Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder,Agency: Central European News
A female museum director has been forced to resign after the Kyrgyzstani government censored a naked feminist exhibition featuring a nude model and a punch bag made to look like a woman’s torso to protest gender violence.
The incident took place at the Gapar Aitiev Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts in the capital city Bishkek in northern Kyrgyzstan located in Central Asia.
According to local media, the exhibition of feminist artwork titled ‘First Feminnale of Contemporary Art’ was censored by the government and resulted in the museum director’s departure.
The exhibition featured 56 artists from 22 countries and was due to run for 17 days to commemorate the 17 women, mostly Kyrgyzstani migrants, who were killed in a Moscow warehouse blaze in 2016, according to reports.
However, shortly after opening the Kyrgyzstan government reportedly ordered the removal of several exhibition pieces, including a punch bag made to look like a female torso, and banned Danish artist Julie Savery from performing a piece that involved disrobing in front of visitors.
Meanwhile, the culture minister reportedly called the show a “campaign with naked women under the banner of feminism” and announced that a special commission will investigate the “scandalous exhibition”.
The minister also stated that museum director Mira Dzhangaracheva had been dismissed, however she said on Facebook that the authorities did not sack her as she chose to resign after receiving death threats.
She also criticised the government as well as the right-wing nationalist group Kyrk Choro (Forty Knights) who Dzhangaracheva believes called for the event’s censorship.
Former female president of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva was also outraged by the incident and she wrote a letter slamming the government for its action, according to local media.
Exhibition curator Altyn Kapalova called the censorship “violence against women” and added: “This is pain. This is fear. Artists from all over the world express their feelings, but we are forbidden.
“As always they try to silence us, but it will not work. Art is uncensored.”
Netizen ‘Takesha’ commented: “Is this how a country trying to be democratic is able to achieve it?”
‘Net’ said: “What do we see here? An event against gender violence in Kyrgyzstan leads to violence against the female museum director who organised it…”
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