Released in 1988, at the end of Perestroika, The Needle by Rashid Nugmanov tells the story of a drifter who arrives in Almaty to reclaim a debt. Featuring Viktor Tsoi (from legendary rock group Kino) in the lead role, the film is responsible for launching the Kazakh new wave cinema which became one of the most interesting developments of international cinema in the 1990s. Shot predominantly in Kazakhstan’s leafy largest city, as well as containing iconic scenes at the disappearing Aral Sea, when viewed from the 21st century the film stands as a devastating commentary on a lost period of hope, as much political as ecological. (S&T)
Saltanat Shoshanova is a queer feminist activist and a researcher with a focus on the Post-Soviet space. Her interests lie in the intersection of art, activism, decoloniality, and queerness.
Slavs and Tatars is an internationally renowned art collective devoted to an area East of the former Berlin Wall and West of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective has published more than twelve books to date, including most recently Лук Бук (Look Book) with Distanz Verlag.