The collaboration between Smithsonian Folkways and the Aga Khan Music Initiative that has produced the “Music of Central Asia” series has brought listeners an astonishing variety of musical sounds. “Rainbow,” Volume 8 in the series out March 30 on Smithsonian Folkways, features the Kronos Quartet, America’s premier new-music quartet, in bold collaborations with Alim Qasimov and Homayun Sakhi, two musicians who have been at the heart of the Music Initiative’s work in Central Asia. The Aga Khan Music Initiative and the San Francisco-based Kronos Quartet have inaugurated a pioneering musical collaboration that brings the quartet together with leading musicians from Azerbaijan and Afghanistan to compose, arrange, and perform new music rooted in Central Asian tradition. Continue reading
The new program of the European Union will assist the governments of the Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia in the implementation of border management system, which will make them both open and safe.
Program with a budget of 6.3 million euros will be implemented the UN Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
Official opening of the program will be held on March 29 at a conference in Tbilisi, in the “Courtyard Marriott” hotel at 11 a.m., which will be attended by representatives of the governments of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, international organizations and member states.
The conference will be attended by deputy resident representative of the UN Development Program in Georgia Inita Paulovica, director of projects, a representative of the EU mission in Georgia Martin Klauke, director of the International Centre for Migration Policy Martin Pluijm, Vice Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Ekaterina Zguladze, Deputy Finance Minister of Georgia Irakli Siradze, Head of Border Police Zaza Gogava and other officials.
An exhibition will be held in Washington D.C. at the Textile Museum, called “Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats”. The exhibition will be open from October 16, 2010 through March 13, 2011.
In the streets of Central Asian oasis towns, a man’s clothing defined his status in society and proclaimed his wealth. In the home, the place of honor was filled with the richest ikat textiles. Many family ceremonies were celebrated in surroundings made beautiful with textiles. Ikats display Central Asian artists’ and weavers’ attention to the harmony between design, color and execution in order to create their master works. These textiles are visually stunning because of their bold graphic designs, rich fabric texture and deep, rich and brilliant colors, all of which make them a key source of inspiration for contemporary designers and artists.
Colors of the Oasis will feature a selection from the 148 high caliber Central Asian ikats given to The Textile Museum by collector Murad Megalli in 2005.The stunning, colorful textiles on view will include coats for men and women, and women’s dresses and pants, as well as cradle covers, hangings and fragments — all on view for the first time ever.
The Oxford Society for the Caspian and Central Asia is holding an open seminar on May 7th, 2010, at 5pm in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, Oxford.
The guest speaker is Professor Adrienne Lynn Edgar. She will be giving a paper entitled: “Marriage, Modernity, and the ‘Friendship of Nations’: Interethnic Marriage in Soviet Central Asia.”
This presentation examines the place of interethnic intimacy in post-Stalinist discourse and policy on nationality and modernity in Central Asia. Soviet theorists deemed marriages between Central Asian Muslims and Europeans to be an important force for ‘modernizing’ Central Asia and bringing this historically ‘backward’ region into the Soviet mainstream. Because mixed marriage was thought to promote gender equality, the discourse of intermarriage was closely linked to Soviet policies of female emancipation. Rising rates of mixed marriage were also considered evidence of progress in the consolidation of a unified ‘Soviet people’, whose imminent appearance became an article of faith in the Khrushchev and Brezhnev years. However, the twin goals of intermarriage—modernization and ethnic assimilation—were undermined by the increasing institutionalization and primordialization of ethnic identities in the post-war Soviet Union.
Adrienne Lynn Edgar is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was formerly an editor of “World Policy Journal”.