Islamic radicalization as a theme in Uzbek literature, art and cinema

Islamic radicalization as a theme in Uzbek literature, art and cinema

Monday, 18 May 2015 - 6:00pm
Venue: 
Nissan Lecture Theatre
Speaker(s): 
Hamid Ismailov (BBC)
Convenor: 
Oliver Ready (St Antony's)
Series: 
Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre Monday Seminar

International academia is divided on the issue of Islamic radicalisation in Central Asia and Uzbekistan. Some scholars consider it a myth created by the local authoritarian regimes to keep the population under control. Others argue that the radicalisation is real. Indeed hundreds if not thousands of Islamic militants from Central Asia and especially from Uzbekistan are fighting in the ranks of IS in Syria and Iraq and also as a part of Taliban in Afghanistan. Dozens of thousands are imprisoned in Uzbekistan on religious grounds. So how is this reality  reflected in Uzbek literature and cinema? I’ll be discussing several Uzbek films such as “Square no 18”, “Deceived Woman”, “Gone Astray” and “The Traitor” as well as my own novel “A Poet and Bin-Laden”, along with some Uzbek short stories, showing how the state propaganda is working through these films, distorting reality.

Hamid Ismailov’s novels The Railway, The Dead Lake and A Poet and Bin-Laden have all been translated into English (from Russian). The Dead Lake was longlisted for this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction award.

This is an advanced seminar series supported by the Management Committee of Russian and East European Studies and the Harry Shukman Seminar Fund (created in Harry’s memory by Fay and Geoffrey Elliott). All are welcome.