Impressions of SEnECA Photo Exhibition on Central Asia

From 4 to 5 April, the Trans European Policy Studies Associ­ation (TEPSA) organised the SEnECA Photo Exhibition “Daily lives in Central Asia” at the Centre for Fine Arts “BOZAR” in Brussels. The photos for the exhibition were collected through a photo contest in November 2018, which called for photos depicting daily life in Central Asia. The 65 selected photos depicted the remote and beautiful landscapes and cultural richness of Central Asian countries, providing a very diverse picture of day-to-day life in the region. As the photos were from a total of 17 photog­ra­phers, they showed different life realities in the region: from vivid life in big cities to the calmer Nomad way of life in the mountains of Tajik­istan and Kyrgyzstan. This contrast demon­strated not only the differ­ences and similar­ities between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajik­istan, Turkmenistan and Uzbek­istan, but also stimu­lated a reflection on the connec­tions between Central Asia and Europe. The photo exhibition opened on 4 April with a conference that included a key note speech, two panel discus­sions and the award ceremony for the winners of the photo contest. Partic­i­pants included EU officials, diplomats, journalists, researchers, civil society and inter­ested citizens.

The first panel on “What does the EU’s planned strategy on ‘Connecting Europe and Asia’ mean for Central Asia?” was moderated by Alica Kizekova, researcher at the Prague Institute of Inter­na­tional Relations, and included the following speakers: Andreas Marazis, researcher at the European Neigh­bourhood Council, Jan de Kimpe, Managing Director of PICS Belgium, and Philippe van Amers­foort.

The second panel on the topic of “What role do education and culture play in bringing European and Central Asian citizens closer together?”, moderated by Julian Plottka from the Institut für Europäische Politik, included Aida Liha-Matejicek, Head of Unit for culture, education and health, DG DEVCO, Louise Haxthausen, Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels, and Christian Wagner, Team Leader of the Central Asia Education Platform.