Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Queer Central Asian Activism
Register for Zoom Webinar Watch on YouTube


Please join us for a roundtable discussion on the current state of queer, feminist activism across Central Asia, with expert panelists who are on the frontlines of this fight for equality. Co-sponsored by RUSA LGBT and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs.



Anvar Latipov is a New York-based, Uzbek-American LGBTQI activist. Twitter: @anvar_latipov




Mohira Suyarkulova is a researcher and activist based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She teaches courses on gender and sexuality, conducts research on the sexual lives of LGBTQ+ people in Kyrgyzstan and recently co-authored the Book on Happiness for Young (and Not So) LGBT (But Not Only) People (in Russian).



Zhanar Sekerbayeva is a co-founder of the Kazakhstan Feminist Initiative “Feminita.” She is a feminist, a powerlifter and a poet. In her works she aims to expand the concept of gender in public discourse through activism by mainstreaming questions of gender identity in Academia and making Central Asia visible as a region. Zhanar graduated Summa Cum Laude from the ‘Gumilev’ Eurasian National University in 2005, as well as from the ‘Lomonosov’ Moscow State University in 2009. In 2014 Zhanar enrolled at the European Humanities University (Lithuania) MA program in Sociology with focus on gender and culture, and finished at the University of Tsukuba, Japan PhD program. Her publications include a chapter in Women, Sport and Exercise in the Asia-Pacific Region: Domination, Resistance, Accommodation (2018) edited by Molnar G., Sara N. Amin, and Yoko Kanemasu, as part of the Routledge Research in Sports, Culture and Society series; as well as a chapter in Decolonizing Queer Experience: LGBT+ Narratives from Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Lexington Books, 2020), edited by Emily Channell-Justice

Moderator: Feruza Aripova is a PhD Candidate in World History at Northeastern University and a Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. She teaches Soviet and post-Soviet history while working on her dissertation, tentatively titled, “Silencing of Same-Sex Desire in the Post-Soviet Space: Deconstructing the Soviet Legacy.” She is the author of the chapter “Queering the Soviet Pribaltika: Criminal cases of consensual sodomy in Soviet Latvia (1960s-1980s),” published in 2020 as a part of Decolonizing Queer Experience: LGBT+ Narratives from Eastern Europe and Eurasia anthology. Her other article “The Ukrainian-Russian Virtual Flashmob Against Sexual Assault” (co-authored with Janet Johnson), was published in 2018.


Event Video