Kazakh New Wave Cinema: Kazakhstan Finds Its Place in Global Film

New wave, an art world term for any time when a sudden explosion of art is made with experimental styles, is an apt title for the movement that elevated the Kazakhstan film industry from obscurity to international fame in just a matter of years. In an interview for the Los Angeles Times in 1990, Forrest […]

A Day in Tashkent’s Old City: Travel from Bishkek with SRAS

As part of SRAS’s Central Asian Studies program, students had the opportunity to travel to Uzbekistan for a full week. The first day of this week-long expedition began with a half-day tour of Tashkent’s old part of town. We were accompanied by our guide, Donat, or “Don” for short. He had outstanding English, and even […]

The Kyrgyz National Museum of Visual Arts in Bishkek

As part of the Central Asian Studies Program, SRAS students took an excursion to The Kyrgyz National Museum of Visual Arts in Bishkek. While this wasn’t my first time to the museum, this was my first time with an English-speaking guide who helped us to understand the art that we were looking at. Likewise, the […]

The Mikhail Frunze Museum in Bishkek

The Mikhail Frunze Museum in Bishkek was founded by the Soviets as part of their tribute to Mikhail Frunze. Mikhail Frunze was a Red Army leader that was instrumental in crushing resistance in Central Asia during the Russian Civil War. In his honor, the city, which had previously been known as Pishpek, was renamed Frunze […]

Ne Prosto Orchestra at Bishkek’s Philharmonic

On Friday, September 20, Ne Prosto Orchestra performed at the Bishkek’s Philharmonic. Ne Prosto Orchestra (The Not Just an Orchestra) is based out of Almaty, Kazakhstan. They are a group of young musicians that specialize in playing movie soundtrack scores. Originally put together by a few recent college graduates trying to figure out how to […]

Swan Lake at the Opera and Ballet House in Bishkek

The Opera and Ballet House in Bishkek is striking. Officially called the Academic Opera and Ballet Theater named after A. Maldybaev, it looms large on Yusup Abdrahmanov street near Ala-Too Square. With large white columns stretching in front of the pink building, its elegance is alluring. After one of my teachers at the London School […]

Guide to Bishkek’s Top Museums

The Kyrgyz were largely a nomadic civilization up until the 20th century. It should be no surprise, then, that many of Kyrgyzstan’s greatest museums are outside and/or in rural areas. The city of Bishkek also has a number of more traditional museums, mostly established during (and today often unchanged from) Soviet times, including a number […]

National Museum of Fine Arts in Bishkek

There are three major museums in Bishkek: The State History Museum, Frunze Museum, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Chances are you will be taken to the National Museum of Fine Arts on an as part of your SRAS Cultural Program in Bishkek, so you will enter for free. If you want to go […]

Saira Keltaeva: Exploring Uzbek and Feminine Identity

Many describe Saira Keltaeva as one of the most unique phenomena emerging from the modern Uzbek art scene in recent decades. Born on May 16th, 1961,  in the village of Kumyshkan, located in the Tashkent region of modern day Uzbekistan, her oil paintings master the use of vibrant color and ethnographic decoration to create portraits […]

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