This article focuses on poetry written about the May 13, 2005 events in Andijan. The author examines how Uzbek identity is expressed in relation to the narrow nationalism of post-Soviet Uzbek state culture. She examines the context, language, and distribution of the poems as well as the persecution and arrests of their authors. S. Kendzior notably shows that these poems are moral inquiries that reflect the confusion likely felt by most Uzbeks following the shooting of their fellow citizens by government forces. These case studies help us to take measure of the contrast between official and unofficial accounts of Andijan, and the fact that it has only reinvigorated debates over Uzbek religion, nationalism, and morality. They also shed a captivating light on the phenomenon of dissidence in Central Asia ― a traditionally downplayed aspect of the modern and contemporary history of Central Asian societies. At the same time, they fully reveal the place and role of poetry in a society almost totally deprived of a modern and efficient edition and press system.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-7.4.G-678