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An analysis of the roles and activities of stakeholders in reviving and promoting the disrupted traditional cultural heritage of the Kazakh people

KARIBAYEVA, GULZHAN (2022) An analysis of the roles and activities of stakeholders in reviving and promoting the disrupted traditional cultural heritage of the Kazakh people. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Following the dissolution of the USSR (1988-1991), all Central Asian countries proclaimed their independence including Kazakhstan in 1991. With great freedom came great responsibility as the newly emerged countries had to rebuild and reinvent themselves to regain their political sovereignty and cultural identities. While much of the research into the role of cultural heritage in the postcolonial revival has been undertaken in the Africa and Commonwealth countries, comparatively little investigation has been carried out on the area of Central Asia. Representative of the region, Kazakhstan with its multifaceted history, intricate geopolitical position, disrupted heritage and contested demographics, is worthy of particular attention.
Before the Russian expansion (1731) the Kazakh people were nomads who peregrinated to the north in the summer and to the south in the winter with their herds of domesticated animals. However, Russian colonial and Soviet collectivisation policy disrupted not only the Kazakh nomadic lifestyle but also their traditional cultural heritage. In order to deepen understanding of this history of cultural loss, reconstruction and preservation, this research examines the main features of the nomadic cultural heritage of the Kazakh people before and after the Russian/Soviet rule.
Two aims direct this research: to assess the impact of the Russian colonisation of the Kazakh steppe on the traditional nomadic cultural heritage of the Kazakh people, and to analyse the roles and activities of identified stakeholders in reviving, preserving and promoting this heritage.
Efforts to protect and promote cultural heritage require the engagement of various stakeholders. However, no extensive research has concentrated on the role and activities of stakeholders in the preservation of cultural heritage in postcolonial ii
countries. Therefore, this research aims to examine the perceived roles of the government, international organisations (UNESCO), and non-governmental organisations in the protection of the cultural heritage of the Kazakh people. These stakeholders have significant but different perspectives concerning cultural heritage. The research shows that main motivation for the Government of Kazakhstan to revive and preserve its traditional cultural heritage is to build a national identity. The demographic composition of Kazakhstan posed a dilemma as the countryʼs government had to choose how to ethnically, culturally and ethnolinguistically define Kazakh identity as paramount without alienating other ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan.
This research adopts a qualitative method. Interviews and textual analysis are the main data sources, to which thematic analysis has been applied in order to identity common themes and concerns. A multi-sited ethnographic research takes place in Qyzylorda, Oral, Almaty and Astana/Nur-Sultan cities where the researcher includes representatives from practitioners, governmental organisations, international organisations and non-governmental organisations responsible for the development and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Kazakh people. The present research applies several conceptual frameworks including Said's "Orientalism" (1978), collective memory, and Nora's (1989) concept of "sites of memory”. This research contributes to the academic literature associated with the future work and policies of international organisations, NGOs and government authorities in developing mechanisms and frameworks to support the revival and development of identities and cultural heritage in Kazakhstan.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:post colonialism, disrupted heritage, the post-Soviet country, Kazakhstan
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Jan 2023 10:08

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