Cellist Alfia Nakipbekova speaks out about Kazakhstan

Cellist Alfia Nakipbekova speaks out:

“The real wealth of a country is its people, not the minerals beneath the ground”

Alfia, from Kazakhstan, has become widely known as a cellist who plays both classical and innovative new music.

On Tuesday, 2 October, she is performing with her group, Cellorhythmics, to help raise funds for the families and colleagues of the oil workers killed last December in Zhanaozen, Western Kazakhstan.

Earlier this year Alfia was interviewed by Esenbek Ukteshbayev, president of the independent trade union federation in Kazakhstan – Zhanartu. We carry some of her comments:

I left Kazakhstan in 1981. By 1995, after the Soviet Union had collapsed, it was possible to return home.

It seemed that at last there was hope of a great future for Kazakhstan. The window was wide open to life, to achieve things in all spheres – social, cultural, economic.

Unfortunately, later visits showed that Kazakhstan was becoming a Third World country, with slums, prisons, endless court cases and trials – a Kafkaesque nightmare.

The barbarous slaughter in Zhanaozen of 16 December, 2011, when unarmed striking workers and local residents were shot, represented the apogee of this nightmare.

A very meaningful quote, from a reader of the journal “Azattyk”, expresses my deepest wishes for Kazakhstan: “Return to the country the stolen billions and build factories and workshops, give financial support to every newborn child, give decent pensions and medical care to the population, feed school children free of charge, give land to farmers and interest-free loans, give support to the expats who return to their home land – and then everyone will begin writing odes and be proud of their country, and not be ashamed of being ‘Borats’!”

To this I would add: “Free our noble heroes – the poet, national hero and martyr, Atabek Aron, the great heroine, Rosa Tuletaeva (one of the Zhanaozen leaders), and many courageous people, who are fighting against injustice and corruption, the true citizens of Kazakhstan – a country that can be an example to the whole world!”.

For the full interview, see: campaignkazakhstan.org


Tuesday 2 October 7pm,

Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP

Solidarity concert tickets £10/£6


Cellorhythmics brings together the rhythmic elements of jazz, blues, world and funk, combined with exuberant virtuosity