This article examines how the nation is presented and staged on the small screen in Kazakhstan. Television is a mirror in which the nation can project itself as an “imagined community.” However, the Kazakhstan authorities waited a long time before investing in the small screen. As the country feels more pressure from Russia and younger generations seek a greater sense of Kazakh identity, the authorities seem decided to invest into soft power tools that reinforce Kazakhstani/Kazakh cultural autonomy. After a brief overview of the Kazakhstani televisual landscape and its recent evolutions in ownership, language, and audience ratings, I examine documentary films as a reflection of official historiography, and then decrypt the broadcast “Signs. Legends of the Steppe,” which encapsulates the new genre I name patriotic entertainment.


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pp. 321-340
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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