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Cultural Institutions and Policy Development in Kazakhstan

Creating an illustrative report to stimulate international collaboration with cultural counterparts in Kazakhstan.

In the past decade Kazakhstan has started to be recognised internationally (in part, thanks to its growing economic importance), yet those outside of the country may well know little or nothing about its history, cultural character and future potential.

Certain stereotypes claim that Kazakhstan is poor, politically unstable and that its people are uncultured. One of the main purposes of this project was to challenge stereotypes by presenting factual information about Kazakh cultural institutions. Beyond these limited perspectives of Kazakhstan lies a country with rich cultural offerings and plenty of cultural institutions.

Astana-Opera-Kazakhstan

Image credit Nikita Maykov for Shutterstock images 

This project aimed to illustrate the historical development and redevelopment of cultural policy and institutions over the years by:

  1. mapping the historical development of cultural policies and institutions in Kazakhstan, starting from the early Soviet era up until the early 1990s; 
  2. mapping policies and institutions after Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991 until the present day; 
  3. creating an illustrative report where key cultural institutions in two major Kazakh cities (Astana and Almaty) and their histories are presented. 

The report aimed to unlock the economic potential of culture and creativity in Kazakhstan, informing policies as well as unlocking the economic potential of culture and future creative industries in Kazakhstan.  

The Calvert 22 Foundation serves a wide community of opinion-forming professionals across the world, many of whom work in the creative industries. The Foundation shared the findings of the report with its network of cultural workers, researchers, organisations, civil service workers, and policymakers, ahead of the Foundation's increased focus on Central Asia.

Project team

Calvert 22 Foundation logo

The project was led by Sana Kim, MPhil student in the department of the Culture, Media and the Creative Industries, King's College London.

Sana worked in collaboration with the Calvert 22 Foundation, who disseminated the report via Calvert Forum – an international project dedicated to researching the creative industries in countries all over the world and the development of the creative economy in the regions of Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Cultural Institutions and Policy Development in Kazakhstan’ was a  collaboration between the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries at King's and Calvert 22 Foundation. 

The project was part of the Cultural Institute’s Early Career Researchers scheme. Sana Kim was mentored by Paula Serafini, the Cultural Institute’s Knowledge Exchange Associate for Arts & Humanities.

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