PAPA Lab Bishkek Kyrgyzstan 3 - 17 April
Hosted by ArtEast. Participants mixed group of artsudents of ArtEast: Nellya Dzhamanbaeva, Angelina Mokh, Sapargul Turdubekova, Elena Chigibaeva, Nargiz Chynalieva, Raisat Musaeva, Tatyana Zelenskaja, Samat Mambetshaev, Anastasia Slastnikova, Tatyana Mihnevich and Meka Muratova. With the support of Artscollaboratory.
How could such peaceful, contemplative people get involved in two recent revolutions (2005 and 2010) and ethnic riots (2010)? I began to understand the mechanics of this a short time after I found out about the importance of clans. There is still a strong family structure with all its positive aspects of people taking care of each other. There are 'public sitting rooms' everywhere: men in particular love to sit or squat together in public spaces to play games or just chat. But these positive aspects have a negative side as well. Family life has its costly obligations such as the expensive parties people are forced to throw when their children get married. The government is talking about making a law that forbids these socalled 'expensive traditions' by limiting the number of people at a wedding. My guess is that this will not work. When a clan has helped one of its family members to attain a high position, it will want to be paid back at a certain point, spawning corruption. This does not explain everything, but it helps us begin to understand.
The carpets are beautiful. Made of natural materials and in bright colours. Like the people in Kyrgyzstan, who seem to be so soft and welcoming. But then again, it can quickly become an explosive situation here. Some say the clan structure is to blame. People only respect authority from their own clan members. Last week two members of different clans got caught in a bloody physical fight in parliament. It was broadcast live on TV.
06 Apr 2011, Lino Hellings
Lamb is the favourite food of the Kyrgyz and sheep's head, known as bash, is an outstanding national delicacy.
08 Apr 2011, Raisat Musaeva
Each year the Kyrgyz population spends about 2 billion dollars on weddings and funeral preparations. When a man dies, his family should slaughter a sheep, cow or horse to feed people who will come to their home to pray. And this is repeated on the 7th and 40th day after the death, and every year on the anniversary of the death. Poor families often must borrow money to do this, and work hard for a long time to repay it.
05 Apr 2011, Nargiz Chynalieva
Hydroelectric stations produce enough energy to cover the population's needs and sell the surplus to other countries. Energy consumption in Kyrgyzstan is careless. Rising energy prices caused by selling too much electricity abroad were said to be one of the causes of the latest revolution.
03 Apr 2011, Nargiz Chynalieva