Have those, who live in the lands of the ancient nomads, inherited the spirit of their forefathers? Are they retracing the well-worn pathways of their ancestors, or have their tracks been completely erased by just a few decades of Soviet propaganda? Is the question of nomadic identity a matter of consciousness, or is it irrelevant now? Has their culture become homogenised by communism and now globalisation? Could the word “cosmopolitan” be a term for total nomadism? Are our cities now the new pastures for the modern nomad?

After 300 years of colonisation and subsequent Soviet control, a new generation of Kazakhstani has been searching for the answer to these questions in an era of regained independence.

In recent years many people have left the country hoping to find themselves abroad and become welcome members of a global society. Some have since returned. Like exotic treasures brought from the Silk Road, they bring their experience and new found skills back from their travel adventures, with the intention of applying this knowledge to develop new industries and reviving old dreams of Kazakhstan. The symbiosis of Kazakh culture and global experience is developing striking and unique results in fashion, music, design, film and art.

City Nomads addresses these questions through the work of young Kazakhstani artists and designers, that are expressing their inner nomad.