The first issue of Beyond is dedicated to ‘stories and essays that come near to fiction’s ability to prompt a deeper, appealing reflection on themes that concern us all’. Boris Brorman Jensen tells a true but doubtful story of his encounter with Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan, and the dubious legacy of its master plan and official architecture.
‘It was certainly not Borat who made me go to Kazakhstan in May 2009. My trip to the steppe of south Siberia wasn’t initiated by any prejudices or secret expectations of finding total cultural deprivation. I actually went to see the new work of Lord Norman Foster and the grand master plan for Kazakhstan’s new capital Astana, made by my old hero Kisho Kurokawa.’