The value of a voice: Culture and critique in Kazakh Aitys poetry. Eva-Marie Dubuisson

ISBN: 9781109592979

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198 pages


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The value of a voice: Culture and critique in Kazakh Aitys poetry.  by  Eva-Marie Dubuisson

The value of a voice: Culture and critique in Kazakh Aitys poetry. by Eva-Marie Dubuisson
| NOOKstudy eTextbook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 198 pages | ISBN: 9781109592979 | 3.77 Mb

What does it mean for a people to have a potential voice in a political environment of authoritarian repression? Here I look specifically at the cultural production and performance of improvisational poetry as a form of folklore within theMoreWhat does it mean for a people to have a potential voice in a political environment of authoritarian repression? Here I look specifically at the cultural production and performance of improvisational poetry as a form of folklore within the context of retraditionalization in a post-Soviet nationalist project in Central Asia.

The model of culture presupposed in that context is of an ethnoterritorial and linguistic whole, and I show how contemporary projects transform what was defined as the culture of a Soviet nationality into the cultural face of a nation. However in an environment where an ethnic nationalist model clashes with an internationalist model of the state, there is contestation over what culture itself is or should be, and the people who are seen to be part of it.-The poetic form aitys is a particularly interesting lens into cultural production and politics because, in live and televised performances across the country, Kazakh aitys poets claim to voice the truth of the people.

That voice is one of cultural unity but also critically, of (at times quite pointed) sociopolitical critique. Poets are legitimated as culture bearers, able to connect Kazakh ancestors to contemporary audiences, because their language is ideologized as richly historical, as exemplary.

From behind the veil of folklore as apolitical culture, poets capitalize upon the dialogic conditions of performance to embed criticism of current government officials in anti-Soviet nationalist rhetoric by using language itself as a primary metaphor for the needs of the people.-The success of this form of poetry relies on the pragmatic and dialogic collaboration of a wide variety of participants: poets and audiences, cultural organizers, and elite sponsors.

But because among them there are competing visions of how the voice of aitys might be harnessed, of who that voice should represent, there is always a threat that creativity and critique in performance will be muted, in particular by overzealous sponsors. I consider the consequences of that threat in a political climate of censorship to be the loss of an avenue of political participation. This dissertation shows how, due to the complexities of cultural production in a fractured political environment, the voice of the people exists in perpetual jeopardy.



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