Farkhad Pakyrov

JIA Business Association, Executive Director, Bishkek 

Over 13 years of operation, JIA has become the most efficient association in all regions of the country. It also initiated the BIF Investment Forum, a major event where investment agreements for more than US $10m were signed. This year, JIA became an official member of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE). Farkhad has worked for the association for ten years, specialising in business projects to promote entrepreneurship.


Nazgul Konurbaeva

Media company Capital.KG, Co-founder&CEO, Bishkek

Nazgul Konurbaeva is a co-founder of the media company Capital.KG (Kyrgyzstan).  Capital.KG is the first media company specializing in economic and business issues. One of the main products of the company is Capital TV program, which has been broadcasted on the Public Channel of Kyrgyzstan for five years. The main topics of the program are creative economy, export of services, human capital, creative education, etc. Nazgul used to work for the BBC Kyrgyz Service.  

Nellya Jamanbaeva

Capacity Building Foundation, Director, Bishkek

Since 2010, Nellya curated exhibitions and educational projects in the area of contemporary art and took part in regional and international programmes. Her projects include the Kol Fest Global Music and Arts Festival, the Future Shorts International Short Film Festival, the Trash Festival of Contemporary Art, the Vkl/Vykl (In/Out) First Central Asian Exhibition of Contemporary Art by Young Artists in Bishkek, the Live Cinema video projection, the Cinema Camp project for filmmakers, the Eco Bashtyk Art Festival, and many other events. As an artist, Nellya was received awards from the Bishkek Design Festival (the Mother of Glamour Prize), and the 1st of April Contemporary Art Competition in the Advertising Break (First Prize), and In the Context (In the Context prize) sections.

Olga Schetinina

MESTO D Theatre, Director, Bishkek 

“The MESTO D Theatre is an independent company that favours research and experiment. The theatre turned 12 this year. We don’t have a scene, as we’re used to understand it, and stick to the rule that theatre may happen at any place and in any form. We believe that the Kyrgyz art may be up to date.”  Olga is an organiser of the 3rd Mesto v GoroDe (Place in the City) International Festival of Street Theatres. She’s also engaged in creative advocacy with Bishkek activists and international partners. Her areas of interest are research, documentary, immersive, social and street theatre. Olga takes part in laboratories of both contemporary and academic direction. In 2012, Olga graduated from the Beishenaliyeva Kyrgyz State Institute of Arts with a degree in film direction. Since 2008, she has worked at several independent theatres.



Tolkun Daiyrbekova

Karek Children’s Cinema Fund, Co-founder and Director, Bishkek 

Tolkun is an organiser of the Karek film festival for children and young people, which aims to find and nurture future cinema professionals. Since 2016, the festival has been held annually among schoolchildren with support from the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Union of Filmmakers, and the Department of Cinematography. The young winners of the festival took part in international children’s film festivals. Tolkun is also a producer of the Kyrgyz first musical film Darak Yry.


Ulan Usoiun

Kөchmөn Nomad, founder, Tash-Bashat

Ulan Usoiun manages to combine livestock farming with social activities. For the past three years, Ulan has been actively combining traditional views with a modern way of life. Together with volunteers, he implemented many cultural projects. Ulan is very worried about the development of tourism in the country, including domestic. A year ago, in summer, he organized a pilot tour, a trip to Kyrgyzstan “Muras” (“Heritage”) - a kind of exchange of urban life for rural life. Twenty urban residents participated in a unique experiment. They got acquainted with the life of the Kyrgyz people, learned to milk a cow, ride a horse, set up a yurt and comprehend the basics of national cuisine.