Small Screen Nation Building: Astana – My Love
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 23, Number 3, Summer 2015
- pp. 341-358
- Additional Information
In 2010 the first episodes of the television miniseries Astana – My Love was screened in presence of Kazakhstani authorities. Systematic allusions to President Nursultan Nazarbayev throughout the episodes give the work, presented as a major cultural and societal event, a quasi-official status. Such productions blur the lines between political indoctrination and popular entertainment. Astana – My Love reflects Kazakhstan’s ongoing debates about its national identity and strategies for the future. The miniseries deserves scholarly attention because of the way the Kazakhstani authorities use it to define the past, assert an important role for the country’s president, name desirable allies in the present and in the future, and lay out what they define as positive ethical and cultural values in a neo-capitalist authoritarian environment.