Director of Kyrgyz museum resigns after threats over feminist exhibition

Feminnale of Contemporary Art. Photo: instagram.com/lolanevado.online

Mira Dzhangaracheva has resigned from her post as director of the Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts after a feminist-themed exhibition was condemned by Kyrgyzstan’s minister of culture as a ‘campaign with naked women under the flag of feminism’. Through a Facebook post, Dzhangaracheva corrected news that she’d been fired, sharing that she had stepped down voluntarily as a result of the state’s reaction and alleged threats to her and other employees of the museum from nationalist groups.

According to a social media post by the organisers, the exhibition, Feminnale of Contemporary Art, was organised to commemorate the 17 women who died in a fire at a Moscow factory in 2016, the majority of whom were migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan. Several of the works were removed on the orders of the state and a performance by Danish artist Julie Savery involving nudity was cancelled. Roza Otunbayeva, the former president of Kyrgyzstan, and the UN have spoken out against the censorship, with the latter concerned also about the threats and ‘incidents of intolerance, hate speech and calls to violence’.

5 December 2019