Arts, Crafts and Culture in Central Eurasia 
Aisalkyn Botoeva (American Institutes for Research)
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Voesar Conference Room 412
Friday 11 October, 14:00-15:45 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

The panel presents a fresh look at the sphere of arts and craft production that are under-studied in the context of Central Asia, but yet have broader salience for our understanding of culture, nationalism, identity, and state-building in the broader Eurasian region.

Long Abstract

Broadly defined, we are interested in studies of diverse areas or conglomerations that vary in their stylistic and aesthetic traits as well as history and trajectory of evolution, ranging from paintings and installations, film and cinema to music, traditional and contemporary crafts, and finally garments. The panel aims to provide space for discussions around the social and historical context within which actors in these fields work, as well as the politically charged process through which they find their own niches and audiences, promote a sense of belonging and meaning, and act as agents of reflexivity or protest and change.

Of particular interest are pieces that engage with the following themes:

• History of arts, crafts and apparel in Eurasia in the pre-Soviet and Soviet periods

• Contemporary value chain of crafts, arts, and apparel in Eurasia and around the world

• Political economy of arts and crafts in the context of independent statehood and changing regional and global opportunities, including the role (or absence) of state initiatives, incentives, and regulation

• Self-understandings of entrepreneurship and identity as well as sentiments among craft producers and artisans, including struggle, hope(-lessness), pride, responsibility, creativity

• Role, impact and reception of international development agencies and NGOs in relation to arts, crafts and culture

• Imagining and re-imagining self, community and nation through arts and crafts

• Protest and activism through art, including themes of neo-colonialism, migration, radicalism, identity, gender and environment

• Religion and piety through arts, crafts and apparel

• Gender, family and intergenerational knowledge, collaboration and conflict

Accepted papers: