Music is All We Have: Musicians respond to COVID-19 in Tajikistan

Date: 18 August 2020

August 18th 2020, 3:00 pm (Dushanbe time, GMT+5)

Dr Chorshanbe Goibnazarov

Assistant Professor at UCA's School of Arts and Sciences, and Research Fellow at UCA’s Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit 


Historically, in times of crises, nations, communities, families and individuals have often sought refuge in music. Such comfort has been even more evident during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, where people around the world have been turning to the familiar sounds of music to alleviate the fear and stress of isolation and to come together in novel ways.

Drawing on the historic role of music and the arts in times of crises, contemporary musicians in Tajikistan, have responded to the pandemic to show their solidarity with the people in variety of ways. Continuing to create beautiful sound and emotive music they comfort the hearts and minds of the listening public. This lecture will discuss the ways Tajik musicians have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic through individual or group performances, a new song, an important message, fundraising or interactive collaborations. How their reflections on their art, skills and imagination have allowed them to draw upon their rich musical heritages to adapt to new developments; and how they have empowered themselves and their communities by utilizing online platforms to reach their fans and wider audiences.

The lecture will also reflect on how the current pandemic situation has changed the experiences of music production and discuss the socio-economic challenges faced by the musicians which may have paved the way for their adaptation to new media and circumstances.

Music is All We Have inspires us and helps us cope with distress, anxiety and uncertainty globally. In such moments it offers people pathways to personal reflection and realize and practice the highest ideals of our humanity.


Dr Chorshanbe Goibnazarov is Assistant Professor at UCA's School of Arts and Sciences and has a joint appointment in the Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit as a Research Fellow. He teaches Cultural Landscapes at the Naryn and Khorog Campuses. Prior to joining UCA, he worked as an English teacher in the Health Promotion Training Unit of the Aga Khan Health Service (AKHS) in Tajikistan for six years. He also worked as a Research Assistant in the Secondary Teaching Education Programme, Department of Curriculum Studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, UK. Dr Goibnazarov’s research interests include cultural studies and anthropological approaches to the study of Muslim cultures in contemporary society, with a particular focus on studying folk music, sung poetries, dance performances, material cultures and ritual performances. He holds a PhD in Central Asian and Cultural Studies from the Institute of Asian and African Studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, and a Master of Arts in Muslim Cultures from the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations at the Aga Khan University in London, UK. Ghoibnazarov was on Fulbright Visiting Scholar fellowship for the 2019-2020 academic year at Harvard University

Lecture Format

This lecture will be conducted online via Zoom conferencing at

Password: 909515.

If you do not already have Zoom installed on your computer, visit:


The online lecture will be in English.

Past online lectures are available on the University of Central Asia's YouTube channel at

Ideas presented in this lecture reflect the personal opinion of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Central Asia and/or its employees.

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