A new article by the OI scholar Thomas Loy (co-written with Zeev Levin) in Central Asian Survey

27. 12. 2021

From 'Mercy' to 'Banner of Labour': the Bukharan Jewish press in late Tsarist and early Soviet Central Asia.​

This paper presents the development and transformations of Bukharan Jewish newspapers and periodicals (1910–38) and situates them in the broader Central Asian mediascape. Over a period of 30 years, the Bukharan Jewish press was transformed from a pioneering privately owned enterprise that served the needs of the Jewish communities throughout Central Asia to one owned and regulated by the Soviet state, serving as a tool to transmit propaganda and to shape and educate a predefined ‘national minority group’. The paper argues that the introduction of a Bukharan Jewish press in 1910 was intended to create a modernized language and ethnic awareness among the Jews of Central Asia. In the 1930s, Bukharan Jewish newspapers and journals were radically Sovietized and finally shut down by the state. From then until the collapse of the Soviet Union, no Bukharan Jewish publications appeared in the bloc and the existence of a distinct Central Asian Jewish identity was largely ignored. This case study sheds light on Tsarist and Soviet minorities’ policies and helps us to better understand the various changes experienced and the cultural adaptations made by many ‘minorities’ of Central Asia in the Age of Colonialism.

Central Asian Survey:

Published online: 17 Dec 2021