The Cosmopolitan Ferghana Valley

by Laurence Jarvik on 8/20/2004

From Ferghana.Ru :

Ferghana as a center of artistic innovations. Street Painting Project under way
Ferghana.Ru, Regional staff, 20.08.2004
The works of Ferghana artists Sergei Alibekov, Vyacheslav Useinov, Grigori Kaptsan (Koelet), and others can be seen in the most prestigious galleries and the best private collections in the world. At the same time, few residents of Ferghana are acquainted with their art. Street Painting Project under way in Ferghana these days is supposed to fill this aesthetic vacuum and present the local art to tourists and visitors. Copies of the best paintings can be seen on lamp posts on a part of Khudzhand Street (formerly Carl Liebknecht Street) in the vicinity of the Artistic Foundation building and Bravo cafe. The action is financed by the khokimiyat (city administration) which is actually a rarity to be admired. It is not very often nowadays than the powers-that-be give a thought to promotion of avant garde art.

Western mentality usually associates the name Ferghana with Islamic extremism and fundamentalism, religious and ethnic conflicts waiting to happen, and border disputes of the former neighbors in the Soviet Union. Street Painting action creates a wholly different image of the city making it an oasis of a wealthy cosmopolitan culture that has not lost any of its former fame.

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