Beneath the blue-painted steeples of Bishkek's Russian Orthodox Church, the wooden rafters echo with the sound of traditional Slavic folk songs. The audience, mostly babushkas wrapped in hats and coats of fur, are enraptured; their eyes, normally so stern, dance with delight.
UNESCO has added the Kyrgyz Epic of Manas to its "intangible heritage" list. The epic trilogy narrates the story of Manas and his descendants, Semetey and Seytek, as they battle against their Khitan and Oirat enemies, struggling to unite the disparate tribes of Kyrgyz people into a single nation and reclaim their ancestral lands.
The human search for perfection, the rise of social media as a new religion and the ways our society will be remembered by future generations — these are just some of the themes being tackled by Russian artists Andrei Blokhin and Georgy Kuznetsov in a new exhibition in Gazelli Art House, London.