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Astana, Kazakhstan • 23 August, 2022 | 10:14
2 min read

Tiger in Earrings? Kazakh Artist Makes NFTs to Save Red Book Animals

Kazakh Renaissance project aims to help the endangered species

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Instagram: @nanaiswho

Are charity-focused NFTs the new trend? One might argue that artists exploit social issues in their works to make profit. But when creators do pledge to donate part of their earnings, they get criticized for not giving enough. While the discussion on the perfect moral ground brews on, creative activists will continue to do the thing that matters: raising awareness.

QazMonitor continues its series introducing digital art collections made in Kazakhstan that aim for a good cause. The latest one involves animals, charity, and Kazakh ornaments. Oh, and some jewelry. (We did not see that coming either).

Kazakh Renaissance is a project dedicated to endangered animal species listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. The collection consists of 128 unique NFTs, each showing a beautiful portrait of an endangered species wearing jewelry with traditional Kazakh ornaments (also created from scratch). Part of the sales proceeds will go to the Red Book Animal Welfare Foundation.

Nazym Askerbekova is a 24-year-old illustrator and author of the project. She says that her motivation to start her NFT collection roots from her university days.

“I majored in ecology at Shakarim University in Semei, and I have always wanted to do something for the nature of our country. The idea of Kazakh Renaissance is to draw everyone’s attention to endangered species. Our team would like to cooperate with the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan.”

Nazym Askerbekova

Why are animals wearing earrings, tiaras, and necklaces?

“I feel that we need to breathe new life into our culture. I thought jewelry with traditional Kazakh elements would definitely catch the eye. It would be great if all young people in Kazakhstan got interested in our traditional heritage. I wish we could bring it forward – not leave it behind in the past.

All designs were made from scratch, and I tried to make every item unique. For instance, the golden plaques for the Bactrian deer NFT are based on the illustrations from Yerlan Kozhabaev’s book called Kazakh Ornaments.”

Nazym Askerbekova
Nazym Askerbekova

Why are some NFTs in your collection more expensive than others?

“The price serves as an indicator of how rare the species are. Every NFT has that information in the description. Some animals belong to the third category of rarity [a very small population exists], and some are extremely rare or even extinct in Kazakhstan.”

So far, there are 19 items in the collection available, and Askerbekova plans to ‘drop’ NFTs of rare birds and fish soon.

If you like the project, check out our article on preserving endangered Red Book Birds in Kazakhstan. (Those NFT eggs look stunning).

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