Welcome Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture as a new Patron of CIMAM!

Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture in Almaty, Kazakhstan. @ateliercauchemar

Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture in Almaty, Kazakhstan, joined CIMAM as a Patron of CIMAM in January 2024.


Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture is a regional institution that aims to empower the local general public and enhance an intellectual community by building a dialogue within Kazakhstani latitude and therewith the wider central Asian perspective. Tselinny Center unites contemporary artists, emerging theorists, and scholars for open reflection and critical debate on its platform.

Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture was founded in 2018 by a Kazakh businessman and entrepreneur Kairat Boranbayev as the country’s first private cultural institution. The center has been operating since 2018 and will move in 2025 to its permanent venue at a former cinema building after which it was named.

The Tselinny cinema was built in 1964 to the standard USSR design for large panoramic cinemas and immediately became one of the most popular recreation venues of the inhabitants of Soviet Alma-Ata. The building has been reworked several times since 2000 changing the appearance and functional layout of the building. Reconstruction of the cinema began in late 2019 under the direction of the British architect Asif Khan, who aims to transform the building into a multifunctional space.

Foto Jama, Alima, Kairat
Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture is founded by Kairat Boranbayev and led by Jamilya Nurkalieva, Director, and Alima Kairat, Artistic Director.

Tselinny’s artistic strategy is based on the symbiosis between two motifs of Here and Now, a combination of performative and research programme.

Here is about Tselinny’s physical space where various formats of events are happening such as art projects, films programme, contemporary theatre, music and other experimental forms.

Now is based on the research projects that are occuring in the moment and continuously in the future to create an intellectual space enhanced by engagements with artists, theorists and public intellectuals from various disciplinary, cultural, social and ideological perspectives. There are four main lines of activities which are Horizon research platform (online ontology and Documentation dataset), educational platform, Scholar-In-Residence programme and Tselinny Publishing. The work is focused on research projects aimed at studying current processes in the social and humanitarian spheres.

In the horizon of the first five years the institution has chosen a core circle of problematics which are “Gender”, “Faith” and “Ecology”. As a horizontal institution it is vital to escape from one curatorial perspective that suggests one person’s opinion. Therefore, in 2021 Tselinny Center started working with an international Advisory board, who support articulating the problems which are directed towards our discourses. Members of the Advisory board are foremost reflective practitioners in the field of contemporary art and visual culture. Editorial board of Horizon research platform was formed in 2023 with writers, theorists and practitioners in contemporary culture of the region. Tselinny center strives to continue regional cooperation and aims to strengthen the dialogue between the intellectual and artistic communities.

Read the enlightening interview with Jamilya Nurkalieva, Director at the Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture in Kazakhstan, to know more about the mission of Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture