Art and Emancipation
O. Manuilova and her contemporaries
Research exhibition
May 7 - 29, 2015
Memorial House-Museum of O. Manuilova
When we turn to the topic of women in labor, social and political life in Soviet Kyrgyzstan and the Soviet Union, we recognize its complexity and ambiguity. The 1920-1930s of the 20th century were not only a period of emancipation and empowerment of women, but also a difficult time of breaking the habitual nature of relationships and practices of livelihood.

In 1917, women are granted full rights; they become introduced to the labor sphere, get access to education, but are still included in these processes in small numbers. Many of the claimed rights stay at the level of declarations and slogans. During this period, not only the issues of gender roles are being reviewed, but also the ideas of building a new society on new grounds are spreading everywhere. Discussions about the so-called "socialist settlement" are developing along with the construction of industrial cities. The objective to reorganize the everyday life are set, particularly by strengthening the role of the collective and the release of women from housekeeping (promotion of the idea of house-plants, discussions on the fate of marriage and family); the culture of childhood and upbringing is being revised (the creation of public canteens, the system of kindergartens).

Speaking of Central Asia, equality that is "imposed" from the top by Decrees was becoming entrenched in the minds and lives of people with difficulties and was accompanied by complex processes. "Liberation of Women of the East" in the 1920s received a special name in official documents - "Hujum" (from Arabic "advance"). "Hujum" means systematic activities to reach inclusion of women in work, social and political life; to provide equality and access to education.

Read the full text read in the exhibition catalog
"Art and emancipation: O. Manuilova and her contemporaries" exhibition catalog
The Voice of a female cultural worker, citizen and activist
Article by Diana Ukhina
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