I’m often asked by young Kazakhs how they can study abroad, and I don’t have an easy answer. It’s a long process and sometimes you have to apply again and again to get funding to study in America or Europe.
My first encounter with missionaries—like that of so many children—involved presents. A Christmas bauble from Burkina Faso, given out to each child at a small church in Ohio. A stick of Juicy Fruit from the American woman in a burqa,
I recently went with friends to spend a week in Shymkent, the largest city in Kazakhstan. It’s known as the “Texas” of Kazakhstan for its wild ways, large desert landscape, and sprawling population. I’ve made a video/photo montage with Kazakh
I’ve just returned from a trip to south Kazakhstan over the May holidays. Above is my favorite photo from the trip, a shot of the hillside carved away at the ruins of Otyrar. If you imagine a nice big mud-brick
Low in a cardboard box in the entryway, Yucca shoves himself into the corner of his cage. Before him, fine hands scatter chopped lettuce (a precious commodity, here) and fill a dim platter with water. Stepping back from the turtle,
I often snap a bunch of similar shots when out taking pictures, and although usually I delete the duplicates, sometimes I catch a nice effect when flipping through the pictures quickly: I’m sure you’ve seen it, but ‘wiggle GIFs’ create
It’s a muggy day in July when my Kazakh teacher, Aryslan, promises that I’ll have a free day tomorrow — he needs to go home to his village and prepare for his brother’s wedding. “Toidyn bolganynan, boladysy qyzyq,” he says.
On the train: It’s a frosty-paned holiday weekend, but I start reading another obscure academic article. A curve in the track throws me against Anne’s padded elbow, as I read an article about how orthodox priests direct almsgiving in post-Soviet
While lounging around last week in the Malaysian heat and air conditioning, I enjoyed watching Disney’s Frozen. The cold weather! Cold in any language! Because, as in the lovely Between Shades of Gray, any fictional description of cold resonates with me
Everything is looted, spoiled, despoiled / Death flickering his black wing, / Anguish, hunger—then why this / Lightness overlaying everything? — Anna Akhmatova, trans. D. M. Thomas. I went to Karaganda with my colleague Lia and her friend Grace this