Folklorized politics: how Chinese soft power works in Central Asia
Soledad Jiménez-Tovar & Martin Lavička
The main aim of this article is to develop a discussion on folklorization or how identity is commodified and reduced to only some cultural traits. Currently, folklorization is one of the main devices in PRC’s cultural and political policies in Central Asia. Authors analyze folklorization both inter-state with a particular focus on Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and intra-state, with focus on Xinjiang, based on empirical data collected in these countries. The discussion provided is about China’s soft power and how it is projected to Central Asia under the administration of Xi Jinping. Moreover, it is concerned about folklorization as a political tool, utilized by the PRC government to mitigate tensions in the Xinjiang region, but also folklorized landscapes to be found also in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.