Ben Evans James
Curator - Producer - Filmmaker

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When Objects Dream (2018)



When Objects Dream focuses on the reshaping of Kazakhstan’s post-colonial identity exemplified through the construction of the country’s new capital, Astana.
       
The vast steppe-lands of Kazakhstan provided the backdrop to the world’s first transnational economy, the Silk Road. Continuing its role as provider to the Kazakh people, the steppe now drives economic growth in the former Soviet state through rare mineral mining - the need for which can be traced back to our demand for new technologies ranging from nuclear power to electric cars.

When Objects Dream explores how this new found wealth from the steppe has helped pay for the construction of a new capital, Astana. A city that uses architecture and semiotics to celebrate traditional Kazakh identity including folklore and Tengrism. A bold statement of a new nation, Astana is an architectural projection of a post-Soviet identity.

Shot over a period of a year on 16mm film, When Objects Dream will be released towards the end of 2018. Locations include large scale mineral mines, steppe-land, sites significant to Kazakh heritage, Astana.

A film by Ben Evans James & Emma Charles

In collaboration with: Sebastian Kite & Duman Nursila

With thanks: Arts Council England, The Elephant Trust, The Kazakh Embassy to the United Kingdom, LOM Audio & Cinelab