FemAgora Central Asia festival has been launched in 2018 as an annual feminist discussion platform aimed at amplifying local expertise of women, trangender and non-binary people in the region. In 2020, movement-building and intersectionalities across communities, causes, and sectors emerged as the central agenda as well as the question of resourcing our work.
For two years, our festival has been gathering feminist activists, community leaders, researchers, media and art professionals in Almaty, Kazakhstan, whereas in 2020 it went online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Circumstances turned out to be an opportunity to expand our outreach and impact. FemAgora Central Asia Online mobilized more than 100 experts from all five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) as well as those living abroad (Germany, Great Britain, Russia, USA).

We exchanged our experience of feminist realities and strategies for feminist futures, learned about each other's current challenges and ways to mitigate and respond to backlash. Among many we facilitated panels of women who are politicians, street activists, anti-violence first responders, cross-border service providers, and environmental specialists. Leading practitioners discussed problem of harassment and discrimination at work and ran a workshop on detecting and confronting it. We also addressed issues of contemporary family and masculinities, and many more.

Our first online festival lasted for more than a month, with each week unfolding deeper complexity of our regional causes and colossal capacity of our local experts. A particularly meaningful contribution was made by experts and audiences joining us from remote locations and conflict-sensitive areas, and those representing their own communities - migrants, rural women, people with disabilities, women former prisoners, women living with HIV, women who use drugs, sex workers, LGBTIQ+ and non-binary people.

Three special projects became a unique feature of the festival. Leyla Zuleilkha Makhmudova and Irra Belfer for their Feminist Paper Dolls project used profiles of 8 prominent activists, artists, scientists, human rights advocates to produce a set of printable paper dolls, which could be cut out, colored, dressed up, and played with by children and adults. It celebrates brave women by telling inspirational stories of every protagonist's life and activism and providing audience with examples of how one can stand up for feminist values of integrity, inclusion, and respect for human rights and identity. We curated an impressive collection of poetry by 23 Central Asian women poets. Each artist shared a recording of them reading these verses in one's own language. Prominent digital artist Qantars illustrated every piece for this occasion. Besides, Moldiyar Yergebekov facilitated screening of more than 20 feature films and documentaries mostly made by women about women were screened during the Film Week and followed up by panel discussions and live interviews with Central Asian filmmakers themselves.

Watch Us Online
Around 5,000 unique participants joined those 20 vivid discussions, workshops, and side events, which also reached some 2 mln people through live discussions and online publications on our social media accounts, based on our analytics.

Our full programs, including all video recordings and special project landings are available on our website section femagora.org/festival, Facebook page and FemAgora Youtube channel (currently only in Russian language).

Media about Us
The Festival was actively covered by media, both local and international, such as, for instance, Fergana News Agency, Adamdar.ca, NewReporter, Caravan.kz, Egemen Qazaqstan, Novastan.org, Thediplomat.com and others.

To stay updated on our most recent events and activities, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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