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Videoidentity: The Sacred Places of Central Asia

The Sacred Places of Central Asia. Conclusion of a project initiated by the Soros Center for Contemporary Art, Almaty.
Nov 2004

In October 2004, The Videoindentity Festival marked the conclusion of a larger project initiated in March of the same year. The organizer, The Soros Center for Contemporary Art in Almaty, announced a call to video artists from Kazakhstan, Kirgisistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to honor the sacred places and monuments of every faith, anchored to the mentality of the region which holds them in great esteem. In view of the rise of religious conflicts and terrorist acts in many parts of the world, this should emphasize the high value of a peaceful coexistence among people of different religions and cultures. This would also create a greater awareness for lesser-known sacred places and landscapes of Central Asia abroad. Placing an explicit focus on video art should help promote this relatively new form of expression in the region. The concept of this project was already covered in our magazine’s sixth issue.

The series of event held in conjunction with Videoidentity began in March 2004. These were opened by a theoretical seminar held in Duschanbe, Tajikistan, in which circa 50 artists and theorists from both the region and USA participated. The second phase was a practical training period in which professors from Russia introduced 24 artists to the specifics and technical aspects of video art. During the course of a competition, proposals for 20 art projects were selected, for whose realization their authors received financial support and equipment.

The results of the entire project were shown to the public at the Videoidentity Festival in October 2004, namely 38 videos by 33 authors. An international jury granted awards to the following video works:

1st Prize:
"Noah's Ark" (2004, 30') by Said Atabekov (Kazakhstan)
2nd Prize:
"Stones" (2004, 41') by Vladimir Khan (Kazakhstan)
Shared 3rd Prize:
"Steppenbaroque" (2003, 15'.) by Almagul Menlibaeva (Kazakhstan)
"The Mourning" (2003, 15') by Alexander Ugay (Kazakhstan) and Roman Maskalev (Kyrgyzstan)
"Sham" (2004, 3'40'') by Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev (Kyrgyzstan)
Encouragement prize:
"A Territory of the Untouchables" (2004, 9') by Elena Kambina (Uzbekistan)
International Jury:
Thomas McEvilley (USA), art critic; Charles Esche (Netherlands), director of Van Abbemuseum and curator of forthcoming 9th Istanbul Biennale; Saken Narynov (Kazakhstan), artist; Oleg Karpov (Uzbekistan), director of the Tashkent Cinema Museum; Parviz Kurbanov (Tajikistan), film director; and Dalmira Tylepbergenova (Kyrgyzstan), film director.
Kazakhstan: Almagul Menlibaeva, Alla Girik, Oksana Shatalova, Said Atabekov, Valery Kaliev, Rafael Slekenov, Timur Isaliev, Aleksander Ugay, Vladimir Khan, Konstantin Timoshenko, Bakhytzhan Ashirbaev, Marat Sagitov, Maxim & Valery Zadarnovsky, Akhmet Akhat
Kyrgyzstan: Ulan Dzhaparov, Gamal Bokonbaev, Maxim Boronilov, Roman Maskalev, Adis Seitaliev, Ivan Morozov, Gulnara Kasmalieva, Muratbek Djumaliev, Olga Makeeva
Tajikistan: Akmal Khasanov, Suraie Tuichieva, Alisher Primkulov, Dzhamshed Kholikov, Mukharam Komilova
Uzbekistan: Sergey Tychina, Vyacheslav Useinov, Alexander Nikolaev, Elena Kambina, Vyacheslav Akhunov, Zaur Mansurov


International Festival
20 - 21 October 2004
German Theatre
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Soros Center for Contemporary Art,
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Valeria Ibraeva

Aliya Sharipbayeva

Soros Center for Contemporary Art

171 Tulebayeva
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