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February 3, 2014


February 3, 2014

economy.. 2

Uzbekistan to increase investments to road development by 15% in 2014. 2

Society.. 2

Barometer of Civil Society.. 2

culture.. 3

National cultural traditions enjoy a great deal of attention.. 3




Press-service of MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan


Uzbekistan to increase investments to road development by 15% in 2014

The volume of investments, directed at developing automobile roads in Uzbekistan, made up US$647.5 million in 2014 against US$565 million in 2013.

According to Republican Road Fund under Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan, about US$468 million will be directed to reconstruction of roads, which are part of the Uzbek national highway, with total length of 330 km. About US$225.5 million will be resources of international financial institutions.

It is planned to repair over 360 km of roads of general use of local importance and 1,100 km of inter-economic rural roads for total sum of about US$180 million.

The Republican Road Fund will finance works on repairing roads of general use of local, state and international importance. Reconstruction of the inter-economic roads in rural areas will be financed due to local budgets.




Barometer of Civil Society

Founders of the “Ijtimoiy Fikr” Center for the Survey of Public Opinion have convened for a meeting in Tashkent.

The event was attended, apart from the founders of the Center, by sociologists, economists, political scientists, journalists and other interested persons. The agenda included discussion of issues related to the activities of the Ijtimoiy Fikr in 2013 and its plans for the nearest future.

The Concept of Intensification of Democratic Reforms and Formation of Civil Society in the Country, outlined by President Islam Karimov, envisages that civil society institutions and nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations are turning into an important factor in safeguarding the democratic values, human rights, freedoms and legitimate interests, and are creating conditions for the citizens to realize their potential, uplift their public, socio-economic activeness and law culture, and they have been facilitating the maintenance of the balance of interests in the society. It was noted thus that the institution of public and civic oversight is becoming one of the critical elements in securing an effective feedback between the society and the state, in revealing the frame of mind of people and their attitude to the reforms undertaken in the country.

In this process, a special emphasis is placed on the “Ijtimoiy Fikr” Center for the Survey of Public Opinion that was founded in accordance with the Decree of the head of our state “On the Improvement of Law Education, Elevation of the Level of Law Culture of the Population, Perfection of the System of Training Jurisprudence Specialists, Improvement of Works on Studying the Public Opinion” signed 25 June 1997. By conducting sociological surveys, the Center seeks first and foremost to inform not only the government and nongovernmental organizations, but also the wider public on the support of our citizens for reforms marshaled in the country in all walks of life. This was suggested by Professor Ozod Atamirzaev, Deputy Director of the “Ijtimoiy Fikr” Center for the Survey of Public Opinion.

It was noted during the event that since the Center was established, some 330 integrated, targeted sociological research and surveys have been conducted on the most significant issues in the life of our society. They encompassed around 7 thousand mahallas across all the regions of our nation.

The past year that was announced by the head of our state as the Year of Wellbeing and Prosperity, proved no less productive for the “Ijtimoiy Fikr” Center. The academic research works were conducted in 2013 as part of the elaboration of government scientific-technical programs within the field of responsibility of the Committee for the Coordination of Development of Science and Technologies under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In particular, the programs worked out included the fundamental research “Issues in the Improvement of Methodologies of Surveying and Shaping the Public Opinion in Conditions of the Formation of Civil Society in Uzbekistan” and the applied research “Applied Sociological Research of Public Opinion in the Process of Modernization of the Uzbek Society: Theory, Methods and Practice”.

In 2013, the Center organized and conducted integrated full-scale sociological research works in such subject matters as “The Youth of Uzbekistan: Civic Stance, Morality, Social Guidelines”, “Uzbekistan the Multiethnic”, “Family and Morality”. The target sociological research works included such themes as “Reforms in the Judicial System in the Mirror of Public Opinion”, “Society and Mass Media: Assessments, Needs, Preferences, Rating”, “Combating the Human Trafficking in the Mirror of Public Opinion”, “On the Openness in the Activities of Government and Management Bodies”, “Elections of Chairpersons (Aksakals) of Citizens’ Assemblies and Their Advisers” and many others.

A special emphasis was placed last year by the Center on scientific and methodological works and training specialists. Programs of scientific research and methodological developments, mechanisms in the organization and holding a range of integrated sociological research were discussed and approved. In addition, in accordance with the agreement on cooperation with the Mirzo Ulugbek National University of Uzbekistan, a branch of the Sociology Department of the University was established at the “Ijtimoiy Fikr” Center, where the students of that department are offered production and pre-dissertation internship, lectures and participation in practical classes in the discipline “Applied Sociological Research”.

The meeting participants were introduced to projects of the Center scheduled for 2014.

(Source: Uzbekistan National News Agency)



National cultural traditions enjoy a great deal of attention

Imagine a world suffused with colors and shades, mesmerizing sounds and touching stories. Coupled with colorful twists and ethnic motifs, this is a picture of Uzbekistan’s culture, a veritable treasure trove of music, fine arts, theater art and cinematography, with the state taking meticulous care of each pearl therein.

Over the past year, landmark events have taken place and are expected in the Uzbek domain of culture. The National Drama Theater turned 100, the State Museum of Arts clocked up its 95th anniversary, the National Puppet Theater and the Youth Theater entered their 75th year, the Farghona Region State Puppet Theater celebrated a quarter of a century since its establishment, Ikuo Hirayama International Caravanserai of Culture marked 15 years of its existence, and Sabo national dance group is just at 10…

Step by step and bit by bit, Uzbekistan has been moving not only to restore its national art, but to create something original, colorful and memorable. In this way, Uzbek culture has embraced new modern traditions. For a ninth time, the ancient city of Samarkand played host to International Music Festival ‘Sharq Taronalari’ (Oriental Melodies), first held in 1997 at the initiative of the President, which plays a crucial role in the preservation, perpetuation and popularization of oriental nations’ unique national music, development of national music traditions, fostering of love for art in the rising generation, hymning of beauty, and the further cementing of friendship and brotherhood among nations, stepping up of artistic cooperation and cultural ties at international level. In 2000, Nihol Award was established to recognize young talented performers. Uzbek cinema is also gaining momentum, with Uzbekfilm Film Studio crafting around 15 films annually…


Reflecting the image of modernity

For the bright and multifaceted world of stage and audience, the past and the current years have been milestones.

The other day, the President of Uzbekistan signed a resolution that has paved way for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Uzbek National Academic Drama Theater, which will, by extension, be overhauled and supplied with high-end equipment. To boot, the celebration will be accompanied by a scientific and practical conference titled “Uzbekistan’s Theater Art: History, Development and Prospects”, a publication of a pictorial book, and making of a documentary film dedicated to the venerable theater. Theater enthusiasts will have the opportunity to express their gratitude during events that will be put together at secondary, higher and professional educational institutions as well as mahallas in Uzbekistan. The string of festivities will culminate with an art soiree that will bring together theater troupes, public figures, prominent and veteran culture and art professionals as well as art aficionados.

Along with festivities celebrating the anniversary, the whole country will be watching with a keen interest all the notable events related to theater life. And events of this kind, thanks to the efforts of Uzbekteatr Creative Association, are galore.

It is noteworthy that Uzbekistan’s theater art has been brought to a new level of development since the country gained its independence, and the Uzbek audience has noted this with contentment. Presently, theaters in Tashkent city and other parts of the country strive to create an original image of a contemporary and to mirror the surrounding reality in various angles. For instance, a juried contest that roughly translates as “Glorifying contemporaries” is held in Uzbekistan. Participating in the project is a big honor for a theater troupe, and more so if it emerges as a winner. Last autumn, of 30-odd productions, only half were welcomed as entries to the contest. Productions such as ‘Kindness’ by Samarkand Region’s Hamid Olimjon Music Drama Theater and ‘Light Won’t Stay in a Shade’ by Karalpakstan’s Berdakh Music Theater, among others, were named prime examples reflecting contemporary people’s image. Each such contest or festival can’t be reduced to just another race for a title; it is where ideas mingle, an excellent platform for a mutual exchange of experience and skills. And the organization of such events, it must be noted, is a kind tradition that has been supported for years by art professionals and the state.

Every year, each new page in the annals of the renowned puppet theater starts with a juried festival, which last year was held in Samarkand for a ninth time toward the end of the year. In opera art, this role is entrusted to the much-talked-about – both in and outside Uzbekistan – Toshkent bahori (Tashkent spring) Festival. A collaborative effort between Uzbekteatr and Alisher Navoi Academic Theater, the international festival brings together opera and ballet soloists from far and wide. Following last year’s edition of the fest, eleven Uzbek performers were extended invitations to participate in Competizione del’Opera international competition, where Alisher Navoi Theater soloist Ramiz Usmonov was saluted with a prize.

Examples of successful performance by Uzbek professionals abound. Local theater professionals have scaled many heights. In 2013 alone, theater troupes from Uzbekistan demonstrated their mastery in Germany, Italy, Russia and other countries.

No doubt, 2014 has many new victories in store, and new productions and heroes are certain to appear on theater stages. At this point Uzbekteatr has undertaken active work as part of preparations for interesting events. Next year will see a series of training seminars geared for aspiring theater professionals, who will also have the opportunity to participate in ‘Debut of the Year’ national festival to be mounted next year. Successfully launched projects will also be continued.


Scene one, take one

New undertakings are also seen in the development of Uzbek cinema. Features, documentaries, shorts and cartoons make up the broad choice offered to the audience. Trends inspired by history and adapted to modernity make Uzbek cinema stand out in the international scene.

This art domain, too, boasts commendable results. In line with a Presidential Decree aimed at improving management in cinematography, ten years ago Uzbekkino state-owned joint-stock company was transformed into Uzbekkino National Agency, which today successfully runs major projects, oversees thematic meetings and works to provide quality film content. To achieve this, the National Agency is aided by the National Cinema Professionals of Uzbekistan, Uzbekfilm Studio, and the Museum of Cinema Art of Uzbekistan. Together, they “write the history of Uzbek cinema” and work for the benefit of this remarkable and much-sought-after art.

The primary tasks Uzbekkino was originally tasked with include: the raining of talented young cinematographers, organization of the activities of State Film Foundation of Uzbekistan in line with modern requirements, the improvement and technical revamp of the production system and film rent. All these are being successfully implemented in the Republic’s film industry.

Traditions have a big role to play in this area as well. This can be exemplified by artistic meetings with the audience. As film directors have said, the most important thing is to feel the audience. If a film makes no impact on the audience and fails to foster in a view a sense of devotion to art and an esthetic perception, this means it has gone to waste. With this in mind, film directors and a film cast permanently seek to interact with the audience, listen to feedback and converse about modern trends in Uzbek film industry.

Oftentimes, given the market economy, and as is the case in many countries, the success of film production depends on management. Today commercial films are gaining increasing popularity in Uzbekistan. Makers of Uzbek bestsellers have shown budget-backed filmmakers that they are a competitive force to be reckoned with.   In an environment of healthy competition intensive efforts have been put into improving the quality of film content, promotion of innovative shooting approaches and use of special effects.

Annually, Uzbekkino submits commissions for around 15 feature films, about twice as many short films, and roughly 10 cartoons.

In “The Year of a Healthy Child” it is certain that special attention will go toward creating films and cartoons for children. More specifically, the shooting of the second part of a children’s film, “The Magic Cap”, by Sarvar Karimov, has reached its end. Work is being continued on several cartoons. Each work aimed at children is educational and engaging in its own way and is a kind story where the hero defeats the villain.

In essence, this is what distinguishes contemporary Uzbek cinema from socially intense films of the years gone by. While in the days gone by the premium was on depicting not the main hero, but the reality surrounding him or her, presently efforts to shape an image of a real character typical of the epoch and to depict his main feature in greater detail are becoming more and more popular and sought-after. Last year alone, versions of images of contemporary heroes were proposed by film director Ahmadjon Unarboev in the film “Consciousness” and Anduvohid Ganiev in the thriller “Citadel”.

Interesting fact: the first film in Uzbekistan was demonstrated in Khiva 116 years ago, when Khudoybergan Devonov showed excerpts of a documentary to his fellow countrymen.


Depicting the world in canvases

Artists’ imagination brims with bright and vivid colors. Their masterstrokes produce remarkable color palettes. This is exactly why creations by Uzbek artists are so rich and fascinating. Inspired by an absolutely unique natural landscape around them and their fellow countrymen’s warm and kind smiles, talented painters create unparalleled masterpieces on canvases. And the Academy of Arts has indubitably been their favorite meeting spot, much like a big art studio for Uzbek artists. Its activities reflect the entire power of oriental painters’ art, a fusion of schools and permanent integration of shades and shapes.

The Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, founded 17 years ago, has evolved into a creative, scientific, educational and manufacturing establishment. It was back in those days that leading artists and art experts, who were at the helm of the “talent churning” institution, came up with clear-cut goals: to preserve, to explore and to enrich the Uzbek nation’s assemblage of fine and applied art.

The Academy’s showrooms hospitably open their doors to welcome masters and art enthusiasts, annually playing host to major national and international events celebrating all types of fine art, architecture and design. Moreover, visitors have the opportunity to get a taste of the artistic treasures garnered by the Academy throughout its history.

A crucial phase in the revival of cultural traditions and customs in the world of art has been the revival of ‘from master to apprentice’, one of the oldest methods of passing experience and tricks on to younger generations. Its essence lies in passing on not only traditional artistic experience, but also universal ethical, esthetical and moral norms of lofty human culture.

Budding and seasoned painters are able to demonstrate their artistic endeavors at solo and group exhibitions. Annually, upwards of 100 such shows take place. Among them are traditional art shows celebrating national holidays Navruz and Independence, exhibitions ‘Our Legacy’, ‘From Museum and Private Collections’, ‘New Names’, ‘Traditional Crafts’ as well as shows demonstrating works by international artists.

Last year was particularly fruitful and rich in major national and international exhibitions, festivals and contests. Concurrently, Uzbek artists showed their creations in prestigious international events in Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai and Brussels, where the broad public could familiarize themselves with high Uzbek art.

Plans for 2014 herald a broader and more exciting agenda of artistic events. Besides theme exhibitions, the country will be hosting major events such as the Festival of Fine Art 2014, an International Biennale of Children’s Art and an International Photo Biennale that are expected to present pieces by renowned and young artists from across the world.

The outcomes described above serve to further testify to a grand start. The cultural component of the society promises to make further strides, giving us new names and broadening the horizons.

A lot in this process hinges upon aspirations to preserve history, traditions and foundations. Just as unquestionable is the significance of museums and architectural landmarks. Notably, an array of museums has been operating since the early days of independence, while architectural and monumental landmarks have been under careful state protection. Each of them represents historical values to the entire nation of Uzbekistan.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)