Review: Steppe Magazine

by Nathan Hamm on 11/21/2006 · 1 comment

SteppeSteppe Magazine has launched. While I have not had a chance to read it from cover to cover, I have had a chance to thumb through it and form some impressions.

First off, the magazine is gorgeous. The advertising kit for the publication describes it as a “high quality glossy magazine not unlike an elegant coffee table book,” and the magazine certainly does have a quality feel and a classy look. The copious photos look great on the glossy paper.

The content includes a little bit of everything. Literature is covered with book reviews of recent publications from Western and Central Asian authors. There is also an interview with Hamid Ismailov, author of The Railway, and an excerpt from Colin Thubron’s Shadow of the Silk Road. There are reviews of a few albums from Central Asian musicians and a story on Daler Nazarov, the Tajik jazz musician. A handful of recipes are in the back of the magazine as well as a review of London’s Shish restaurant.

Feature articles include a story on the Prokudin-Gorskii collection with many photos from the color photography pioneer. (I wrote about Prokudin-Gorskii in January 2004.) There is also a visit with the daughter of the last Emir of Bukhara, breathtaking photos of the Pamirs, and a story on Almaty’s Arasan Public Baths. And those interested in travel will be sure to enjoy the article on Karakol and the guide to Central Asia’s top spots for skiing.

What I enjoy most are the wonderful, large photographs found liberally throughout the magazine’s 116 pages. Those who I showed the magazine to today on campus were similarly struck by the photos, and it’s already spoken for once I’m done.

Steppe will be published twice per year, and annual subscriptions cost $36 plus shipping. More information on subscriptions can be found here.

PS – Photos by Chris Herwig appear throughout the magazine. There is, in fact, a feature showing ten photos of Soviet bus stops in Central Asia. Bus stops are the subject, in fact, of one of Herwig’s two new photo books. The books and Herwig’s website are worth checking out.

PPS – Lucy Kelaart, one of the co-editors of Steppe, has an article on travel in Kazakhstan at The Sydney Morning Herald.

PPPS – While I’m in a mood to give out plugs, I have been meaning to mention for a while this blog (RUS) covering civil society in Uzbekistan.

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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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{ 1 comment }

Anna November 22, 2006 at 7:52 am

Not fair! I’m still waiting for mine to arrive in the mail, and now I’ll have to wait ’til we get home from Thanksgiving to check the mailbox. Sounds like the subscription is very worth the price.

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