poaching. In recent years, the bird has been officially protected by the state and is included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of protected species. “Save the Berkuts”  is a continuation of a project implemented by Efes Kazakhstan from 2012 to 2019. During this period, 25 golden eagles were bred and released into the wild around Almaty, leading to a significant increase in their numbers in the region. As part of the new campaign, supported by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, Efes Kazakhstan has pledged funding to boost and protect the population of wild eagles through expeditions and the maintenance of breeding programmes until 2034. Welcoming the initiative, the ministry stated that the memorandum demonstrates the joint efforts of the state and private business in preserving the natural heritage of Kazakhstan.    

Buildings “Full of Tattoos:” Tashkent Mosaics, Newly Protected, Tell of a City’s Rebirth

In one Tashkent mosaic, Shirin, a protagonist in a Persian love poem that ends in tragedy, sits with flowing hair on a colorful carpet. Another mosaic in the Uzbek capital depicts the scientist Abu Rayhan al-Biruni with the planet Saturn overhead and flowing water below. The scientist holds the Tree of Life. The mosaic is located on Babur Street in the Yakkasaray district of Tashkent. Other images portray Soviet-era optimism – a young couple, a female irrigation engineer and corn and wheat, symbols of production and abundance. Tales of degraded heritage in Uzbekistan and elsewhere are familiar, but there are bright spots. In late March, the government designated about 160 mosaics on buildings in Tashkent and other regions as cultural heritage, meaning they are protected, officially at least, from being dismantled, painted over or covered with advertisements. The city’s subway art is also a source of pride. The state sees the images as a tourist draw, and Tashkent residents and other enthusiasts who have campaigned for their preservation are spreading the word. [caption id="attachment_17717" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Photo by Fotima Abdurakhmanova[/caption] A slick new website titled “Mosaics of Tashkent" offers information about more than 330 mosaics, documenting how artists and architects from across the Soviet Union and beyond put their stamp on the reconstruction of a city that was virtually leveled in a 1966 earthquake. Investigations are still underway to determine who made some of the mosaics. Many were dismantled or damaged over the years and not all of those remaining have government protection. “Each mosaic told its own story, gave emotions, diluted the gray landscape of high-rise buildings, marking the beginning of a new life and a new era,” says the website, which was created by Tashkent’s Department of Digital Development. The quake left hundreds of thousands without homes. One official toll put the number of dead at 15, though it was probably higher. [caption id="attachment_17718" align="alignnone" width="1167"] Photo by Fotima Abdurakhmanova[/caption] Some residential buildings with mosaics on their facades “look like a body which is completely full of tattoos,” Philipp Meuser, a German architect, said during a presentation at the Goethe-Institut in Tashkent last week. Meuser wrote a book about the Tashkent mosaics of the Zharsky brothers – Pyotr, Nikolai and Alexander. The three designers and decorators decorated hundreds of buildings in a city whose reimagined character was shaped by Soviet modernism, regional influences and some Western ideas about urban layout. Two of the brothers were born in France. The Zharskys started mosaic designs with a sketch, and the process was scaled up from there, Meuser said. In one method, colored tiles were pressed by hand into soft concrete that had been poured into a steel mold to create a mosaic. The survival of the art decades later testifies to the durability of the techniques. [caption id="attachment_17719" align="alignnone" width="1078"] Photo by Fotima Abdurakhmanova[/caption] Communism-extolling mosaics were an official art form across the Soviet Union, but the imagery of many of those which survive in Tashkent is not ideological. Geometric...

Campaign to Save Bishkek’s Trolleybuses

A campaign has been launched to prevent plans by the municipality of Bishkek to replace its trolleybuses with electric buses. According to a statement issued by the Bishkek municipality, “the issue of transferring trolleybuses along with their contact network and traction substations to the cities of Osh, Kara-Balta and Tokmok for their further operation there, is under consideration”. A key objection raised by the Save Bishkek Trolleybus campaign is that since the five proposed electric bus routes will simply replicate the existing trolleybus routes, the city will lose its existing network of environmentally- friendly public transport that introduced in the Soviet era, has been operating for many decades. The Save Bishkek Trolleybus has now launched an online petition to preserve its favoured mode of transport. According to the group behind the new initiative, the reason for abandoning the trolleybus network relates to the fact that one of the conditions of funding by the Asian Development Bank for electric public transport in Bishkek , was the replacement of trolleybus depots with new depots and substations to recharge electric buses. Kadyrbek Atambayev, leader of the Social Democratic faction in Bishkek’s City Council, argues that Bishkek’s trolleybus system should be developed, not eliminated. Regarding cost, he emphasizes that electric buses are four times more expensive than trolleybuses. The price of 100-120 electric buses along with charging stations is $50 million, while in 2017, 52 trolleybuses were purchased for 7 million euros. He also drew attention to the fact that operating batteries during Bishkek's cold winters would increase energy consumption and reduce the efficiency of electric buses. In his opinion, the liquidation of the trolleybus system would mean not only the loss of a convenient and affordable mode of public transport, but also the loss of a significant part of Bishkek’s cultural heritage.