Between the Posts, Into the Void: Making Sense of Feminism and Decolonization in Bishkek and Almaty

In: Central Asian Affairs
Victoria Kravtsova Independent Researcher Berlin Germany

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The specificity and variety of the experiences of feminist organizing in the former “second world” is rarely explored in the studies of transnational feminist praxis. This paper explores the (queer) feminist discourses of the region, described as the most “distant Other” of the former USSR – Central Asia. I look at the ways artists, activists, and academics from two cities in the region, Bishkek and Almaty, articulate their understandings of feminism from an intersectional and decolonial perspectives. I argue that local (queer) feminist activists are producers of unique knowledge(s), bound neither to a “return to tradition” nor to accept ready-made solutions from the “West,” which positions itself as an “origin” of contemporary debates on gender. By engaging with the inner coloniality of the feminist movements in the former USSR, the article contributes to the transnational debates on the inclusivity of feminism(s).

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