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Collective action is powerful in enacting change, and solidarity can often be an effective threat tooppression. How often do we support LGBTQIA+ communities around the world and could we do somore? Tune into our panel to hear from two activists, a poet and an educator discussing howinternational solidarity could be the key to progress for their communities.


Panel Host: Krisha Kay Gandhi


From bars in Inner Mongolia to cafes in Kyrgyzstan, from schools in Spain to community groups in the UK, Krisha has been exploring safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community around the world for over a decade now. In her role as Director of Studies at a not-for-profit school and organisation in Bishkek, Krisha has developed an inclusive comprehensive sexual education curriculum, mentors young LGBTQIA+ students and uses her platform to empower conversations about inclusivity and LGBTQIA+ equality and rights.


Panel Guest: Zhanar Sekerbaeva


Zhanar is the co-founder of the Kazakhstan Feminist Initiative. She is a feminist, a powerlifter and a poet. She aims at expanding the concept of gender in the general public discourse through activism and by mainstreaming questions of gender identity in Academia. Zhanar aims to make Central Asia visible as a region. Studying in Kyrgyzstan, Moscow, Lithuania and Japan, Zhanar has dived deep into the field of Sociology with a focus on gender and culture. Her doctoral dissertation zoomed in on the processes of regulating identities and "normalization” of trans people in Kazakhstan - where she was interested in understanding how the gatekeeping practices of actors may or may not be shaping the gender identities of trans individuals as they seek legal affirmation.

Panel Guest: Ella Otomewo


Ella is a poet who found her voice in the spoken word community, but now writes for both the page and the stage. She has facilitated creative workshops for universities, community groups, libraries, schools, and festivals, and has performed her poetry all over the UK and in Europe.



Panel Guest: Maria Lukina


Maria is an LGBTQ rights activist and feminist from Bishkek. She is currently working in the Advocacy and Education program at LGBTQ organization "Labrys". Maria has worked on a number of journalist investigations and research.


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