A workshop held in conjunction with the exhibition “Nomads and Networks: The Ancient Art and Culture of Kazakhstan” currently at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in the Smithsonian Institution until December 2, 2012.
Nomadism has been a key aspect of culture in the Eurasian space, especially on the Kazakh steppes, throughout the centuries. The Russian colonization and the Soviet Union drastically transformed the Kazakh society in the 19th and 20th century. Since independence in 1991, the legacy of nomadism has been rehabilitated by the political authorities in their nation building schemes.
The society has also participated in reconstructing symbols of the nomadic past: they have become objects of memory and research, but also objects of artistic inspiration, and commercial branding. This workshop invites a team of experts to discuss the contemporary use of the concept of nomadism from various angles.
with Richard Pomfret, Professor of Economics, University of Adelaide, Australia
Kazakhstan has used energy revenues to save for the future, invest in human capital, and diversify the structure of production with the goal of becoming one of the “fifty most competitive, dynamically developing countries in the world”. Agriculture has been a key part of the diversification strategy ever since the government committed a billion dollars to the 2003-5 Agriculture and Food Program. Since then agricultural policy has passed through several phases, mirroring evolving attitudes in Kazakhstan towards the role of government and of the market in economic development. This seminar analyses the content and consequences of agricultural policy, and agriculture’s role in Kazakhstan’s economic transformation.
Richard Pomfret, Professor of Economics at the University of Adelaide, Australia, and adviser to the Australian government and to international organizations such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.