Participating in the Steering Committee of SDC's Cultural Programme in Central Asia is always rich in learning and inspiration. Key take-aways, this time, included:
#1: People make all the difference. Without strong and committed personalities, even the most robust, well-sourced result-oriented programming will fail to deliver system change. We need women and men to set the tone of the music. We need women and men to take bold approaches and inspire others. And in this regard, I did love the discussions that took place in this year's Steering Committee. Trusting the potential that artistic practices have in terms of strengthening civil society has become mainstream - at last.
#2: We need to talk about the Millenials of Central Asia. They every day navigate a complex context avoiding the pitfalls of black/white analysis, trying to make the best of the existing - democratic, economic, geographic - space. Laboratoria ci and their likes work across disciplines - arts? sociology? education? - towards promoting conscious, reflective and responsible citizenship in the region. Topics that matter to their hearts include gender and feminism, public spaces, the post-modern city... and of course, how to reach out to and empower the youth of Bishkek.