The ‘Silk Road’ Exposed: Why it was never a single road, had little to do with silk, and rarely set about linking East with West

‘History is written by the victors’. So it is disappointing many commentators fail to follow this through and challenge the bias inherent in a ‘victorious’ narrative. The historiography of the ‘Silk Road’ is a significant case in point. Originating in Central Eurasia as small-scale tracks on the steppes, the route developed into the pre-industrial world’s […]

Three Central Asia Travel Highlights

Often overlooked by your classic holiday maker, Central Asia has always exercised a powerful fascination over a certain kind of traveler. Home to some of the most ancient cultures and breathtaking landscapes on earth, it is nevertheless only lightly trodden by wanderers and merchants. But traffic on the silk road is once again picking up. […]

Fashion Project: ON THE GREAT SILK ROAD…

Motto: “World without national or government borders! We are one! We are a single field!” The Photo project, “On the Great Silk Road”, is a showcase of diverse eastern women living in Kazakhstan. This manifold is shown as a gallery of feminine types through images in eastern outfits. These are stylized eastern images of modern […]

One Belt, One Road: One Myth?

China’s gargantuan Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road initiative, ‘One Belt, One Road’ for short, promises much. President Xi Jinping has hailed its proposed super-grid of rail track, oil and gas pipelines, superhighways and shipping facilities as this century’s economic game-changer, a project that will bring about ‘a new type of […]

Post-Soviet Women in Transition—Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan Compared

There are many common paradoxes and anomalies regarding the position of women in the former Soviet Muslim republics of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. These arise from the Soviet legacy of gender equality on the one hand, and patriarchal traditions on the other. The resurgence of Islam as an identity marker in the new independent era […]

ONE DOES NOT TRAVEL TO TULA WITH ONE’S OWN SAMOVAR

OCA #21  SPRING 2015  WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM Text by Christopher Schwartz Photo: Umida Ahmedova It is no secret that at present there is growing discomfort with Western influence throughout Central Asia. One can encounter it from elite and everyman alike. From a Western perspective, it is easy and tempting to attribute the emerging difficulties to various cynical […]

MIKHAIL SHVYDKOY RUSSIAN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL CO-OPERATION

Kyrgyz-born Mikhail Shvydkoy is no ordinary diplomat. Since 2008, he has been the Special Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation to President Dmitry Medvedev, which followed a stint as the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation. Before becoming Minister of Culture, however, Shvydkoy held many prestigious positions, including editor-in-chief of Channel 5 and later Chairman […]

CATBIG Hosts Central Asian Ambassadors

On 6th July 2015 British Expertise International held a meeting dedicated to the economic, political and commercial situation in the Central Asian countries. The guests of honour at the event were the British Ambassadors to Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Alexandra Hall has been British Ambassador to Georgia since September 2013. Alexandra spoke to CATBIG members […]