Astana Hosts Exhibition to Honor Alash Movement’s Activists

ASTANA — A selection of rare books, photographs and personal belongings of the Alash movement’s activists were presented on April 13 at the National Center of Manuscripts and Rare Books in Astana. The exhibition will run through April 26. 

Alash Amanat exhibition. Photo credit: The Astana Times

The Alash movement was established by the emerging national intellectuals in 1917, which published several publications and materials, including Ayqap (Regret) magazine, Birlik Tuy (The Flag of Unity), Sary-Arka, Ak Zhol (White Road) newspapers, and books. These editions contained persuasive messages and enlightenment work. One of the main ideas was the unification of the Kazakh society based on national unity rather than the class principle.    

Mashkhur Zhusup Kopeev’s stand. Photo credit: The Astana Times.

“Alash activists significantly contributed to the nation’s spiritual revival and its intellectual rise. They inspired people and transformed their worldviews. Moreover, despite the difficulties of that time, they tried to implement the idea of nationhood of the Kazakh people, and we have to maintain and follow this idea,” said Adil Zhabykbai, a representative of the center. 

The valuable materials related to the lives of public figures were found in the Irtysh-Bayan Region and collected by the Bukhar Zhyrau Literature and Art Museum of the Pavlodar Region.

The exhibition showcases 50 works and personal belongings of Mashkhur Zhusup Kopeyev, Zhusipbek Aimauytov, Zhumat Shanin, Koshmukhambet Kemengerov, Ermukhan Bekmakhanov, Sabit Donentaev, Sultanmahmut Toraygyrov, Kadyr Taishykov and Zein Shashkin. Other priceless works of heritage at the exhibition include manuscripts of the books and magazines “Masa” (Mosquito) and “Kyryk Mysal” (Forty Fables) by Akhmet Baitursynov, “Temirkazyk” (Guiding Star) by Nazir Torekulov, “Kazakh Tarikhynan” (From the Kazakh history) by Koshmukhamed Kemengerov and “Zhas Kazakh” (Young Kazakh).

Abai Kunanbayev’s book. Photo credit: The Astana Times.

According to Anar Baimagambetova, head of the accounting, storage, organization of the exhibition and reading rooms, the exhibition is dedicated to the Alash activists, who advocated the preservation of traditional livestock and the development of national culture, education, and the Kazakh language. She suggested it should gain mainstream attention and influence science, education, and cultural development.

“We are honored to host unique items and manuscripts of the rarest books of the well-known writers. These works raised our native literature to the highest level. The book by Abai Kunanbayev dated 1909 that was found in the Pavlodar Region includes works and translations of the distinguished Kazakh writer,” she said. 

One of the exhibition’s visitors underlined the role of these works as an inexhaustible heritage of the Kazakh people that have not lost its significance over the centuries and acquaintance, knowledge, revival, and promotion of these works are a historical duty and responsibility for everybody.  

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