Back in the 1920s, a young Turkish poet named Nazim, inspired by the October Revolution, travelled to the Soviet Union to take in its artistic innovations and political experiments. Eventually he became a student at KUTV, the Communist University of Toilers of the East, and went on to a fairly illustrious career, well-known in the Soviet Union and in lefty circles around the globe. His convictions, like those of many of his peers, led to some time in prison where he kept his spirits high with the memory of Paul Robeson's music, according to a letter he later sent the great singer. After his release, he returned to Moscow to live out his years in exile, befriending a young Evgenii Yevtushenko, among others.
Tomorrow night, another Nazim brings his politics and art to a Moscow audience, combining a mix of Turkish and Kurdish music with a slide show. According to the press release:
В то время как весь мир вновь тревожно взирает на развитие событий в одной из самых взрывоопасных точек мира, музыкальный деятель и курд по национальности Назим Надиров (aka Dr Ethno) выступит в столице России с мирной музыкальной инициативой. 5 декабря 2007 года в 20.00 в «Доме Кукера» Назим Надиров представит Peaceful mix –диджейский сет, составленный из уникальной музыки Курдистана, Ирака и Турции.
[At a time when the whole world again looks anxiously at developing events in one of the most dangerous spots in the world, the Kurdish musician Nazim Nadirov (aka Dr. Ethno) delivers a pacifist musical initiative to Russia's capital. On 5 December 2007 at 8 PM in the "House of Cooker," Nadirov presents Peaceful Mix -- a DJ set, comprised of unique music from Kurdistan, Iraq and Turkey.]
If you're going, you may need to print out an invitation from the linked site for Dr. Ethno, but I also bet you can get in without one, despite the throngs of Moscow-based muslimgauze fans looking for a replacement fix.
(p.s. OK, so Nazim Hikmet and Nazim Nadirov probably have little in common other than their given name. But I know you readers are suckers for my historical asides. Right?)