Zere Asylbek is a civil activist and the author of the song and video Kyz from Bishkek.
Zere’s song and video not only made thousands of people around the globe discover Kyrgyz language and the new Bishkek vibe for the first time, but also gave rise to discussions about diseases that Central Asian republics still suffer from — obscurantism and bride kidnapping, about the gruesome murder of 19-year-old Burulay Turdaliyeva and many other victims of this medieval violence.
Madina Mussina (aka Mada Mada) is the author of a national bestseller Zhir (The Woman Who Seeks Rationality) and the voice of the new Kazakh sincerety in literature and blogging, a muse and icon for Almatian punk rap, a red flag for the uyatmen bulls and a harsh cop for the media prostitutes trying to destroy Kok Zhailau. Mada expands and deconstructs her audience’s boundaries of what a modern woman can/cannot be. Thanks to Mada’s posts, several thousands new supporters joined the movement of activists protecting the Heavenly Pastureland.
Zere and Mada. Mada and Zere. Each of them transforms the space around themselves — be it Almaty and Kazakhstan or Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan.
They both prove that the tales about the nomad amazons of the steppe are not just legends and myths.
They both represent the new Central Asia, where women are not just capable of writing texts and music, where they do not just know their rights and freedoms, but are also willing to talk about them, manifest them and fight for them.
P.S. Today, on December 4, the girl on the right celebrates her 20th birthday. Happy birthday, Zere!