Seminar: Memories of the perestroika in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia

Time: April 27, 2012, 3.30 pm

Place: AUCA, Room 232

Contrary to the well-known curse, “may you live in interesting times”, the dismantling of socialism in the late 1980s and early 1990s had been persistently presented as a positive change to the former citizens of the socialist countries.
The benefits of gaining freedom of speech, religion and movement are considered major achievements, which many used to justify the fall of the socialist state and economy. “For me personally, it was salvation; I do not know what would have become of my life if the Perestroika and Glasnost would have come later”- exclaims the former minister of Kyrgyzstan, recalling his youth during the last years of the Soviet Union. While such positive attitudes to the fall of socialism are typical for politicians, some other parts of the population, especially in rural areas, prefer not to revive memories about the harsh times of the late Soviet period. The researcher, intending to study the systemic changes of the late 1980s to early 1990s, will face the problem of historical amnesia and having to interpret complex layers of personal memories.

With the first results of the fieldwork and records of oral histories, Gulnara Aitpaeva, Ainura Turgangazieva and Irina Morozova will hold a discussion on the memory and perception of the Perestroika period and the fall of socialism among various social groups of contemporary Kyrgyzstan.


Irina Morozova, director of the international research project “History of the Perestroika in Central Asia”, sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation, which is part of the Seminar for Central Asian Studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Gulnara Aitpaeva, founder and director of the Cultural Research Center “Aigine”.

Ainura Turgangazieva, junior researcher at Aigine CRC