Nomads, Warriors and Bureaucrats: Nation-Building and Film in post-Soviet Kazakhstan

Isaacs, Rico (2015) Nomads, Warriors and Bureaucrats: Nation-Building and Film in post-Soviet Kazakhstan. Nationalities Papers, 43 (3). pp. 399-416. ISSN 0090-5992

Full content URL:

Nomads, Warriors and Bureaucrats: Nation-Building and Film in post-Soviet Kazakhstan
Accepted Manuscript
[img] Microsoft Word
Nomads, Warriors and Bureaucrats Nation-Building and Film in post-Soviet Kazakhstan (final version).doc - Whole Document

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Nation-building is a process which is often contested, not just among different ethnicities within a nation-state, but also among the titular ethnic majority. This article explores the contested nature of the nation-building process in post-Soviet Kazakhstan through examining cinematic works. Utilizing a post-modern perspective which views nations and national identity as invented, imagined and ambivalent it identifies four discursive strands within recent post-Soviet Kazakh cinema pertaining to nationhood and national identity (ethno-centric, civic, religious and socio-economic). Rather than viewing government-sponsored efforts of identity formation in cinema as a top-down process in which the regime transmits its version of nationhood and identity, the discursive strands revealed in this article illustrate there are varying understandings of what constitutes the nation and national identity in Kazakh cinematic works. Furthermore, the strand which focuses on the socio-economic tensions of modern nation-building in Kazakhstan uncovers how film is used as a site for dissent and social critique of Kazakhstan's modern political condition. What the article illuminates is how discourses related to nation-building can be both competing and complementary and that nation-building is a fluid and transgressive process in which among the titular majority there is no fixed unambiguous understanding of nationhood and national identity.

Keywords:Nationalism, Kazakhstan, post-Soviet politics, nation-building, cinema
Subjects:L Social studies > L260 Comparative Politics
L Social studies > L240 International Politics
L Social studies > L243 Politics of a specific country/region
L Social studies > L200 Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:36899
Deposited On:09 Sep 2019 09:11

Repository Staff Only: item control page