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AK JOL - Art Mobile

Louise Amelie | Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Organization: Louise Amelie & ArtCity e.V.



ArtCity e.V., led by the artist board - Louise Amelie, Darja Nesterowa, Elisabeth Bender, and Andreas Bauer, envisions a two-month art and culture event in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan in 2024. In collaboration with Kyrgyz art professionals, the initiative addresses financial constraints in rural areas, bringing contemporary art to these regions. 

The project proposes a mobile art exhibition using modified buses, showcasing Central Asian and European artworks. A documentary film, produced by Central Asian filmmakers, will capture local perspectives. Locations will be carefully chosen in collaboration with Central Asian cultural workers, and the buses will be left to support ongoing cultural initiatives.

Already existing Material from the "Berlin Bishkek Art Weeks" will cover migration, gender equality, and life perspectives, including photographs by Louise Amelie and the series Missing Member, which was created in Kyrgyzstan in 202. Close cooperation with Central Asian partners, leveraging existing infrastructures, and engaging local residents in the supporting program are essential. Human rights activists and experts will enhance the social program.


Objective: Strengthen Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
Approach: Enhance cultural partnerships, focusing on contemporary creations. Synchronise European and Central Asian art for international cooperation.

Sustainable Economic Growth:
Objective: Promote sustained, inclusive economic growth, full employment, and decent work.
Approach: Bring art to rural Central Asia, using it as a catalyst for economic growth and integrating it into the European market.

Reduce Inequality:
Objective: Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Approach: Provide opportunities through international art exchange, empowering individuals to break free from restrictive structures.

Inclusive Education:
Objective: Ensure inclusive quality education, promote lifelong learning.
Approach: Close information gaps through collaboration with local NGOs. Facilitate workshops, exhibitions, and performance days, promoting mutual learning and breaking down gender roles.

Gender Equality:
Objective: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Approach: Foster balanced cooperation between genders. Actively promote free gender choice and equality, collaborating with local feminist and queer scenes.

Peaceful and Inclusive Societies:
Objective: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies.
Approach: Safeguard and advance prospects of vulnerable groups. Facilitate international art exchange, contributing to peaceful and inclusive societies.

Further Goals:

Material Survey: Use photos and interviews to document living situations, acknowledging changes since 2021

Impact of Russia's Policy and War: Explore effects on Central Asian societies, both rural and urban.

Central Asian Art Scene Exploration: Investigate how the young art scene copes with external factors, exploring possibilities and limitations.

Documentary Film: Plan local filmmakers for a documentary, considering implementation in other Central Asian countries.

The proposed project, Ak Jol - Art Mobil, injects fresh dynamics into international cultural relations and European collaboration by redefining the conventional models of engagement. By transforming a mobile space into an interactive cultural hub, we pioneer a novel approach to cross-cultural interaction, challenging static exhibition norms. This dynamic format not only accommodates diverse artistic expressions but also allows for spontaneous engagement, fostering a more immersive cultural experience.

Moreover, our emphasis on inclusivity and gender equality sets a progressive tone, aligning with contemporary global values. The project integrates marginalized voices, providing a platform for underrepresented artists, particularly women, fostering a more equitable cultural dialogue.

Ak Jol's decentralised nature breaks free from traditional urban-centric cultural activities, extending its reach to remote communities. By actively involving local partners and audiences in shaping the narrative, Ak Jol becomes a shared platform for mutual exchange, contributing to a more participatory and equal cultural collaboration.

The Ak Jol - Art Mobil project aligns seamlessly with the local context of Central Asia, acknowledging the distinctive cultural, political, economic, and societal facets of the region. Culturally, Central Asia boasts a rich and diverse heritage that often faces challenges in gaining international visibility. Our project addresses this need by providing a platform for local artists, fostering cross-cultural exchange, and promoting the unique narratives of Central Asian communities.

Politically, the region is characterised by evolving dynamics and diplomatic engagements. Ak Jol - Art Mobil contributes to diplomatic and cultural ties between Central Asian nations and the European Union, thereby enhancing mutual understanding and collaboration. Economically, the project empowers local artists by creating opportunities for exposure, potentially leading to economic growth within the cultural sector.

Societally, there is a need for inclusive initiatives that bridge diverse communities. Ak Jol - Art Mobil aims to address this by fostering connections and dialogues between different societal groups, promoting tolerance, understanding, and shared values. The mobile nature of the exhibition ensures accessibility, reaching audiences in various socio-economic settings.

In essence, Ak Jol - Art Mobil is not just an art project; it is a response to the nuanced needs of the local context, contributing to cultural enrichment, diplomatic relations, economic empowerment, and societal cohesion in Central Asia.


Our project, Ak Jol - Art Mobil, caters to a diverse range of target audiences, ensuring inclusivity and broad cultural engagement.
The primary audience includes the young population in Bishkek, fostering a connection between contemporary art and the vibrant youth culture.
Local and international art and culture professionals form another vital audience group, facilitating valuable networking opportunities and collaborations.

Moreover, the project aims to resonate with inhabitants of rural village communities, providing them access to international contemporary art experiences often limited by geographical constraints. Tourists in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia represent another significant audience, contributing to the project's goal of promoting cultural exchange on an international scale.

Additionally, friends and social networks associated with the Berlin-Bishkek Art Week platform are integral to our audience, ensuring a bridge between different realities of life. Central Asian political players form a strategic audience group, as their involvement can amplify the impact of the project on regional cultural development.

By tailoring our initiatives to these diverse audiences, we aim to create a dynamic and inclusive cultural space that transcends borders.

Schedule 2023/2025:
Research for funding (Oct '23 - Feb '24)
Evaluation and material prep (Feb - Jul '24)
Organization (Jan - Jul '24)
Implementation (Aug - Oct '24)
Postproduction (Nov '24 - Mar '25)

Activity details:

Exhibition format: Quick setup and flexible location changes, planned at seven Kyrgyz regions (Talas, Bishkek, Issyk-Kul, Naryn, Osh, Jalalabat, Batken). Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to be discussed.

Exhibition material: Edited material from "Berlin Bishkek Art Weeks," featuring diverse artworks, photos by Louise Amelie, interviews, books (MISSING MEMBER by Louise Amelie), and videos reflecting migration, gender equality, and life perspectives. Furthermore, artworks from European as well as Central Asian artists aim to make it accessible and discuss current developments.

Cooperation: Locally organised cultural events in collaboration with Central Asian partners, leveraging existing infrastructures and contacts. Partner expertise is crucial for successful implementation.

Supporting program: Inclusive events co-designed by local residents, featuring artist talks, interactive workshops, and contributions from human rights activists and experts.

ArtCity Association (Berlin, Germany)

Goethe-Institut (Kazakhstan),
French Embassy (Kyrgyzstan),
Alliance Francaise (Kyrgyzstan)  
Central Asian Crafts Support Association (CACSARC)
Association of Creative Industries in Kyrgyzstan

@louiseamelie (Instagram)

ArtCity e.V.
@artcity_e.v (Instagram)

MISSING MEMBER - Kyrgyzstan, A Country On The Move. 


Louise Amelie’s documentary photo series is an artistic exploration of the global phenomenon of migration and its many facets, which are often ignored in European migration politics. Migration has always been an integral part of human experience and will continue to be. Yet in public discourse it is presented as an aberration, while the existence of nation-state borders is hardly ever questioned. On the globe, Kyrgyzstan nestles inconspicuously next to Kazakhstan and China, but on the ground the vastness and heights of the mountains seem endless. In contrast to the natural beauty, prefabricated housing estates spring up in the capital, Bishkek. Here lives a young population that, despite all the adversities of post-Soviet reality, faces the world with great confidence. In a collection of portraying photographs that foreground the individual stories, the series is an expression of solidarity and empathy, and shows that migration can mean both an opportunity as well as the painful loss of a beloved Missing Member.

The series and the book of the same name were the basis of the BERLIN BISHKEK Art WEEKS and were presented for the first time in the course of this art festival. 


2023 IWPA Award (Winning Series)
2023 World Report Award (Shortlisted)
2023 Belfast Photofestival (Shortlisted)
2022 Lucie Foundation �" The Portrait Project (Winning Series)

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