German Works Display Kazakhstan of 145 Years Ago and Now

NUR-SULTAN – The National Museum of Kazakhstan hosted June 11 an opening of the exhibition named “Welcome to the Great Steppe – with Alfred Brehm in Kazakhstan 1876/2021.” 

The exhibition for the first time presents the works of famous German zoologist and writer Alfred Brehm to an international audience collected through his trip to Western Siberia in 1876, when he also visited Kazakhstan. Brehm put his reflections down on paper in his travel diary that serves as a starting point of the exhibition. 

The exhibition puts on display the works that portray Kazakhstan over the spacious time difference of 145 years, as it also features the works of German photographer Volker Kreidler and cultural journalist Ina Hildebrandt from their three-week journey to Almaty, East Kazakhstan, and the Pavlodar regions. 

“I must say I have been traveling through East Europe and Russia and Ukraine for 30 years. But Kazakhstan is really a bit different because of the size of the country. It is really big and the people are really extremely friendly. In every place, people are very friendly and helpful and everything is relaxed and for me, it is really great experience to be here,” Volker Kreidler told The Astana Times. 

“For us, we are more interested in how social situations are between people living in the countryside and cities. You see it in the photos, it is not only landscapes but also going to people who live there. It is important for me,” he said. 

The exhibition is also a “tribute to the nature and biodiversity of Kazakhstan,” said Ambassador of Germany to Kazakhstan Tilo Klinner.

“During their trip to Western Siberia, Brehm and his companions experience the special hospitality of the Kazakh people and above all, the impressive, untouched landscapes of Kazakhstan. The route took Brehm from Pavlodar via today’s Semei and Oskemen to the Almaty Region and the Altai Mountains. Brehm experienced flat steppes as well as high mountains and river valleys,” said Klinner. According  to him, the exhibition is one of the largest cultural projects for Kazakhstan and Germany over the past years. 

More of Volker Kreidler’s travel reflections are available here

The exhibition will last through mid-September and after that will travel to the country’s regions to be put on display there.

Photo credit: Assel Satubaldina

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