Those who did not come across the phenomenon when, when they first visited Kazakhstan, people, not even from the farthest abroad, said with astonishment and from the bottom of their hearts: and we thought you had yurts and camels everywhere.
In Europe or in Asia, stop a passerby and ask what you know about Kazakhstan? Silence. And about the Soviet Union? Oh yes! And although 15 years have passed, and after the collapse of the empire, another, independent form of life appeared in the world. At best, the “Stan” suffix hints to a passerby for the Central Asian region. But there are too many Bets there who, if they get into the news bulletins, are not from the most positive side.
Today, the image of Kazakhstan for foreigners is blurred and not clear. On the one hand, economic success, GDP growth and a stable market infrastructure are evident. On the other hand, there is a large-scale, by no one denied corruption of the state apparatus, constant statements by international institutions about the threat to the freedom of speech and personality. The label of the republic with authoritarian leadership is actively used abroad, and on the Internet sites more and more information appears about the growing influence of the special services, about the family succession of power and the pursuit of dissent.
Such images cause significant damage to the image of Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev did not fail to notice this at the Foreign Ministry board, stressing that: there is another important problem that has already become extremely relevant - failures in our foreign policy propaganda, in creating a positive image of Kazakhstan abroad ... I must say, the task of creating a country's reputation and his leadership, obviously, in recent years has become one of the priorities in Kazakhstan.
So, it is noticeable that the president initiates projects that, in principle, should acquire exactly the international scale. Among them are: the Congress of World Religions, the EurAsEC (Eurasian Economic Community), the CES (Common Economic Space), the Visiting Davos Forum, etc.
In the same row - the film project "Nomads" with an order of 30 million budget and Hollywood not very well-known "stars" such as Mark Dacascos. The late-fashioned theme of the Middle Ages, mega-battles has not yet appeared before Kazakhstani viewers - the project has been constantly delayed, either because of the illness of Americans pampered with the Californian sun, now because of unexpectedly blurred rains expensive, then due to a change of director.
Paolo Coelho, the genius of bibliology marketing, who sold far more than one well-known philosophical idea, is even more expensive than anyone, even the last book “Zahir” was called “order” by the Kazakh authorities. As you know, last year, Mr. Coelho visited Kazakhstan and this year there was already a presentation of his book with a Kazakh hero in the Kazakh language. Earlier than in Russian.
The daughter of the head of state, whose assets include the organization of the Eurasian Media Forum, is not lagging behind. The results of such expensive activities, as a rule, are not particularly noticeable to citizens of the country itself, except, perhaps, the overlap of streets, traffic jams and loud curses to the organizers on the part of drivers. The nervous aura of such events with high ideas, such as attempts to convene representatives of all world religions and religions in Almaty, especially contrasts.
However, all these events are clearly intended to attract world public attention to Kazakhstan and its “advanced” leader. Meanwhile, the fame of the country and Mr. Nazarbayev is hardly increasing, due to a number of reasons - too many information sources in the modern world, the initial inattention of the western audience to countries that do not play a big role in the global economy or politics, Kazakhstan’s distance from Europe and the United States, the absence of scandals and natural disasters, wars, etc.
It is especially surprising that the Eurasian Media Forum, which took place 4 to 4 times in Almaty on April 21-23, is “not working” - all global media brands are actively calling here. However, having told about Kazakhstan once in his homeland, foreign journalists no longer return to this topic.
Reese Khan, Journalist, USA
America is a very big country and most Americans do not know what is happening outside of it. Many can not find England on the map, not to mention Kazakhstan. During the Soviet era, your country was hidden, closed, not only for the United States, but for the whole world. I think it takes time for the Americans to know Kazakhstan. Your country should be open to tourists. Interesting routes, attractions, active recreation, high service - it really helps the country. Tourism for you comes first, because you need to attract people. Now for Americans, there is simply no real reason to be interested in Kazakhstan. And journalists in the United States take pictures and write, as elsewhere, for the audience, they are also Americans who do not travel a lot. They are too big a country and there is no need to go abroad to discover something new. Therefore, journalists continue to write stories about Americans about America ...
By the way, many people see tourism as a panacea for solving the problem of increasing the brand awareness "Kazakhstan". The picturesque landscape - the mountains, the steppes - something that may be worth emphasizing in the development of inbound tourism. Indeed, against the background of a small amount of ancient architecture and museums, in Kazakhstan there are opportunities for the development of extreme tourism, although the variety of tourism is not particularly popular.
It is possible that major events could attract more external attention to the country - the Kazakh leadership has long dreamed of getting the Winter Olympics, given the mountains and infrastructure around the southern capital.
However, all these ideas are broken about the increasingly critical growth of the city and related problems - growing autotrafic (more than 300 thousand cars - a third growth in the last six years), the absence of the metro, unsuitable for such a large number of residents of the plumbing and power grids, etc.
In addition, Kazakhstan has what is called too eclectic style - the batch of the Soviet and post-perestroika in the system of urban planning and architecture. So, Astana, which was built almost “from a needle”, is increasingly acquiring the appearance of a Siberian-Arabic with a touch of the Soviet province. Almaty took the fashion for Turkish alucobond and glass. At the same time, comments on this issue of the mayor (akim) of Almaty, Imangli Tasmagambetov, about the absence of a single style are true, but belated. Even the recent "calling card" of the city - the high-mountainous rink Medeo never acquired the scale of a landmark, turning into a miserable resemblance of the Pyatigorsk dip, "sung" by Ilf and Petrov - a brutal exaction of the rest for nothing.
PR-technologists believe that Kazakhstan needs a strong association, a country brand, a name that can be promoted and it will work no generation. In the mid-90s they took a leopard for the symbol of the country. Tien Shan cat, conceived as an alternative to the Central Asian tigers and dragons. But today, no one spins the Kazakh brand, you can’t find a real leopard in the mountains, or even in the Almaty zoo, the only irbis, both brought from France. A strong cat with wings, bursting into the sky, remained on the cover of the strategic Kazakhstan "program 2030" (after twenty-five years, happiness should come) and turned into a mythical animal.
Perhaps, it would be really effective for the advancement of Kazakhstan, so this is success and recognition in culture and science. So far, Kazakhstani scientists and writers are deprived of prestigious awards (against the background of, for example, Chingiz Aitmatov, who is well known in the west of Kyrgyz), and pop stars cannot compete even with their Russian colleagues.
Lyudmila Adilova, Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor of Political Science at the Russian State Humanitarian University:
In Kazakhstan there should be an institute that is engaged in positioning and maintaining, constantly maintaining in the information space, including the international, socially profitable image of Kazakhstan as a Eurasian leader. MFA does not work, the embassies in the field, too. I live in Russia now and it makes no difference to me how the image of Kazakhstan is presented in the Russian media. I observe that if information gets mostly, it gets from the opposition. They then arrived, made a speech at some party, destroyed the entire image of the country and left. And that the authorities would work systematically, so that the embassies would work with the same Kazakhs who live abroad, this is not the case. There is the Kazakh diaspora, people who work in different areas, and could become agents of Kazakhstan’s interests, give an objective picture. Why not act on well-known TV channels, there are programs in which the Kazakh elite can take part, where you can form an adequate perception of Kazakhstan. I do not speak of creating a positive image, at least an adequate perception must be created.
Sabit Zhusupov, President of the Kazakhstan Institute of Social Economic Information and Forecasting:
I consider it necessary to orient oneself towards the West, because the market economy and infrastructure, already built, the fairway has been laid, and we must go this way, impose it or not, but we must go this course. Kazakhstan has a unique chance to carry out all democratic transformations without any social upheavals. Now there is a pause before the presidential election, and then there will be an explosive wave connected by political modernization.
Now everyone is waiting for the upcoming presidential elections. And although the result is largely predictable, what course will the country take with the new political season? Most experts hope that Kazakhstan will not become known in the world due to another color revolution or destabilization.
Pretty mediocre article. How to understand the "Siberian-Arabic appearance"? For the sake of objectivity, it would be worth recalling that the development of cities in Kazakhstan began only recently. Promoting the image policy of the country is necessary, and quite reasonable. The facts with which the correspondent operates are somewhat outdated and are no longer relevant. I do not understand the linkage of autotrafic, in the sense of, what is the connection with tourism? In India, the population density, the number of vehicles is much higher than in the Central Asian republics combined. So what? And Ch. Aitmatov, in the west, is known no more and no less than O. Suleimenov.