Central Asia Days 2019

On November 24th and November 25th Centralasiengrupperna is hosting the sixth annual Central Asia Days conference in Stockholm! This two-event will include seminars, lectures, discussions, and a movie screening, with activists, civil society members and researchers from Central Asia and Europe. Free admission. Please, sign up here: https://simpleeventsignup.com/event/159604

Full program:

November 24, 12.00 – 15.30
ABF Huset (Per-Albin room), Sveavägen 41, Stockholm

12.00 – 12.30 Reception

12.30 – 13.50 Lecture: “I am not really a feminist, but …” conducting feminist research among young women in Tajikistan

The lecture will be held by Davlatbegim. She will share her experience of implementing a feminist research project in Tajikistan, mainly focusing on her attempts to make fieldwork relations with her participants more equal and reciprocal. Amid the ongoing critique of extractive nature of scientific research in the region, this lecture will attempt to provide a critical analysis of what feminism as a set of conceptual and methodological perspectives offers us to understand lives of young women in Tajikistan. Davlatbegim is a Central Asian feminist researcher who is currently finishing her MA studies in Sociology at Bielefeld University, Germany. She is also a member of “Central Asian Studies Inside Out” initiative that aims to promote Central Asian studies in Europe.

14.00 – 15.30 Lecture: Civil activists vs. state non-governmental organizations: prospects and current challenges

The lecture will be held by Irina Matvienko, feminist activist and journalist, from Uzbekistan. She will shed the light on the current situation of the civil society, activists and state non-governmental organizations with the focus of women’s rights, defamation and smear campaigns against human rights defenders as well as her work at NeMolchi.UZ. NeMolchi.UZ is an initiative with a mission to raise awareness and highlight the problem of gender-based violence in Uzbekistan. The initiative was founded by Irina Matvienko in Uzbekistan, while similar initiatives were created in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Estonia.

November 25, 10.00 – 17.00
Grillska Huset (Riddarsalen), 
Stortorget 3, Stockholm

10.00 – 10.30 Reception

10.30 – 11.40 Lecture: Implications of Chinese Policy for Central Asia

The lecture will be given by Julian Tucker, Junior Research Fellow and research coordinator at the Stockholm China Center of ISDP, who will focus on how China has sought to make the Silk Road an economic reality once again. While the historical Silk Road conjures romantic notions of oases and caravans crossing the desert, its twenty-first century namesake is a highly modern and very different entity. New technologies, a changing socio-economic environment and shifting political realities are all contributing to a global process of transformation – and Central Asia is no exception. This presentation will look at some of the impacts that contemporary Chinese policy has on Central Asia society, as well as Chinese responses to developments in Central Asia.

11.50- 12.50 Lecture: Effectiveness of peacebuilding intervention in Kyrgyzstan and the importance of impact evaluations in development and humanitarian fields

The lecture will given by Anastasia Aladysheva, development economist and impact evaluation expert from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The talk will focus on the peacebuilding interventions in Kyrgyzstan and impact evaluation work that she conducted jointly with other researchers at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Anastasia will focus on the effectiveness of peacebuilding intervention in educational sector. She will also highlight the importance of conducting impact evaluations in development and humanitarian fields, and briefly talk about the impact evaluation initiative at ICRC.

13.00 – 13.50 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30 Lecture: “Political rights in Tajikistan: how actors, who fight for freedoms are labeled terrorist”

The lecture will be held by Humayra Bakhtiyar, an independent journalist and the Chairperson of “Journalists at Risk” organization. While pluralism is the main method for building a democratic society, it is frowned upon and in many cases is forbidden in Tajikistan. In the aftermath of 2015 government’s crackdown on civil society and independent journalists, 200 political activists were arrested and more then 8 000 left the country, which had a major impact on how civil society looks like in Tajikistan nowadays. Even though political and civil society activists, as well as journalists escaped imprisonment, they and their families are continuously being targeted and pressured by the state. The intelligence services go as far as labeling activists and journalists as terrorists, which happened to our guest speaker, Humayra Bakhtiyar.

 15.40 – 17.00 Lecture: Violation of human rights to clean environment in Kazakhstan

The lecture will be led by Sergey Kuratov, who is the Chairperson of the Ecological Society Green Salvation based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He will shed the light on the situation of environmental human rights in the country. The environmental situation in Kazakhstan is determined by an economy that is oriented towards the exploitation of rich natural resources, primarily oil, coal and non-ferrous metals. Even though environmental rights are recognized in Kazakhstan, their implementation are far from perfect. Violations of environmental rights occur on multiple levels, where both government officials and businessmen are involved. The Ecological Society carries out a variety of actions that aim to protect environmental rights. These include compilation of information, standing in trails, or working with bodies of international organizations that help to improve the situation of human rights.