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mezgilsiz ayaz/мезгілсіз аяз (tran. neverending frost)

TW: murder and violence

The 2022 Kazakh unrest, also known as the Bloody January, was a series of mass protests which began on January 2, 2022, turning into violent unrest fueled by rising dissatisfaction with the government, widespread poverty, and police neglect. According to Kazakh officials, 227 were killed and over 9,900 were arrested. On January 11th, 2022, in his speech to the parliament, President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev acknowledged the public's discontent, promised reform, and initiated a full public investigation on the events.

As the first anniversary passes, the government has yet to be diligent or transparent in the construction of their new reform and the truth behind the violence.

The repression against our civil and human rights continues.

“it’s been January for months in both directions

frost” - Kaveh Akbar

It’s been January for months in both directions


collapsed within the branches our lungs, tightened

by hands gasping for a touch

for a breath

to scream, to wail, to howl, within

the place we die to be our eternal home.

The dirt eats from the cindered apple,

it’s adam gripped by roots armored from the


The dirt warms the roots, gives it its final drop,

nourishes it by its particles. So why do

the roots not bear its silk-cocooned fruits?

Alma grips the thin yarn around her fingers, January

frost molds her wrinkled pathways. The blood

embraces the barren thread, warms her before

the pumice burial ‒

roots grip her deferred design.

Soon enough they say,

we’ll hear their whisper

High up in the edges of the trees, we will see the Fruit

which we so desire to be.

But yet the bark pales with crystalized

tears, formed the day in which you/

we decided to live with lungs embraced by


Or have the roots polluted their design since the crop?

And the soot which collided with the snow that day, reflected

the truth of the smoke ‒

the hidden incinerator.

Editors: Danielle C., Joyce P., Cathay L., Claudia S., Erika Y., Lang D.

Image Credits: Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash


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