Beyond the steppes of Central Asie

Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev, Essai autobiographique « Qui suis-je ? » : lettre aux membres de la Commission centrale de contrôle avec copie àI. V. Staline et L. D. Trotsky (23/05/1923)

Xavier Hallez.
This article introduces extended extracts, translated into French, of Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev’s autobiography written in prison in 1923. Sultan-Galiev(1892-1940) is the most well-known and most influential Muslim communist from Russia over the period 1918-1923. His disgrace was provoked by his refusal of Stalin’s national policy during the discussion on the future USSR’s constitution.He was accused for making an attempt « to unify all Nationals from the peripherals against the Centre » and to be «an anti-party and anti-soviet element». Sultan-Galiev wrote a long and singular autobiography, entitled « Who am I ? », in order to justify his positions and to demonstrate his revolutionary commitment. It is preceded by a letter addressed to the Central Control Commission of the Communist Party and to Stalin and Trotsky, where he analyses the soviet national policy and explains his disagreements with the official line.

Munavvar qori’s “Memoirs”: An Uzbek Confession-Testimony from the Files of the Secret Police

This a rticle explores t he s o-called “ Memoirs” o f M unavvar qori Abdurashidxon o’g’li (1878-1931), a major figure in the politics of Turkestanin the era of the revolution and an early victim of the OGPU. The autobiographical text is a series of pokazanija written while Munavvar qori was under arrest in which he describes his political activities since the revolution. The article analyses the way in which Munavvar qori presents himself—a combination limited confession with plausible denial or extenuation—and the way he deploys language. The article also presents lengthy excerpts in English translation.

Le prince Babur et le pouvoir des mots

Danièle Auffray.
The Book of Babur (Bâbur nâme) is a classical book in the cultural area from Uzbekistan to India. It is the autobiography of Babur, born as heir of agreat Timur dynasty, fallen in an almost destitution but recovering and conquest an empire which will be known as the Moghol empire, ruling India from his time – beginning of the XVIst century – up to mid XIXst century. The article presents the hypothesis concerning the meaning of this auto-justification work, including the approach of the sufism, the mystical shape of Islam in Central Asia whose Babur was a devotee.

Ego-récits de l’intégration : deux itinéraires de déportés au Kazakhstan soviétique

Isabelle Ohayon.
Two men, deported in Kazakhstan during the World War II, recount their respective experiences. Despite the great difficulties they encountered – detentionin gulag, house arrest, administrative stigmatization, precarious material conditions of life- they report the story of their successful integration in the city of Karaganda. These two itineraries are providing a grassroots understanding of the articulation between diverse ethnic groups and banned people, which make up a specific soviet society in this mining town of Central Asia.