Leading Kazakhstan experts discussed the issues of preservation of cultural values within the context of the modernization

15 August 2017


The Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP) under the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbassy held the round table in Almaty on "Kazakhstan’s culture in the context of global competition: expectations and reality".

The well-known experts, political scientists, art historians, culture experts, representatives of the creative intelligentsia took part in the discussion. Among the participants were Shayzada Tokhtabaeva, Chief researcher of the Institute of Oriental Studies named after R.B. Suleimenov; Olga Baturina, Professor of the Department of History and Theory of Fine Arts of the Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T. Zhurgenov; Dina Duspulova, Director of the "Almaty – House of Peace"art agency; Efrat Imambek, UNESCO expert on intangible cultural heritage; Gulmira Gabbasova, Director-choreographer; Gulzada Omarova, Art historian; Elena Nabokova, the leading actress and co-founder of the "ARTiSHOK" theater; Aliya Masalimova, Dean of the Philosophy and Political Science Faculty, KazNU named after Al-Farabi; Eduard Poletayev, Head of the Eurasia World Foundation; Andrey Chebotarev, Director of the Center for Relevant Studies "Alternative"; Marat Shibutov, political scientist; Yerkin Baidarov, a leading researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies named after R.B. Suleimenov, representatives  of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan and IWEP experts.

Participants of the round table discussed modernization issues in the field of culture and the effectiveness of existing mechanisms for the preservation of traditional cultural values ​​in the light of the priority tasks set by the Head of State in his "Looking into the future: modernization of public consciousness" program article.

Head of IWEP Almaty office, Askar Nursha, gave a welcome speech stressing the importance of holding the round table. The value of the event, he said, is that such a format, organized by the Institute, provides an opportunity for the expert community and public authorities to obtain more accurate and objective assessments about the current state of the cultural and art sphere in Kazakhstan, and to establish a direct dialogue between domestic political scientists, culture experts and representatives of creative intelligentsia.

Chief Research Fellow of the Institute of Oriental Studies named after R.B. Suleimenov, author of numerous publications on Kazakhstan's traditional art Shayzadа Tokhtabaevа devoted her speech to the issues of preserving the traditions and values ​​of Kazakhstan people. The strengthening of globalization and the pervasive role of the Internet have brought about the fact all the peoples of the planet are involved in a single information context, the researcher notes. There is an exchange is underway.

On the other hand, standardization of life values is observed, ethnic traditions are being transformed, in connection with which many cultural scientists and scholars express fears that some ethnic groups may dissolve altogether. Since each people has a unique culture and cultural code, is original and makes an important contribution to the creative comprehension and perception of the world, a depletion of culture may occur on the planetary scale, if this happens. In such circumstances, the constant attention and care on the part of the state and society must be directed towards decorative and applied art, ornamental creativity of Kazakhs, which reflects the people’s mentality.

Art critic and musicologist Gulzada Omarova believes that without reliance on national roots, modernization would not be possible, and history and national traditions must be taken into account in the process. She noted the important work on the preservation of cultural heritage, carried out in Kazakhstan on behalf of the Head of State. At the same time, the results of this work, available to specialists, are inaccessible to ordinary citizens, she emphasizes, pointing out that "it's time to return the cultural heritage to the people." Also, in order to popularize traditional culture and avoid ignorance about its culture, it is proposed to introduce appropriate educational courses in all higher educational institutions of the republic.

Member of the Kazakhstan Union of Artists, Professor of the Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T. Zhurgenov Olga Baturina notes that many good intentions in the sphere of culture face negligence at the lower levels of administrators, which negates many of the state's efforts. According to her, the most prosperous situation in the republic in the sphere of culture is currently celebrated in the capital and in Almaty, while other regions’ dwellers have problems accessing culture.

Another important task, which O.Baturina pointed out, is the need for digitalization of the material objects of culture in the republic and, especially, works of fine art, since most of the domestic artists, both past and present, are "invisible" to the world. At the same time, there is no structure in the country that would deal with this issue.

Dina Duspulova, Director of the "Almaty – House of Peace" art agency, raised the issue of underdevelopment of art management in Kazakhstan’ ​​ as a separate area, which provides the necessary link between the viewer and the creative person or team, and also between them and business. Many artists, due to the specifics of the creative personality, are not inclined to deal with the administrative and organizational aspects of promoting their products, and art managers could successfully do it.

The governmental financing remains a sensitive issue for representatives of the sphere of culture and art. A significant part of the creative community remains in the position of the need to preserve the state orders and support.

During the roundtable, there was an argument that the creative intelligentsia should keep pace with the times, adapting to market realities and not relying on the state alone.

The problem of small theaters was raised individually, as they are experiencing problems with premises for rehearsals and shows and the payroll for sound and light operators.

Experts have stressed the need to consolidate the cultural potential of Kazakhstan, increase the competitiveness of cultural products created in Kazakhstan, and use them to create a positive international image of the country.

At the same time, as was stressed by the gathered experts, it is extremely important to ensure the preservation of the national cultural code and traditional values ​​of the peoples of our country, which is the key of maintaining a unique model of cultural harmony in Kazakhstan.