Alexandr Kulinsky, Bishkek

Director of the State National Russian Drama Theatre named after Chingiz Aitmatov.

Before joining the theatre, Alexandr had been a journalist for 15 years, running radio- and TV programmes, and a head of several newspapers. Later he taught journalism. Alexandr is the author of the Ethics of Journalism teaching aid and training materials in several disciplines in journalism.

In 2013, Alexandr became the head of the only Russian theatre in Kyrgyzstan. On behalf of the theatre, he manages several joint projects: The Demon, a joint Russian, Kyrgyz and Tajik performance based on Mikhail Lermontov’s poem The Demon; The Scaffold, a joint Kyrgyz and Italian performance based on Chingiz Aitmatov’s novel The Scaffold; and a joint Kyrgyz and Bulgarian performance based on a play by a Bulgarian playwright. 

Alexadr has several awards in journalism.

Diana Ukhina, Bishkek

Co-founder and director of Laboratoria ci.

Diana graduated from Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in 2011 with a specialisation in history. Currently she is doing her master’s degree in sociology at the American University of Central Asia. Since 2010 Diana has participated in regional and international contemporary art programmes, and since 2012 she has also been coordinating and curating exhibitions and cultural educational projects. 

Diana is the co-founder and director of Laboratoria ci, a cultural organisation. Her projects include Searching for the City, an educational artistic research programme and exhibition (2017), Urban Research Laboratory in Osh and Almaty (2017), Tomorrow: Sketches of Your and My History, a feminist exhibition and discussion programme (2016); Photodrift as a Practice of Urban Research, an artistic research programme (2015), and Art and Emancipation: Olga Manuilova and her Contemporaries, a research exhibition (2015).

Elmira Arapova, Bishkek

The Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Elmira was born in 1966 in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. She graduated from the Philosophy Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Elmira holds a PhD degree in philosophy and is an associate professor. She works at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic and runs Masters programmes in Local Government and Self-Government, Public Policy and Administration, and Public Administration in the Social Sphere. She teaches The Fundamentals of Cultural Policy, Social Policy, and Administration in the Social Sphere.

Elmira is a civic activist and the director of the Man, Right and Freedom non-governmental foundation. She has led a number of successful social projects, including initiating the opening of public reception offices to provide social services to the population of Kyrgyzstan.


Galina Ketova, Bishkek

Founder and director of GALA Non-Government Foundation.

Galina was born in 1983 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. From 2000 to 2005 she studied at the Beishenaliyeva Institute of Arts with a major in theatre and film acting. Since 2003 Galina has been an actress at the State National Russian Drama Theatre named after Chingiz Aitmatov. In 2016 she was awarded the title of the Honoured Actress of the Kyrgyz Republic. Since 2010 Galina has been developing contemporary theatre in Kyrgyzstan.

Galina has worked in a number of successful projects, including Chingiz Aitmatov (creating the audio version of works by Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Airmatov); ArtArea (an international classical music concert Tolerance as a Way to Peace) and many others. 

Gulyaim Shamshidinova, Bishkek

Development Policy Institute.

Gulyaim was born in 1965 in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan. From 1983 to 1987 she studied at the Beishenaliyeva Institute of Arts with a major in drama direction. 

Since 2007 Gulyaim has been engaged in the development of local self-government, firstly in the USAID Decentralisation and Local Government Programme (a representative office of the Urban Institute, where she worked as a consultant on local self-government) and then at the Development Government Institute where she is a best practice expert (organising more than 100 exchange tours between municipalities with the participation of governmental authorities and the media; the success stories from these published in the Munitsipalitet monthly and on the project-specific websites of the Development Policy Institute).

Irina Bharat, Tashkent

PR Director of Ilkhom Contemporary Art Centre.

From 1986 to 1992 she studied at Lenin Tashkent State University in the faculty of Philosophy and Economics, the Department of Psychology. Since 2003 she has been PR Director of Ilkhom Contemporary Art Centre.

Irina is a producer of international projects, and organiser and co-ordinator of Ilkhom’s Theatre participation in festivals, including The Golden Mask (Moscow), Revelation (Almaty), High Fest (Yerevan), and the Platonov Arts Festival (Voronezh).

Keneshbek Almakuchukov, Bishkek

Central Asia Arts Management Public Fund.

From 1996 to 2000 Keneshbek studied at the Academy of Management under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, specialising in management.  From 2001 to 2002 he underwent professional retraining at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University, specialising in practical psychology. From 2011 to 2014 he did is PhD at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. 

Since 2006, along with a number of partners, Keneshbek has managed Jazz_Bishkek_Spring. He also worked on music projects, including Instrumental Music of the Oral Tradition: An Anthology for the Komuz (2011) and Instrumental Music of the Oral Tradition: An Anthology for Musical Instruments (2013). He took part in the development of the Concept and Strategy for the Development of Cinematography in Kyrgyzstan (2014) and the Scientific Concept and Exposition Plan of the Centre for Nomadic Civilisation (2017). 

Khabibullo Nabiyev, Tashkent

Director of the Branch of Media Company Primkulov Visuals, Tashkent.

Khabibullo was born in 1994 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

In 2014, he began studying acting at the State Institute of Arts and Culture of Uzbekistan. Since 2015 he has been a director at Media Company Primkulov Visuals. Since 2016 he has been the author and host of the Premiera programme on ZorTV. In 2017 he entered the University of Central Lancashire through a British Council programme.

Khabibullo has been a music video director for Sevara Nazarkhan, Sardor Rakhimkhon, Shakhzoda, Guli Asalkhodzhayeva and others. In 2017 he was the co-director of the concert of Sevara Nazarkhan at the Palace of Forums. 

Nargiz Chynaliyeva, Bishkek

Founder of CHYNALI Studio.

From 2008 to 2017 Nargiz studied at the School of Modern Arts to become an artist and a curator. Since 1999 she has been an artist at her own studio CHYNALI. Since 2008 Nargiz has been organising and holding lectures and training on effective communications, photography, and finding one’s calling and talents.

From 2009 to 2010, she was an art director at ICG publishing house and created visual contents for seven glossy magazines. From 2012 and 2013 she worked as creative director of GREEN magazine. In 2013 Nargiz founded DILDEN design studio as a platform for freelance designers, artists and architects. 

Nargiza Kulatayeva, Bishkek

Partner at I-Media Bureau.

In 2011 Nargiza played an active part in launching Loft Tseh, the first creative space in Central Asia; Loft Tseh has been a cultural and educational centre in the capital city of Kyrgyzstan for many years and has initiated a lot of creative and social projects. 

She was an active participant in the development and approval of the specifications for the country’s national symbols. Nargiza is a member of the working group which develops Kyrgyzstan’s brand platform and marketing strategy for tourism.