10 works of art that changed contemporary Kazakhstan – the Calvert Journal


Contemporary Kazakh culture, it seems, revolves around issues of the past and present. With nearly 70 years of unexpressed national trauma from the Soviet era to contend with – from the destruction of traditional nomadic lifestyles and the great famine that followed, to the forced assimilation of Kazakh culture and the eradication of the local intelligentsia – for many, always looking to the future. seems unthinkable.

Rather, the artists focused their efforts on healing the collective consciousness of the nation. As a result, the culture that has flourished from Kazakhstan’s years of independence since 1991 resembles a 30-year therapy session, with directors, artists and writers all seeking to frame a new post-colonial Kazakhstan. in the modern world.

Independence is not without growing pains. Kazakh artists face both financial constraints and a limited audience. But most are simply motivated by the joy of seeking out and manifesting their true identity, following the social, economic and political transformations of an emerging nation.

This list brings together some of the most influential works in the country. Various in form, style and technique, many explore Kazakhstan’s most pressing issues, shaping a new national identity.


The story of a young accordionist , 1994

real. Satybaldi Narymbetov


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