Remembering the Kazakh Famine

book covers
Saturday, May 30, 2020

On May 31, Kazakhstanis commemorate the victims of political repressions and the famine of 193233. In honor of this day, the Program on Central Asia presents a recording of a talk given by Sarah Cameron on her book The Hungry Steppe: Famine, Violence, and the Making of Soviet Kazakhstan (Cornell University Press, 2018), based on years of archival research and oral interviews with survivors and their descendants.

The book has received a number of awards from academic associations, but more importantly, it has had an impact on the burgeoning public discourse on the famine (Asharshylyk) in Kazakhstan. Cameron’s scholarly account is helping this discussion evolve and develop analytical depth. "[With] its staggering human toll, the Kazakh famine was certainly one of the most heinous crimes of the Stalinist regime," says Cameron. "Yet this famine has remained hidden from view both in Kazakhstan and in the West. Major narratives of the Stalin era mention the Kazakh famine only in passing, and until recently, a lot of the disaster's major events and factors were not well known." The Kazakh language version of the book launches on May 31, 2020. 


This talk was originally presented on February 11, 2020, to the Davis Center's Program on Central Asia. View upcoming events here.