Shaarbek Amankul - Kyrgyz Video Art

Shaarbek Amankul - Kyrgyz Video Art

09:00-11:00, Saturday 15 June, CBM Seminar Room 5



The work of Kyrgyz video artist Shaarbek Amankul screened and discussed by anthropologist Dr Stephanie Bunn, University of St Andrews.

Shaarbek Amankul is a Kyrgyz video artist and ceramicist, one of the most significant practitioners of contemporary art in Kyrgyzstan today. His work focuses on the dynamics of social change which have transformed the country since independence in 1991. Themes in his work include poverty, disability, shamanism, healing, forced migration, the new Islam - all issues ignored by the state until recently. These are transformed through his own visual language which provides a most intimate examination of these themes through video films which reveal the vulnerability of participants in each situation.

His work has previously been shown at EASA in Nanterre, 2012 and he is a familiar presence in Germany where he has had several residencies. "I don’t know how much I would exaggerate if I said that his work is shamanic . Everything happens in the experience of the present. His images have no vocation to represent anything whatsoever, they appear and are valid by themselves." Marc Mercier, 24 Images.

Stephanie Bunn has been doing field research in Kyrgyzstan since 1991 and met Shaarbek in March 2011 at Bishkek’s bArtCentre, where the artist is director.  In this session, she will screen extracts from several of his recent works and discuss their relevance in the light of the artist’s work and the contemporary socio-political situation in Kyrgyzstan.

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Organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland (RAI) since 1985, it is an itinerant festival that moves biennially from one university host to another, in association with local community and cultural organisations.

The festival will be held from Thursday 13 June to Sunday 16 June 2013 in Edinburgh, hosted by National Museums Scotland and the STAR consortium. Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) is a collaboration between the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. Over 60 new films will be screened alongside a conference 'New Observations' and a selection of special events and workshop about art & anthropology and the use of archival film.

The RAI Film Festival is held in collaboration with the Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California.

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