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.)

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 ...