Reviews

The author discusses national transformations in Kazan in order to understand more broadly national mobilisations in post-soviet Tatarstan.  In the first part of her article, she considers the current revival of Tatar language in Kazan as a “repossession” of the capital.  The urban Tatar-speaking elite was destroyed or Russified during the 1920s-30s, and its language further rejected to rural areas.  In the aftermath of Perestroika, Tatarstan nation-builders like the radical nationalist Fauzia Bairamova migrated to Kazan from the countryside and began to support their Tatar language in town.  In the second part of her paper, the author discusses the reconstruction of the Qul-Sharif Mosque in the Kremlin of Kazan in order to show the ambiguity of the republic’s authorities concerning the relationship between the Russian and Tatar communities in Kazan.  Her demonstration is here less convincing: the article, based on interviews and observations in Kazan, is probably too short for articulating two significant but so different issues (language and symbolic reconstruction) and finally shows superficial and disappointing.

Françoise Daucé, University of Clermont-Ferrand
CER: I-8.2-698