When he was young, Alan Parastaev used to play in a band. His group started in Tskhinval’s school number 6, and later upgraded to an older audience at South Ossetia’s Pedagogical University when they took the name of Tsiferblat. Their repertoire was mainly rock; The Beatles and the like, branching out to popular rock like the Guns ‘n Roses.’ They ventured into composing their own music and dressed in all-black outfits, replicating the punk trend.
Oddly, it feels that those years were more free, maintains the musician, now 46. Back then, bans and prohibitions abounded, but society at large would not criticize the musical taste of the young people.
“The head of the city council could easily be a fan of a British rock band, and teenagers’ outfits could be ‘stylish.”
No longer. Today the government claims to be democratic and free, but according to Alan, now there is more propaganda.
“We wanted to create something by and for ourselves,” asserts Alan, adding that music bands flourished as a result of the need for self-expression.
“Later, in the 1990s, the generation which loved rock and R&B music, was the one fighting in the war for independence; not the ones you’d expect.”
Everyone knows Alan Parastaev in Tskhinval. He’s not just a music lover, but also a journalist and blogger. A member of the opposition during the presidency of Eduard Kokoity, he was beaten by the police and hospitalized for a fracture in his lower jaw. Often, in such cases, after the first aid provided by local doctors, people seek medical assistance in Tbilisi. Alan stayed in Tbilisi for three months and recovered completely. The government promised an investigation but, to date, no one has been arrested nor charged.
His activism against injustice and the fight against the mainstream norm permeates every aspect of Alan’s life. His personality reflects the music he loves - off-mainstream, avant-garde, against cliches. His daughter inherited his character, his musical taste, and the profession. At 13, she already performs in concerts both in South Ossetia and abroad - in 2010 she participated in an international festival in Alania, Turkey.
Later, to develop the music in Ossetia after returning. Alan thinks that the government shouldn’t prevent youngsters to travel to Europe and in general by to the West or to Moscow; rather, it should encourage and promote participation of its younger generation to seminars and events around the world. In the meantime, it’s important to avoid the negative side-effects of any progress.