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Astana, Kazakhstan • 10 April, 2024 | 18:14

Weekend Events: Barbie and Henrik Ibsen, Korean Folk Tale, Transcendent Art

How to spend the weekend of April 5–7 in Astana and Almaty

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Warner Bros.; Searchlight Pictures
Warner Bros.; Searchlight Pictures

The first weekend of April offers a diverse array of events, with residents and guests in Astana and Almaty having lectures, concerts, and exhibitions to look forward to.

In the Kazakh capital, experts in art history, literature, and media will share their insights into the world around us, from the connection between Greta Gerwig's Barbie and a classic 19th-century play to the role of journalism in upholding human rights.

Meanwhile, Almaty will host a photo exhibition capturing the moment when documented reality transcends its mere documentation status to become a reality in itself. The residents of the Southern capital will also have the opportunity to watch a folk tale adapted for the stage by one of the most influential Korean theater workers in Kazakhstan's history, Thai Dian-chun.

Check out this and more events in the digest by QazMonitor below.



“Threats to the Freedom of Speech: What Can We Do?” open discussion with media specialist Bella Ormanbet

Human rights and freedom of speech go hand in hand, yet, the role of journalism in safeguarding these two is often overlooked, even though it’s the trade that serves as both the first and the last line of defense against tyranny. Media specialist Bella Ormanbet will explore the intrinsic connection between journalism and human rights advocacy, how civil society can foster this link, and what awaits independent journalism in Kazakhstan.

NOTE: The discussion will be conducted in Kazakh. Please sign up through Human Rights Hub’s DMs to attend the event.

Date: April 5, 7:00 p.m.

Address: Human Rights Hub, Kenesary Street 8, 1405, 1407 rooms, 14th floor

Entrance: Free

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt; The Artist's Wife by Amedeo Modigliani
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt; The Artist's Wife by Amedeo Modigliani

Art Society lectures on Art Nouveau and School of Paris by art historian Olga Baturina

Art Nouveau was the last ‘great’ style of European art, striving to break free from the vises of academicism and indulging in a truly decadent understanding of beauty. Meanwhile, the School of Paris was more or less a community of artists who made the French capital their home, sometimes reluctantly. Across two lectures, art historian Olga Baturina will guide her audience through how Art Nouveau represented a radical shift in cultural paradigms at the turn of the last century, and how Paris became both an inspiration and a haven for artistic expression.

NOTE: The lectures will be conducted in Russian.


Lecture on Art Nouveau – April 6, 12:00 a.m.

Lecture on School of Paris – April 6, 3:00 p.m.

Address: National Museum, Taulesizdik Avenue 54

Entrance: ₸1,000–₸6,000 (as of April 4, 2024, $2.24–$13.44)

Barbie/Warner Bros.
Barbie/Warner Bros.

“A Doll's House: How Ibsen Foreshadowed the Plot of Barbie and Poor Things” lecture by philologist Ekaterina Ovchinikova

In 1878, Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen published his three-act play that his peer, fellow playwright Bernard Shaw, would deem “the slam heard round the world.” This was A Doll's House, which the European society at large found scandalous, all because, as philologist Ekaterina Ovchinikova puts it, the play’s core theme revolved around the position of women in society and the freedom of the human personality. Ibsen's work has profoundly influenced how the Western media conceptualize this subject. Its traces can be found even in recent examples, such as the summer flick Barbie and more niche cinema like Poor Things.

NOTE: The lecture will be conducted in Russian. Please sign up through Concept Art’’s DMs to attend the event.

Date: April 7, 4:00 p.m.

Address: Concept Art lecture hall, Kerey and Zhanibek Khans Street 5, entrance 3, office 23, 2nd floor

Entrance: ₸3,000 ($6.72)


Heungbu and Nolbu (흥부와 놀부) play by Thai Dian-chun

Brothers Heungbu and Nolbu were the sons of a wealthy man who passed away from old age. According to his wishes, he instructed his fortune to be split equally between them, but the eldest brother, Nolbu, deceived his younger sibling to keep the entire inheritance to himself. Heungbu's family was left on the streets, but kindness has a long reach and its wealth cannot be taken.

NOTE: The play will be staged in Korean with synchronized Russian translation

Date: April 6, 6:00 p.m.

Address: Republican State Academic Korean Theater, Bogenbay Batyr Street 158

Entrance: ₸1,000–₸3,000 ($2.24–$6.72)

Franz Schubert by Wilhelm August Rieder
Franz Schubert by Wilhelm August Rieder

“The Best of Schubert” concert by Zhambyl Philarmonic

Although unrecognized in his lifetime, Franz Schubert left behind a vast expanse of musical talent, and his melodies, their style and a subtle tinge of melancholy, have gradually become synonymous with Western classical music. Zhambyl Philharmonic invites all to experience 19th-century Austria, its ambiance expressed through classics such as Erlkönig, arranged for violin and viola, and Fantasia for Piano Four-Hands in F Minor, Op. 103, among others.

Date: April 7, 6:00 p.m.

Address: Zhambyl Kazakh State Philharmonic, Tole Bi Street 21, Kaldaykov Street 35

Entrance: ₸1,000–₸3,000 ($2.24–$6.72)

Photo by Artem Utrov
Photo by Artem Utrov

“(Out of) Control” photo exhibition Artem Utrov

Straddling the delicate line between documentation and performance, interdisciplinary artist Artem Utrov, through his photo and video pieces, seeks to observe the moment when his art transcends into reality and where it is no longer under his authorship, becoming a part of ordinary life that surrounds us all.

Dates: April 6, 6:00 p.m. – April 24

Address: Essentai Gallery, Essentai Mall, Al-Farabi Avenue 77/8, 2nd floor

Entrance: Free

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