Hi everyone,

So far, 2017 has been treating me good. At the end of last year I got a call from Annika at CAG telling me that I’d gotten an internship at CAG – going to Osh, Kyrgyzstan to work with their partner organization Novi Ritm for four months. I guess most of you reading this already know about CAG and Novi Ritm – and probably also something about Kyrgyzstan. Therefore I wont be going into details about this part. I’ll just say that right now me and Emma (the other intern whom I’ll be going with) are in middle of preparing for our trip, spending time at CAG’s office in Malmö, getting to know the staff at CAG and Novi Ritm and learning about humans rights and life in Osh. Hence, this will be an introductory post about me, Amanda.

At 25 it might be bold to state that I’ve figured out what I want to do in life. I mean it’s not like I know all the details yet (when do you ever?), but I know that it has something to do with the Post-Soviet spaces and with human rights. I’ve come a long way, trust me. As a kid I dreamt of becoming an archeologist, digging for lost treasures of ancient cultures. Well, it’s natural to change one’s mind right? So by the time I was entering Stockholm University, instead I wanted to become an historian. At least this is what I spent my first year believing. Since then my path has been anything but straight – though when I tell you that I have a bachelor’s degree in Economic History, you’ll probably think “well, that doesn’t sound too far from historic treasure hunting or reading old books” and well, yes, you’re right, I’m still me – always fascinated by history and what the past can tell us, but along the way, I’ve also discovered that I love the present, and so I’ve thrown in knowledge about global economical chains of thinking and acting, gender studies and some courses in Eastern European and Central Asian culture, literature, history and political science. This has been accompanied by a long and fruitful engagement in civil society at Stockholms tjejjour, a semester at the European University at Saint-Petersburg and another internship at the Russia and Central Asia desk at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Since I started to learn more about Russia and the Post-Soviet spaces connected to it, it has become not only a passion of mine to learn more, but it’s also my firm belief that Swedes in general would benefit from a greater knowledge of our neighbours in the east. I’ll probably write more about this later – or I would like to use this blog as a platform to talk about Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia in order to make it more accessible for a Swedish (and international) audience.

From a human rights perspective, I’ve been engaged in questions concerning women’s rights for a long time, and therefore it is very suitable that I will be working closely with the resolution 1325-project currently running at Novi Ritm. Mainly being engaged in women’s right, as I’ve grown older, my perspective has widen and is now also connected to a broader perspective on human rights for all people.

All in all, I’m beyond excited to be going to Kyrgyzstan with Emma in less then a week.

So far, 2017 has been treating me good. See you there!

Amanda