Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chechen Society Today

My digest of items in the new issue (from Prague Watchdog):

Tenth issue of the monthly Chechen Society Today released

PRAGUE, March 22 - The tenth issue of the monthly Chechenskoye obshchestvo segodnya (Chechen Society Today) has been released.

The second issue of 2007 presents a wide spectrum of writing about people and events associated with the past, present and future of Chechnya. Personal memoirs and historical studies rub shoulders with informal articles about contemporary life in the republic and interviews with Chechen celebrities.

In an opening editorial column, Zara Osmayeva describes the advent of spring in Grozny, a time of change given special emphasis this year by the appointment of a new president, and discusses the links between Grozny and Moscow, two cities that seem to exist in a symbiotic, “love-hate” relationship.

Kommersant’s Musa Muradov discusses the possibility that the new Chechen president really will keep his promise to reconsider the cases of Chechen residents who were jailed on fabricated charges during the two recent wars, and to bring them back to Chechnya from the prisons in other parts of Russia where they are currently being held.

An article on 20th century Chechen history by Professor Isa Kasin discusses the geopolitical trading at the Cecilienhof Potsdam Conference of 1945 in the context of the Caucasus deportations and Stalin’s territorial designs on Turkey, and this leads on to a remarkable set of memoirs by two female witnesses and survivors of the Chechen deportation of 1944, transcribed and edited by Tamara Chagayeva.

Other notable items in this issue include the story of Malika and her daughter Dzhamilya, who survived the holocaust of the two recent wars, told in a moving essay by Tatyana Gantimurova; a report on a new exhibition and associated website based in Catalonia, Spain, that aim to break the silence about the human rights situation in Chechnya; a feature about a Chechen orphan’s search for her family – a quest that ultimately had a happy ending; a selection of readers’ letters; an interview with Chechen singer Elina Murtazaliyeva in which she talks to Amina Gelagayeva about her early training, her career and and her hopes for the future; an account of the musical past of well-known photographer Mikhail Patalov; a portrait of Chechen athlete Rustam Dzhabrailov; and the first part of Elimbek Matsiyev’s historical study of the Sharo-Argun valley in south-eastern Chechnya – a place with an ancient past whose people and scenery once inspired the writing of Russian authors like Pushkin, Lermontov and Tolstoy, and which was the scene of heavy fighting in the second Chechen war.

Visit this page to see and download the latest issue of the Russian-language journal (2(10)/2007).
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