Kyz Ala Kachuu is an obvious and unapologetic form of protest by Mirlan Abdykaylkov against the archaic and violating nature of the bride kidnapping traditions in Kyrgyzstan, writes Silvan Lochteken in this commentary for commonspace.eu. Its success at the Busan International Film Festival not only brings the international spotlight on the controversial practice, but reignites the contested debate on bride kidnapping that has polarized the Kyrgyz public for decades.
In Kazakhstan, improvised oral poetry, spoken or sung to the accompaniment of traditional musical instruments, has for centuries been a source of entertainment. The Kazakh government has since independence in 1991 been keen to promote the tradition, known in Kazakh as Akyndar Aitysy, since this is seen as a way of consolidating national identity.
Millions of visitors are expected in the region this year, giving Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia a truly cosmopolitan air. Tourism is good for the region in many ways, but there is a cost too, and governments should not be complacent, writes Dennis Sammut in this commentary.
Liz Mermin is an American documentary filmmaker based in London. Her latest film, Amazing Azerbaijan!, investigates human rights in Baku at the time of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. She spoke to Nick Maltby about the film and its context.
President Serzh Sargsyan led Armenian dignitaries at a celebration in Stepanakert to mark the 20th anniversary of the self declared independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. NKR remains unrecognised by any country and Baku disputes its existance.
Tens of thousands of visitors from the wider Caucasus region and beyond are visiting Batumi this summer, attracted by new hotels and tourist facilities, and a policy of the Georgian government to turn Adjatra into a prime tourist destination.