Asian studies in Lithuania

Public lecture “Stalin’s Great Famine in Soviet Kazakhstan” in Vilnius

Date and time: 2017-04-24 17:00 - 2017-04-24 18:30

Location: VU Kovalevskis Room, Universiteto str. 5, Vilnius (entrance in the "Domus Philologiae" building)

The famine in Kazakhstan during the first half of the 1930s was the most severe of the Soviet regional famines triggered by collectivization, in terms of percentage of population. Approximately a quarter (1.5 million) of the total victims of the Soviet collectivization famines lived in Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs, before the famine the biggest pastoral nomadic people in Eurasia, suffered more than any other national group in the Soviet Union, as approximately one third of them died between 1931 and 1933. Based on years of research in Kazakhstan and Russian archives, the talk will outline the factors that led to the famine and will compare the events in Kazakhstan with the concurrent Ukrainian tragedy. At the crossroad between Bolshevik anti-colonialist and neo-colonial policies, interwar Kazakhstan is a crucial area for the understanding of the relations between the Stalinist leadership and its peripheries, and the contradictory policies of Soviet nation-building and nation-destroying engineered by the dictator and his collaborators.

Niccolò Pianciola is Associate Professor of History, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. His book “Stalinismo di frontiera. Colonizzazione agricola, sterminio dei nomadi e costruzione statale in Asia Centrale 1905-1936” [Frontier Stalinism. Agricultural Colonization, Extermination of the Nomads and State Building in Central Asia 1905-1936], (Rome, 2009) won the 2010 “Best First Monograph Award” awarded by the Italian Society for the Study of Modern History. In addition to articles in journals such as Cahiers du monde russe and Central Asian Survey, he has also published L’età delle migrazioni forzate. Esodi e deportazioni in Europa, 1853-1953 [The Age of Forced Migrations. Exoduses and Deportations in Europe, 1853-1953] (Bologna, 2012), co-authored with Antonio Ferrara; and Islam, Society and States across the Qazaq Steppe, 18th – Early 20th Centuries (Vienna, 2013), co-edited with Paolo Sartori. He is currently researching a book on science and socio-environmental change in the Aral Sea region from the late-nineteenth to the late-twentieth centuries.

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Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU