Welcome to HMKV's blog.

This blog currently documents a research trip to twelve former Soviet Republics for a new regional project of the Goethe-Institut (2015-17). Earlier entries document the "Afro-Tech and the Future of (Re-)Invention" research trip to Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria (10-25 April 2014, Anne Bergner and Inke Arns), and the INDUSTRIAL on Tour trip to five industrial cities in Poland (27 Sep - 9 Oct 2011, Thibaut de Ruyter, Inke Arns et al.)

Thanks to everybody / Dank an alle

Staircase in Tashkent / Treppenaufgang in Taschkent
EN Thanks to all those we met during our research trip in Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent and Dushanbe -- thanks for your time, and it was great talking to you! We only returned to Berlin today, and still have to get over our jet lag ;-)

DE Dank an alle, die wir auf unserer Recherchereise in Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent und Dushanbe getroffen haben -- Danke für Eure Zeit; es war sehr spannend! Wir sind erst heute nachmittag nach Berlin zurückgekehrt und müssen noch über unserer Jetlag hinwegkommen ...

Dushanbe: Farewell / Auf Wiedersehen

EN Goodbye Dushanbe - we are celebrating at the Tajik Bar in Dushanbe.

DE Auf Wiedersehen Duschanbe - wir feiern in der Tajik Bar in Duschanbe.

Dushanbe: Bundesbar

EN Here's the proof. It's really called Bundesbar, and they serve Eisbein from mutton.

DE Hier ist der Beweis: Der Laden heißt wirklich Bundesbar, und es gibt Eisbein vom Schaf.

EN Alex explaining me the difference between "stakan" and "bokal". Nice drawing!

DE Alex erklärt mir den Unterscheid zwischen "stakan" und "bokal". Schöne Zeichnung!

Dushanbe: Carpets / Teppiche

EN Which one to take? Our colleague Aleksey Ulko at ZUM (Central Universal Department Store) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

DE Welchen bloß nehmen? Unser Kollege Aleksey Ulko im ZUM (Zentrales Universal Kaufhaus) in Duschanbe, Tadschikistan.

EN OK, here's the one I chose for my new office. Watch out, dear colleagues at HMKV!

DE OK, diesen habe ich für meine neues Büro gekauft, liebe KollegInnen im HMKV!

Dushanbe: First snow / Erster Schnee

EN Welcome to Dushanbe, Tajikistan!

DE Willkommen in Duschanbe, Tadschikistan!

Khudzhand: Airport / Flughafen

EN Khudzhand Airport, Tajikistan.

DE Flughafen von Chudzhand, Tadschikistan.

Tashkent: Earthquake in Tajikistan could be felt in Tashkent

EN Today at noon there was an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude in Murghob, Gorno-Badakhshan, Tajikistan. We were just having a meeting in the hotel bar at Shodlik Hotel in Tashkent when I suddenly had the feeling as if I was sitting on a boat that was gently swinging from one side to the other. I thought, oh well, probably I had one vodka too much last night. Then the lamps above the bar started swinging quite intensively. I just sat there is amazement while my colleague turned white. http://earthquaketrack.com/p/tajikistan/recent

Tashkent: If you want to read certain books in Uzbekistan ... / Wenn man bestimmte Bücher in Usbekistan lesen will ...

EN ... better wrap them in some inconspicuous paper. This particular one was written by the former British Embassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray. Its title is Murder in Samarkand. A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror and it was published by Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh and London, in 2006. A must-read by a very brave man. He was removed from his ambassadorial post in October 2004.
Check out https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/documents/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Murray

DE ... dann sollte man sie in unverfängliches Papier einschlagen. Dieses Prachtexemplar wurde von Craig Murray, dem ehemaligen britischen Botschafter in Usbekistan, geschrieben. Der Titel lautet Murder in Samarkand. A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror. Es wurde 2006 von Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh and London, veröffentlicht. Ein wichtiges Buch von seinem sehr mutigen Mann. Er wurde im Oktober 2004 von seinem Botschafter-Posten abgezogen. Mehr unter https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/documents/ und https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Murray_%28Diplomat%29

Tashkent: State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan / Staatliches Museum der Geschichte Usbekistans

EN ... the former Lenin Museum, now dedicated to the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov (in office since 1990).

DE ... das ehemalige Lenin-Museum, heute dem Präsidenten Usbekistans Islom Karimov gewidmet (seit 1990 im Amt).

Tashkent: Interesting lunch place / Interessanter Mittagstisch

Published on 29.07.2012
Hi, My name is Mahsa Ghasemi and I want to show you how to cook Uzbek Samsa.
What we need: Onion: 1 Kg. Lamb meat (with fat): 1/2 Kg. Paste (Dough): 1 Kg. Cumin (Caraway) powder: 1 spoon salt and other spices (such as black pepper): as you wish
How to: 1- Slice the onions, 2- Chop the meet in very small pieces, 3- Mix the meat, sliced onions and spices well, (Wait for 1/2 hour to get ready), 4- Spread the ready paste (Dough), 5- Cut the spread paste with a round frame in 6 - 7 inches, 6- Put some meat in the center of the paste and close it with your hands, 7- Put all the samsas in the grill tray and put them in the grill for 25 minutes of 250 C' temperature (when ready the color of the samsas should get dark brown) ***Bon Appetite***

Bishkek: STAB

EN A very important initiative in Bishkek. From STAB's agenda: STAB "address(es) a series of large-scale themes of particular social and political relevance in the contemporary Central Asian context. These themes include patriarchy; inequality and emancipation; post-colonialism; language policy; and debates about the controversial Soviet legacy and experience."

DE Eine sehr wichtige Intiative in Bischkek. Aus der Agenda von STAB: STAB "address(es) a series of large-scale themes of particular social and political relevance in the contemporary Central Asian context. These themes include patriarchy; inequality and emancipation; post-colonialism; language policy; and debates about the controversial Soviet legacy and experience."

Bishkek: Marat Raimkulov, artist / Künstler

EN From Marat Raimkulov's sketchbook "Moby Dick in Nice," in the exhibition "Karash 2 / Novy Nonkonformizm" at Zech Loft, Bishkek

DE Aus Marat Raimkulovs Skizzenbuch "Moby Dick in Nizza", in der Ausstellung "Karasch 2 / Novyj Nonkonformizm" im Zech Loft, Bischkek
EN Marat Raimkulov talking about "Moby Dick in Nice"

DE Marat Raimkulov spricht über "Moby Dick in Nizza"
EN More sketches by Marat Raimkulov

DE Mehr Skizzen von Marat Raimkulov

Bishkek: Exhibition space Zech Loft / Ausstellungsort Zech Loft

EN Zech Loft (on the left) is a former (cosmetics?) factory in Bishkek that is now used for exhibitions of contemporary art.

DE Zech Loft (links) ist eine ehemalige (Kosmetik?-)Fabrik in Bischkek, die heute für Ausstellungen mit zeitgenössischer Kunst genutzt wird.

Almaty: Arasan Baths / Arasan Bad

EN Almaty's Arasan Baths, built in the 1980s in a modernistic Soviet style, are one of the finest bathhouses in Central Asia. Read more in Lonely Planet, Herwigphoto or on the official website!

DE Das in den 1980er Jahren im modernistischen Sowjet-Stil gebaute Arasan Bad in Almaty ist eines der besten Bäder in Zentralasien. Mehr unter Lonely Planet, Herwigphoto oder auf der offiziellen Website!

Almaty: Hotel Kazakhstan

EN Hotel Kazakhstan (Kazakh: "Қазақстан" Қонақ Үйі, Russian: Гостиница "Казахстан") is the second tallest building in the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is 102 m (335 ft) tall,[1] with 26 floors.[2] It is situated in the southern center of Almaty. The building was erected in 1970. It is constructed to stand an earthquake that measures 9.0 on the Richter scale. It is a famous landmark all over Almaty, and serves as a symbol of the city. It is also the eighth tallest building in all Kazakhstan. (Source: Wikipedia)
EN I guess this is the name of the exclusive club located in the hotel. 

Almaty: Nursultan Nazarbayev, First President of Kazakhstan / Nursultan Nasarbajew, erster Präsident von Kasachstan

EN Nursultan Nazarbayev, in office since 1991

DE Nursultan Nasarbajew, seit 1991 im Amt

Almaty: Smoking causes drug addition / Rauchen führt zu Drogenabhängigkeit

EN "Smoking causes drug addiction." Mind the great composition at a kiosk in Almaty.

DE "Rauchen führt zu Drogenabhängigkeit." Schöne Komposition an einem Kiosk in Almaty.

Almaty: Erbossyn Meldibekov

EN Erbossyn Meldibekov's series of Lenins was completed by a Putin à la Lehmbruck (on the left, in wax). (Here's what Calvert22 writes about him)

DE Erbossyn Meldibekovs Lenin-Serie wird ergänzt von einem Putin à la Lehmbruck (links, aus Wachs). (Link zum Beitrag auf Deutschlandradiokultur von 2014

Almaty: Postmodernism in Kazakhstan / Postmoderne in Kasachstan

Almaty: Walking Almaty (Dennis Keen)

EN An Unusual Guidebook to Kazakhstan's Southern Capital: Dennis Keen is walking Almaty and marveling at the mundane. Join him as he picks apart the place he calls home, exploring its architecture, infrastructure, culture and more. http://www.walkingalmaty.com/

DE Ein ungewöhnlicher Reiseführer durch Kasachstans südliche Kapitale: Der US-Amerikaner Dennis Keen läuft zu Fuß durch Almaty und bewundert das Alltägliche. Begleitet ihn, wenn er seine Heimatstadt analysiert und sich mit ihrer Architektur, ihrer Infrastruktur, ihrer Kultur und anderen Dingen beschäftigt. http://www.walkingalmaty.com/

Almaty: Studio visit with Saken Narynov / Atelierbesuch bei Saken Narynov

EN Mysterious sign: a four-sided knot

DE Rätselhaftes Zeichen: Vierseitiger Knoten

EN Right: Mother Nature (1999), in need for a restoration; left: artist/architect Saken Narynov, no need for restoration

DE Rechts: Mother Nature (1999), restaurierungsbedürftig; links: Künstler-Architekt Saken Narynov, nicht restaurierungsbedürftig

EN Kazakh version of Mount Rushmore, model (can you guess the names?)

DE Kasachische Version des Mount Rushmore, Modell (wer kann die Namen erraten?)

EN This is not a future hotel, but Saken Narynov's own museum he is building next to his studio (so far it has taken him seven years). Cudos!

DE Das ist kein zukünftiges Hotel, sondern Saken Narynovs eigenes Museum, das er neben seinem Atelier errichtet (Bauzeit bisher: sieben Jahre). Hut ab!

Almaty: Saken Narynov, artist/architect / Saken Narynov, Künstler-Architekt

Lives and works in Almaty, Kazakhstan where he operates as both an artist and architect. He graduated from the Kazakh State Polytechnical Institute of Architecture in 1970. As a reflection of this training, his art tends towards the architectonic while his architectural projects seem sculptural.
In 1983 he was awarded the honorary title of “Innovator of the USSR”. His wire woven hanging structures are imbued with an internal mathematical logic that give an impression of them being discrete objects in themselves as well as illustrations of the structures of far off universes. In this respect they echo the hanging objects of the Constructivist artist Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956) as well as El Lissitzky’s (1890-1941) series of PROUNS (Projects for the Affirmation of the New), also made in the 1920s. Kazak Bottle, 1988 is dedicated to the Cambridge Physicist Stephen Hawking and Mole Holes, 1999 seems to depict tunnels in both time and space. Tower, 2011, on the other hand, is like an architectural model and reflects Narynov’s long standing interest in the structural and philosophical concerns of avant-garde architecture. The frame of his reference is deliberately wide – from Tatlin’s Tower, 1919, to the futuristic, utopian, pod-like cities imagined by the Tokyo-based Metabolism group in the late 1950s and ‘60s. Saken Narynov’s works have been exhibited in Osaka, Berlin, Lima, Copenhagen, Lyon and Moscow as well as in Kazakhstan. (Source: http://calvert22.org/artists/saken-narynov/)

Almaty: Inofficial cabs / Informelle Taxen

EN Hand knitted decoration in inofficial cabs

DE Häkeldeko in informellen Taxen

Almaty: Yelena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev

Kazakhstan. Blue Period, 2002-05
Live and work in Almaty, Kazakhstan as artists, writers and curators. As a married couple, the Vorobyevs began working together on conceptual art projects in the early 1990s. Since 2002 they have been working on Kazakhstan. Blue Period, an extensive photographic installation. They earnestly play with the world using painting, photography, and video. The results are a multi-layered reflection of both the simplicity and  complexity of contemporary life in Central Asia. They have exhibited widely in Central Asia, Russia, and Eastern Europe, at galleries including: Kazakhstan. Blue Period, Impronte Contemporary Art, Milan, 2010; Postmonument, 14 International Sculpture Biennial, Carrara, 2010; Lonely at the Top # 2, MUHKA, Antwerp, 2009; Progressive Nostalgia. Contemporary Art from the Former USSSR, Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, 2007; On Geekdom. Artists from the Former USSR, Benaki Museum, Athens, 2007; Time of the Storytellers. Narrative and Distant Gaze in Post-Soviet Art, Kiasma, Helsinki, 2007; and also at the Venice Biennales, 2009 and 2005 and the Biennale of Sydney, 2006.

On their work Kazakhstan. Blue Period, 2002-05:

We became interested in the subject of "socio-colouristic" relations while travelling in the south of Kazakhstan in 2002 as participants of the international project “Non-Silk Road". We visited several provincial towns and in Taraz our attention was drawn to the decorative bas-reliefs with blue banners on one of the administrative buildings which obviously used to be red. We soon realised that the wide spread repainting of old Soviet motifs provided a telling illustration of how things had changed in the politics of our country. (Source: http://calvert22.org/artists/elena-vorobyeva-and-viktor-vorobyev/)

Almaty: Beautiful smog / Schöner Smog

EN The Monument of Independence (1996-1998) on the Square of the Republic, Almaty, on 25 November 2015

DE Das Unabhängigkeitsdenkmal (erbaut 1996-1998) auf dem Platz der Republik, Almaty, 25. November 2015

Almaty: *The* place to eat Plov / *Der* Ort, um Plov zu essen

DE "Rumi", guter Plov in Almaty, Kasachstan. Die Webadresse mit dieser Top Level Domain ist jedoch im deutschsprachigen Kontext ggf. nicht besonders förderlich.

EN "Rumi", good plov in Almaty, Kazachstan. However, the website with this top level domain might not be favorable in a German-speaking context.

Almaty: Kobyz / Kobys

EN Kazakhstan postage stamp depicting a kobyz, 2003. The Kobyz (Kazakh: қобыз) or kyl-kobyz is an ancient Kazakh string instrument. It has two strings made of horsehair. The resonating cavity is usually covered with goat leather. Traditionally kobyzes were sacred instruments, owned by shamans and bakses (traditional spiritual medics). According to legends, the kobyz and its music could banish evil spirits, sicknesses and death. (Source: Wikipedia)

DE Briefmarke mit einer Kobys, Kasachstan 2003. Kobys, auch qobyz, kasachisch қобыз, ist eine mit dem Bogen gestrichene Schalenhalslaute in der Volksmusik von Kasachstan, Usbekistan und Turkmenistan, die auch qyl qobyz („Pferdehaar-Kobys“) zur Abgrenzung von der gleichnamigen Maultrommel kobys genannt wird. Dem zweisaitigen Streichinstrument werden magische Fähigkeiten zugesprochen. (Quelle: Wikipedia)

Almaty: Packed concert of 'new music' / Knallvolles Konzert 'neuer Musik'

EN In the Small Theatre of the Kazakh National Conservatorium in Almaty, listening to a concert of 'new music' -- with the world premiere of an amazing piece for piano and the traditional instrument Kobyz by the Kazakh composer Alibi Abdinurov entitled "21" (1999). The theatre was packed with young people, amazing.

DE Ein Konzert mit 'neuer Musik' im Kleinen Saal des Kasachischen Nationalkonservatoriums in Almaty -- mit einer Weltpremiere eines beeindruckenden Stückes für Piano und das traditionelle Saiteninstrument Kobys von Alibi Abdinurov, Titel: "21". Der Saal war voller junger Leute, beeindruckend.

Central Asia? / Zentralasien?

DE Hier ist der Eintrag aus der Wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zentralasien. Und hier was das Auswärtige Amt zu Usbekistan, Kirgisistan, Kasachstan, Turkmenistan und Tadschikistan sagt ...

EN Here's the Wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Asia. And here is what the German Foreign Office is saying about Uzbekistan, Kirgistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan und Tadshikistan ...

Minsk: We were millionaires / Wir waren Millionäre

EN On our last day in Minsk we realized that we were millionaires. More than that: We had 1.400.000 Belorussian Rubles. It did not last long: As you can see we had to pay just below one million for a dinner for two. Not funny, we agreed with the waiter.

DE An unserem letzten Tag in Minsk erkannten wir, dass wir Millionäre waren. Mehr als das: Wir hatten 1.400.000 Belorussische Rubel. Aber nicht lange: Wie man sieht, mussten wir für ein Abendessen zu zweit knapp eine Million bezahlen. Wir waren uns mit dem Kellner einig, dass das nicht witzig ist.

Minsk: Is this for real? Otto Piene in Minsk

Minsk: Ruslan Vashkevich's "Не смотря ни на что" (No matter what)

EN Ruslan Vashkevich was born in 1966 in Minsk, Belarus. In 1992 graduated from the Belarusian Academy of Arts, Minsk, Belarus. His website: http://www.ruslanvashkevich.com

DE Ruslan Waschkewitsch wurde 1966 in Minsk, Belarus, geboren. Er machte 1992 einen Abschluss an der Belarussischen Kunstakademie in Minsk, Belarus. Seine Website: http://www.ruslanvashkevich.com 

EN Ruslan Vashkevich's project "Не смотря ни на что" (No matter what) seems to be so new that it is not to be found on his website. However, here are some photos - and here's a link to a video he made.

DE Ruslan Waschkewitschs Projekt „Не смотря ни на что“ (Auf jeden Fall) scheint so neu zu sein, dass es nicht auf seiner Website steht. Aber es gibt einige Fotos – und hier ist ein Link zu einem Video, das er gemacht hat.

EN Motto: "Showing the world to the artwork."

DE Motto: „Dem Kunstwerk die Welt zeigen.“

Minsk: Ruslan Vashkevich, artist / Ruslan Vashkevich, Künstler

EN This is Ruslan Vashkevich - a great self portrait!

DE Das ist Ruslan Waschkewitsch – ein tolles Selbstporträt!

Minsk: Palace of the Republic / Palast der Republik

EN Now, this discovery made us really happy: We found the Palace of the Republic (again) in Minsk!

DE Also, diese Entdeckung hat uns wirklich glücklich gemacht: Wir haben in Minsk den Palast der Republik (wieder-)gefunden!

EN The Palace of the Republic (beloruss. Палац Рэспублікі, russ. Дворец Республики) is located on October Square (beloruss. Кастрычніцкая плошча, russ. Октябрская площадь) and was built in the 1980s. We were wondering about the possible sources of inspiration ...

DE Der Palast der Republik (beloruss. Палац Рэспублікі, russ. Дворец Республики) steht auf dem Oktober-Platz (beloruss. Кастрычніцкая плошча, russ. Октябрская площадь) und wurde in den 1980er-Jahren erbaut. Wir haben uns gefragt, was wohl die Inspirationsquellen waren..
EN The picture on the left should give you an idea about the size of the building. Thibaut (who is in the picture, yes, that little figure) is about 1,88 m (please correct me, Thibaut!).

DE Das Bild links sollte eine Vorstellung von der Größe des Gebäudes vermitteln. Thibaut (der auf dem Bild ist – ja, diese kleine Figur) ist ungefähr 1,88 m groß (korrigier mich bitte, Thibaut!).

EN Great lamps inside the building - we did not dare to enter as a folk song competition was going on which you could easily hear from the outside ;-)

DE Tolle Lampen im Inneren des Gebäudes – wir haben uns nicht getraut hineinzugehen, weil ein Volkslied-Wettbewerb im Gange war, den man von draußen gut hören konnte ;-)