On September 30, 2022, the Valikhanov Institute of History and Ethnology hosted International scientific and practical conference «Zhumabai Shayakhmetov and the socio-political life of Kazakhstan in the 1940s-1960s» , within the framework of the project under the grant of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan «Unknown pages from the life and work of prominent statesman Zhumabai Shayakhmetov» , dedicated to his 120th anniversary.

The conference was attended by prominent scientists and public figures, doctoral students and undergraduates (more than 40 people in total). The issues of socio-political and economic development of Kazakhstan in the 1940s and 1950s were discussed at the conference. The conference was led by the Director of the Institute Z.E. Kabuldinov, corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor.

The work of the conference began with the welcoming words of a public and political figure, Rector of the University “Turan”, Doctor of Economics, Professor Rahman Alshanovich Alshanov. Further, the welcoming row was continued on behalf of the rector of the NAO “Kazakh National Women’s Pedagogical University”, which was opened by Zh. Shayakhmetov, K.K. Zhylkyshybayeva, Candidate of Historical Sciences, associate Professor, and K.S. Alimgazinov, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Deputy Director of the Archive of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who at the beginning of 2022 on the basis of archival documents stored in his funds, he released the collection “Zhumabai Shayakhmetov. Documents and materials” (Almaty, 2022, 460 p.). A countryman of Shayakhmetov, a native of the Omsk region of the Russian Federation, Adilkhan Kudaibergenov, ex–vice-rector of ZHENPI, Doctor of Historical Sciences, addressed the participants of the conference with an initiative greeting, who shared with the audience his memories of meeting with the politician, his high human qualities. He told the audience about the time of Zh . Shayakhmetova is a well–known scientist – philosopher, historian, academician of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan Dosmukhamed Kshibekovich Krhibekov, Chief researcher at the Institute of History and Ethnology named after Ch.Ch. Valikhanov. Words of high appreciation of the state activity of Zh . Shayakhmetov’s words from the mouth of the aksakal were welcomed by the forum participants, and young people were interested in the multifaceted personality of our Soviet era – the first ethnic Kazakh who held the post of the first head of the Kazakh SSR in the difficult war and post-war years.

Great interest was aroused by the speech “The politics of memory and public consciousness on the example of coverage in the historiography of Kazakhstan of the period 1938-1954” by the native grandson of the hero of the day – Aidar Ravilevich Shayakhmetov, ex-director of the Linguistic Service of the UN Office in Geneva. The speaker, being a diplomat, focused the audience’s attention on the need for more balanced approaches in covering the history of the Soviet period, without distortions in denigrating his entire legacy cleanly, sticking out only the negative events of famine and repression. The speaker is the author of the book “Reconstruction of Meaning: an essay on Zhumabai Shayakhmetov” (Astana, 2021. 216 p.), in which he also tried to answer a difficult question – “what was there more – pros or cons?”.

Then another author of the study “Zhumabai Shayakhmetov and his time” (Astana, 2021. 216 p.) – Laila Seisembekovna Akhmetova, professor of al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Doctor of Historical Sciences made a report “Zhumabai Shayakhmetov is a leader and a patriot”.The co-author of the book was V.G. Grigoriev, together they managed to trace the life and activities of Zhumabai from birth on August 30, 1902 in the village No. 1 (Zhandai) on the territory of the Omsk parish of the Omsk district of the Akmola region (modern Sherbakulsky district of the Omsk region of Russia) Steppe Governor-General until his death on October 17, 1966 in the hospital of the Council of Ministers of the Kazakh SSR.

The report on the topic “Problems of historiography of the party nomenclature of the Kazakh SSR” was presented by the head of the Department of World History, Candidate of Historical Sciences and scientific supervisor of the project “Unknown pages from the life and work of a prominent statesman Zhumabai Shayakhmetov” Didar Beisengalievna Kasymova.

The following reports were also presented at the conference: “On the contribution of Zhumabai Shayakhmetov to the development of the industrial potential of Kazakhstan”T.M. Aminova, Chief Researcher of the Institute of State History, Candidate of Historical Sciences; “The activity of J. Shayakhmetov in the commission on the korenization of the state apparatus” L.A. Grivennaya, associate professor of the North Kazakhstan University named after M. Kozybayev, Candidate of Historical Sciences (Petropavlovsk), “Kurdeli kezen bashylary” N.K. Dyusenova, a leading researcher at the Institute of History of Ethnology named after Ch.Ch Valikhanov, Candidate of Historical Sciences.

In their speeches, the conference participants noted that in the conditions of a new stage of state and nation building, proven models of political and administrative management and the type of statesman – administrator who combines the qualities of an organizer, manager and patriot of his Homeland, who is interested in promoting projects for the modernization of the country and the withdrawal of their political and economic crisis are in demand. The historical science of Kazakhstan in the conditions of severe external pressure is called upon to develop presentation formats, narrative narratives and principles for explaining the most critical phases in the history of the country and the people of the Soviet period.

History and historical memory in the context of the formation of a new geopolitical order has become one of the fields of conflict of interests of states and international factors that not only offer polar versions of the explanation of events, the role of personalities, but also implement them. Therefore, historians are faced with the task of forming verifiable historical knowledge that will contribute to civil peace within States and interaction in the international arena.

Guided by the principles of historicism and an objective approach to historical events, the conference participants adopted the following resolution:

  1. Consistently conduct research of archival documents and certificates (material and oral) on the Soviet period of the history of Kazakhstan and the role of the leaders of the republic in the implementation of Soviet projects in the archival funds of the Republic of Kazakhstan and neighboring states.
  2. To develop theoretical and methodological approaches for the development of controversial topics on the history of Soviet Kazakhstan and the role of the leaders of the Kazakh SSR in state construction.
  3. To carry out work to popularize the ideological heritage of the leaders of the Kazakh SSR and, in particular, Zhumabai Shayakhmetov.
  4. To petition the state structures to hold a series of memorial events in memory of Zhumabai Shayakhmetov.
  5. In order to perpetuate the memory of Zhumabai Shayakhmetov, apply to the relevant state bodies to assign his name to one of the higher educational institutions of the republic (Kazakh State Women’s University or another), the opening of which he assisted in his time), as well as one of the central streets in Astana, Almaty, Shymkent and Petropavlovsk.