Reviving this blog

It has been more than two years since my last entry. I don’t follow current events as much as I would like to but at the same time I think a lot about gender perspective and what it means in Kyrgyzstan. Most recently I am looking at legal and medical regulation of (homo)sexuality and gender identity in Kyrgyzstan within the past 20 years. It is a massive amount of work with 1990s being recoverable mostly through fragments of memories and hopefully newspaper articles if I manage to find them. Some of the questions that I am looking at is who and why decided to decriminalize homosexuality in Kyrgyzstan in 1998, how the process of adopting ICD-10 went in Kyrgyzstan especially in relation to homosexuality which all of a sudden was not treatable anymore. In the 2000s I am interested in looking at how interest/civil society groups were formed around ‘queer’ identities.

Originally I thought that I would be writing a story of the small ‘LGBT’ movement in Kyrgyzstan but somehow right now I feel that this story that I am working on is more about development and international institutions.
I know, for example, that women’s organizations started to form in Kyrgyzstan closer to 1997-1998 with funding available from Counterpart Consortium, USIS and Soros Foundation – Kyrgyzstan. What kind of participation of ‘civil society’ was present before 1997, история умалчивает. I really want to know what happened between 1991 and 1997. What was the reform of psychiatry field like? How did the reform of the criminal code reflect the neoliberal blueprint that was part of ‘transition’ that attracted foreign funders and set Kyrgyzstan in an ‘island of democracy’ mode. Sometimes I think that Kyrgyzstan is a success story guinea pig. It’s small enough and flexible enough to test new models and implement them without much resistance but quickly and in a way that attracts more funds because now there is so much to build on.

6 thoughts on “Reviving this blog

    • Lady, it’s not because you Americans, liberals and neocons alike, ‘want’, that the whole world has to jump and creep at once. These days are over.

  1. Pingback: Tongue in Chic Gallery raised funds for Transfolks in Kyrgyzstan! | Tongue in Chic Gallery

  2. “Sometimes I think that Kyrgyzstan is a success story guinea pig.”

    You name it! The country IS a guinea pig, that is, for the neoliberal colonisation which destroyed entire society and in which people like you are instrumental. The thing is that your movement only represent your own caste and the donor interests behind it.

    • Dear Seidkazi, Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I feel this way often, too about Kyrgyzstan being a guinea pig. I do not support many of the neoliberal policies, yet when it comes to the communities that I work with, I think that their lives are better now than 8 years ago when we started our organization. If you could elaborate what you mean by “destroying society”, I would be glad to have a conversation with you about it here. Kyrgyzstan does not exactly have a caste system and the people who come to us are from very diverse groups. I am aware of my own privilege and raise issues of access to resources very often in my work. About “donor interests”, we usually find a way to combine our interests with donor interests and things that come out are quite good. About my “instrumentality” in “destroying entire society”: if you are referring to sexual rights work that I do, I think that supporting people who love those of their own gender or identify differently from what they were assigned at birth, is positive for the society rather than negative. Healthy and happy LGBT people contribute to society quite a lot than those who are prevented from living authentic lives.

      • Hm OK, nice and well but I think that you parrot the standard development discourse on this matter. And today, Kyrgyzstan is no longer the somewhat silly, gullible society that it used to be under donor darling Akayev.

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