Googoosha’s music video is a gift for chroniclers of Karimov’s dictatorship
Gulnara Karimova’s music video for her track Round Run, which illustrates the lack of talent of Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s regime, is an image that no other dictatorship has given to the world.
With peroxide blonde hair and pouting lips, she sits inside a retro car mincingly hugging and caressing her bare shoulders, and opens her mouth.
From the first seconds, it is clear that this woman changed her appearance in imitation of Britney Spears, but she can neither sing, nor move, nor is she able to act.
Another shot shows a young man in black clothes with flying red headscarf from his pocket. He skilfully rushes through ancient town streets, jumping from one building to another, showing “Round Run”, which is what the woman in the car sings about.
These two – Gulnara Karimova, the Uzbek president’s elder daughter, and Daniel Ilabaca, an athlete and a parkour expert from Britain - are the only people featured in Googoosha’s music video for the song Round Run that appeared online on 24 September.
The ancient Bukhara, which is inhabited by about 300,000 people and visited by thousands of tourists, appears to be a deadly deserted place in the music video of the Uzbek dictator’s daughter.
No-one is seen on the way of the car carrying Gulnara. Ilabaca is also seen proudly alone in the video.
For just over three minutes, he runs all over the ancient part of Bukhara, jumping into houses through windows and even flying from mosque onto another one to speed up, but meets nobody!
It makes an impression on the viewer that Ilabaca found himself in a town where people have died of cholera or been eaten.
There is only one woman left there. She wears a huge dress with a heap of flounces and is driven in an old car (no-one is there to buy a new car as everyone is dead and some were even boiled to death like in the notorious Jaslyk prison), hunting on the only young man who has found himself in her dead town accidentally.
“She plays a female vampire,” a viewer has explained Gulnara’s constraint and vicious look in the video.
When Googoosha walks up the spiral stairs of a minaret in Bukhara, flapping her jaws and throwing back her head, the viewer joyfully confirms his thought: “I told you she was a female vampire. She wants to catch him.”
“He would not fly away from her onto another building because he has run to her,” another viewer said commenting on the final shot of the video where the only alive people in Bukhara met up on the roof of a madrasah.
“He does not know where he is. He is another faceless victim,” the first viewer said. “If the runner and jumper had been a hero, the video director would have shown him in a close shot, but all we can see is his back and feet.
Multimedia for Karimova
It was impossible to learn if it was what the director of Googoosha’s music video had foreseen.
Other viewers said he had not discovered anything new, nor he found any talents of Gulnara nor said anything about her exaggerated narcissism.
The value of the music video is that Gulnara’s obsession with her appearance and desire to conquer the world of haute couture and show business provide Uzbekistan with priceless demonstrational material about the nature of the Karimov regime.
Her father, as the mastermind of the system which is described by experts as totalitarian kleptocracy, does not give historians and researchers video and photo materials that show the amorality of his regime.
And Gulnara, who is attending a school of journalism which was opened by her Fund Forum this summer in the country where thanks to her father there is no freedom of speech and journalists are persecuted, in order to demonstrate her slim figure drives the situation in Uzbekistan to the Kafkaesque absurdity or makes it similar to scenes described by George Orwell.
When the Karimov regime falls, and this will definitely happen as it happened to the dictatorships of Ghaddafi in Libya and of Mubarak in Egypt, journalists and political analysts will simply need to post GooGoosha’s music video or surf her websites in order to explain people how the Karimov regime looked like.
The history of the dictatorship in Uzbekistan will be, thanks to GooGoosha, multimedia as it will be told with the help of photos, videos, Twitter chats and audio.
The Karimovs in history
Historians who will write about President Islam Karimov’s rule will receive difficult material about degradation and decline in the country to work on.
They will describe the system of terror, built by Karimov to repress his own people, and the country’s power-wielding bodies that were turned into a tool of suppressing not only dissidence but thought in general.
They will write about mediaeval torture which has become customary in Uzbekistan in the 21st century and will write about the massacre in Andijan in 2005. They will also cover cotton-harvesting campaigns that involve forced labour, including child labour, and about millions of people who had to leave the country because of unemployment.
They will write about corruption that consumed not only local businessmen but giant foreign companies too. The Karimov regime robs them, too, and throws them out of the country.
The height of greed and arbitrariness of the Karimov regime will be GooGoosha’s image on which Gulnara has been working so hard.