Conflict prevention and mitigation

Community discussions and "My Voice" exhibition towards conflict resolution

On September 26, 28 and 30, 2011, joint community discussions and mobile photo exhibitions were held in Ak-Tatyr aiyl district of Batken oblast, Toolos aiyl district and Nookat city of Osh oblast within the framework of the project "Promoting Peace and Tolerance through Creativity".

In spring 2011, women and youth from Ak-Sai and Ak-Tatyr ail districts of Batken oblast, Toolos ail district and Nookat city of Osh oblast were trained and participated in photo research based on the innovative method of "photo-voice". Participation in this project gave them the opportunity to express their personal opinions about conflicts, their causes and ways of their resolution through photographs, which became the basis for the expositions of the exhibitions.

During the community meetings, discussions were held on current community problems identified during the photo survey: inter-ethnic conflicts, lack of drinking and irrigation water, insufficient electricity supply, and unemployment. The results of the small grants program, implemented based on the results of the photo survey to reduce inter-ethnic tensions and strengthen peaceful relations, were discussed. The meetings were attended by representatives of local authorities represented by heads of aiyl okmotu, as well as city and district administration, leaders and activists of Ak-Tatyr, Ak-Sai, Toolos and Nookat, revered community elders, women, youth and children, project participants, as well as representatives of donor organization and mass media.

Discussions and photo exhibitions were organized in the open air and in public places where everyone could participate in the event, publicly express their opinions and express their ideas and suggestions. It is noteworthy that the topics for joint discussion were not only the identified problems and conflicts of the communities, but also new ideas and ways for peaceful resolution of interethnic conflicts and building good-neighborly relations.

This project was implemented by Rural Development Fund with support from the Transition Initiatives Program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/OTI).