Urkuya Salieva (Kyrgyz: Уркуя Салиева, romanizedUrkuya Saliyeva; born 1910 in Murkut, in Nookat District, Osh oblast, Kyrgyzstan – 1934) was a political activist and communist organizer during the development of the Kirghiz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic. She has been described as one of the first Kyrgyz advocates of women's rights.[1][2]

Biography edit

Salieva was born in 1910 into a Muslim peasant family.[1][3] She became a secretary in the local Komsomol, the Soviet communist youth organization, at age 17 in 1927.[1][4] She became a leader in the village council of her hometown Murkut in 1928.[3][5] In 1931, she joined the Communist Party, served on the committee of a collective farm, and rose to be on the Central Executive Committee of the Kirghiz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic.[1][6]

She and her husband were murdered in 1934 by anti-Soviet partisan forces (Basmachi movement), who opposed policies such as forced collectivization; though the movement had lost power elsewhere, it was still active in southern Kyrgyzstan into the early 1930s.[1][7] Other sources have described the rationale for her killing as also due to her activism regarding women's equality.[8][9] One of the collective farms she started was renamed in her honor.[3]

Cultural Impact edit

Honors edit

Monument edit

There is a monument to her in Bishkek on the Chui Avenue.[1] Erected in 1978, the monument depicts Salieva in a flowing garment and wearing a headscarf, one hand held out to the side, the other holding a banner.[3] A stamp of the monument was issued in 2011.[10] There is some ambiguity about whether the monument was originally dedicated to Salieva, or meant to represent a more generic or symbolic revolutionary woman, but it is largely known today as a monument to or of Salieva.[11]

The statue serves today as a starting point or endpoint for many feminist marches.[12][13] Many of these marches are specifically against violence against women, which protestors have often faced while marching, most recently in 2020, when protestors, not the protestors’ attackers, were arrested and fined.[14][13][4] Many protests are on March 8, International Women's Day, which is often celebrated in Kyrgyzstan by men giving women flowers or gifts.[15] The monument also serves as a meeting point for educational activities and community events.[16]

Museum edit

In 1980, a museum dedicated to Salieva opened in her hometown of Murkut, in the Osh oblast.[11]

Film edit

In 1971 or 1972, the film Bow to the Fire (Poklonis Oglyu, Поклонись огню; sometimes translated as The Worship of Fire; sometimes also titled Urkuya) was made about her life, starring Tattybübü Tursunbayeva as Salieva.[1][17][18] The film was directed by Tolomush Okeyev.[19] It was released in the Soviet Union in 1972, Poland in 1973, and on Hungarian television in 1979.[18]

Public perception edit

She has been praised as a role model for Kyrgyz girls and women, with Former President of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Otunbayeva praising her decisive leadership in a time of social change.[3] Her name is often invoked in speeches about women's rights or on International Women's Day.[20] Salieva was included in a 2020 photography exhibition drawn from Kulbubu Bekturganova's book Kyrgyz Woman: History and Modernity.[21]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Urkuya Salieva". Central Asien Gruppe. 2017-01-20. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  2. ^ "Leadership for Kyrgyz Women will remain for a long time – expert David Gauzere (МОФ "Инициатива Розы Отунбаевой")". Roza Otunbaeva Initiative. March 4, 2013. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Личность Кыргызстана: Борец за свободу Уркуя Салиева (Personality of Kyrgyzstan: Freedom Fighter Urkuya Salieva)". Limon (in Kyrgyz). October 15, 2014. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  4. ^ a b Rozanskij, Vladimir (March 9, 2021). "Kyrgyz and Kazakh women take to the streets". Asia News. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  5. ^ "Kyrgyz on Kyrgyz Female Role Models". Folkways. Translated by Lindsey Greytak. October 26, 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ "Challenging gender norms in Kyrgyzstan". Safer World. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  7. ^ Loring, Benjamin H. (2008). "Rural Dynamics and Peasant Resistance in Southern Kyrgyzstan, 1929-1930". Cahiers du Monde Russe. 49 (1): 183–210. doi:10.4000/monderusse.9124 – via OpenEdition Journals.
  8. ^ Abazov, Rafis (2007). Culture and customs of the Central Asian republics. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-313-05618-5. OCLC 230281112. The life of Urkuya Salieva, a simple Kyrgyz woman, is a good example of the ferocity of this battle: young Urkuya and her entire family were stabbed to death for rebelling against the suppressed position of women in the society and for organizing a cooperative.
  9. ^ Azamat, Askar. The Women's Emancipation Movement in Kyrgyzstan: the Work of the Zhenotdel of Kyrgyzstan from 1924 to 1930 (MA thesis). Central European University. pp. 49–50.
  10. ^ "Monument to Urkuya Salieva (1910-1934), Bishkek". Colnect Stamp Catalog. Retrieved November 11, 2011. In stamp catalogs, entry: Michel KG BL60; Yvert et Tellier KG BF46; Stanley Gibbons KG MS483; Unificato KG BF87; WADP Numbering System - WNS KG027MS.11
  11. ^ a b Ukhina, Diana. ""Monument to the Revolution Fighters" in Monuments of Bishkek (zine)". Monuments of Bishkek: 20–24.
  12. ^ "March: "We do not need flowers, we need rights"!". Kyrgyz Republic DEMagazine: UNDP Democratic Governance. 4: 7. April 20, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Kyrgyz Women Activists March In Bishkek". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. March 8, 2010. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  14. ^ Panfilova, Victoria (March 12, 2020). "Women's rally in Kyrgyzstan". Vestnik Kavkaza. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  15. ^ Djanibekova, Nurjamal (March 9, 2017). "Kyrgyzstan: Women March for Their Rights | Eurasianet". Eurasianet. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  16. ^ "International Women's Day 2017 in Europe and Central Asia". United Nations. March 8, 2017.
  17. ^ "Memories days of Tattybubu Tursunbaeva". Kyrgyz Cinema. 2019. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  18. ^ a b "Poklonis ognyu (1972)". IMDb. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  19. ^ "Личность Кыргызстана: Таттыбюбю Турсунбаева (Personality of Kyrgyzstan: Tattybübü Tursunbayeva)". Limon (in Kyrgyz). July 14, 2014. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  20. ^ "Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan congratulates on International Women's Day". Информационное Агентство Кабар. March 7, 2018. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  21. ^ Koshoibekova, Nargiz (October 4, 2020). "Photo exhibition 'Women creating the history of Kyrgyzstan' | United Nations in Kyrgyz Republic". United Nations. Retrieved 2021-11-12.