Offending Sensibilities

by Nathan Hamm on 8/14/2006 · 4 comments

The powers that be in Uzbekistan are investigating a newspaper for “offending the mentality” of the Uzbek people. What was so unfit for Uzbek readers?

The pro-government information website quotes an official with Uzbekistan’s Press and Information Agency as saying the Tashkent-based “Tasvir+TV” reprinted a Russian newspaper article that hinted at the homosexuality of 19th-century composer Peter Tchaikovsky.

The paper also apparently published a series of articles dealing with sexual relations throughout history. Writing about such things is, it appears, a violation of Uzbek media laws and “cheap populism” according to the Press and Information Agency. But just because one cannot write about such things, don’t go getting the idea that the coming punishment is any kind of restriction on the freedom of the Uzbek media…

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Brian August 14, 2006 at 9:03 pm

Well I’m glad that it’s not considered censorship.

Nathan, one thing, this new software doesn’t show the author of the original blog posts. I like to know who the author is I’m reading… you know, to report to the Uzbek censors. j/k

Nathan August 14, 2006 at 9:06 pm

Thanks for letting me know about that. I’ll add it in post-haste.

By the way, your interest in knowing who is writing posts wouldn’t be an indicator that you’re interested in sometimes contributing, would it?

Brian August 14, 2006 at 9:19 pm

Perhaps! Although as I’m not a ‘scholar’ of Central Asia, as many on here are and merely an ‘observer’ I’m not sure if it would be overreaching to write pithy, insightful posts. Still, I think I could handle writing short posts about current events. Thanks, I’m honored.

Alexander August 15, 2006 at 8:45 am

Ye Gods – I wonder what they would do if someone reprinted Eugene Schuyler’s observations on the “Baccha” tradition (See or Ahmad Donish’s diatribes against Emir Seid Muzaffar’s predilection for pederasty (originally written in 1895 and translated from the Persian as Ахмад Дониш “История Мангитской Династии” (Душанбе) 1967 pp75-7). The mind boggles……

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