On May 25, 2016, more than 30 university students and faculty members attended a guest lecture on «Identity Transformations in the Kyrgyz Society in the Light of the Soviet and Post-Soviet Experience» by Ali Igmen, Associate Professor and Director of the Oral History Program at California State University. The NPM Resource Center at KNU hosted the lecture with the support of USAID’s Collaborative Governance Program.

Mr. Igmen discussed the transformation of Kyrgyz identity during the rise of the Soviet Union and the instruments of ideological propaganda used to denomadize, secularize and Sovietize the Kyrgyz people. He emphasized the role of education, culture and media in the socialization of new identities. 

Today, the younger generation is not well acquainted with their national legacy – Soviet or Kyrgyz.

The changes that took place after the collapse of the Soviet Union have created a vacuum that is being filled with religious and nationalistic sentiments, sometimes quite radical. Mr. Igmen stressed the importance of remembering past events as a basis for building a future free of radicalism and extremism and creating a truly democratic society. 

Photo 1 Guest Lecture Ali Igmen all participants

Professor Ali Igmen with students and professors after the guest lecture at the NPM Resource Center at KNU on May 25, 2016

Photo 2 Irys Beibutova introducing Ali Igmen IMG 3017

NPM Resource Center Coordinator Irys Beibutova introduces Ali Igmen to the participants and he shares some interesting facts about his life

Photo 3 Guest Lecture Ali Igmen students are all in attention IMG 3063

Mr. Igmen discusses the history of the Kyrgyz people and the factors that influenced their change from nomadic to a sedentary way of life

Photo 4 Guest Lecture Ali Igmen wonderful speaker IMG 3031

Participants make Mr. Igmen laugh by asking amusing questions and sharing interesting facts

Photo 5 Guest Lecture Ali Igmen introducing to history of Kyrgyzstan development IMG 3075

Mr. Igmen’s lecture was full of interesting facts and moments that made participants smile, laugh and sometimes feel sad 

Photo6 Guest Lecture Ali Igmen students dived into historical facts shared at the lecture IMG 3036

Students captivated by the history of the Kyrgyz people – their way of life and important events that their grandparents probably experienced

Photo 7 Guest Lecture Ali Igmen students got into the 19th century Kyrgyzstan IMG 3056

Ali Igmen presents photos of the first female honored with the Heroes of Labor award in the first half of the 19th century