26 january 2020
Central Asia news
What do Russian theater, Uzbek poetry, public diplomacy and the U.S. State Department have in common? Please, meet the native of Tashkent, Ms. Elena Serebryanik-Bell, actress, choreographer, and interpreter - in the broadest sense of the word, since Elena, among other things, is perhaps the main practitioner of Uzbek dance and even more broadly, Uzbek culture, in the United States.
‘The main paradox of official monuments: pompously performed in granite and erected in the main squares they are less durable than ordinary decorative plastics in the depths of the park, which is destroyed by a sluggish time and not by impatient decisions of the milieu of the patriarchs.’ Art critic and expert of Central Asia Boris Chukhovich tells four paradoxical stories related to the competition on the monument to the first president of the country Islam Karimov that just ended in Uzbekistan.
The city of Nukus, Karakalpakstan, will host a centennial anniversary of late Igor Savitsky, the founder of the Karakalpak Museum of Arts on September 4. The event, however, could be marred with the presence of only half of the invitees: nearly all of the foreign diplomats accredited in Uzbekistan turned down the invitation to participate in the celebrations. While diplomats cite schedules and prior commitments, the well-known museum’s employees seem to know the real reason: the recent unexpected dismissal of Curator Marinika Babanazarova.
The director of the legendary Savitsky Art Museum in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, Marinika Babanazarova, was recently fired; no new director has been appointed yet. Ms Babanazarova’s colleagues and friends are collecting signatures and writing letters in protest to the government and president of Uzbekistan, demanding to resolve the problem and recall the order of her dismissal. Meanwhile, experts abroad are seriously concerned about the fate of a rich collection at the museum, which is now left exposed without that one person who has at the helms for 30 years and secured a globally renowned status for the museum.
There is a building in central Tashkent is known to every local and guest as well as other historical buildings around it: Navoi Theatre, Tashkent Hotel, the former Palace of Pioneers, the puppet theatre and the Sharq publishing house. The delicate concrete cube-shaped building is built on a higher location than adjacent buildings and features wide stairs. The Soviet authorities used the building as the centre for forced pilgrimage of middle and high school children as well as foreign delegations because this is where the memory of the chief of the global proletariat was honoured in those days. The Lenin Museum—the building in question—was constructed in 1970 to commemorate the centennial of the communist chief and existed under this name for just over 20 years before it was handed over to the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan after independence in 1991.
The Non Format photographers club launched the Odno Prostranstvo (One Space) exhibition at the House of Photography in Tashkent on 25 Jan 2014. Initially, 12 photo-artists were to participate, but the works of two were prohibited from being displayed at the very last moment; a number of other artists’ works were partially covered with blank sheets of paper. Chairman of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan Akmal Nur and Deputy Chairman Ravshan Mirtajiyev have personally censored said works.
A new novel by the contemporary Uzbek writer and poet Hamid Ismailov who lives in London today, is entitled “Zhinlar Basmi” (Dance of devils). It is a story of life of a prominent Uzbek writer Abdulla Qadyri, the author of historical novels "Days Bygone" and "Scorpion from the altar”, who was arrested and executed in October 1938. In the short interview for Fergana.ru, Hamid Ismailov talks about his new novel and shares details of its writing process.
Ferghana learned that Uzbek film fans have no official opportunity to see many masterpieces of the world film art. The list of movies, prohibited by Uzbek state censorship, includes 740 films of local and foreign production, including "300 Spartans", "From Dusk till Dawn", "Borat", "Sex, Lies, and Videotape", "Antichrist"… "Policemen" popular Russian TV series and American "X Files" are also banned. "The black list" is published at the official website of Uzbekkino National agency; it is being frequently updated and reviewed. By the request of Ferghana the document was analyzed by Tashkent-based expert.
Come out of the shade. The photographers from Central Asia and Southern Caucasus are invited to participate in "Documentary photography"