Saturday, August 29, 2009

My favorite art in Azerbaijan

I hate to say it, but there isn't much art on display in Azerbaijan. There is a lot of nationalistic art and it all usually likes alike. There are different types of national music, like mugham, and it doesn't really creatively develop over time. Instead, Azerbaijanis work hard to preserve what they consider a tradition. The visual arts don't really exist from what I can tell. Every city has a museum devoted to Azerbaijan's first president, Ilham Aliyev, and the art inside is almost always representational of nationally approved scenes from Azerbaijan: fields, national landmarks, etc.

There are a couple of surprises. One surprise is the now defunt and currently decomposing ex-Soviet bus stops all over the country. I'm having a hard time finding research on the subject...why it is that the Soviet Union spent so much time on its bus stops. Azerbaijan is not the only country to showcase elaborate mosiacs and random statues seemingly in the middle of nowhere just to highlight the existance of a bus stop. Bus stop art is all over the Soviet Union. Anyhow, I have posted some pictures of bus stops I found with two other friends, Colleen (Azerbaijan PCV) and Azra (German ex-pat working in Baku). All these stops were found between two cities close to one another, Goychay - Adgash. Actually, the second is hardly a city at all.

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