Peacebuilding UK arranged for nine North Caucasus human rights defenders, journalists and film-makers to attend the Bir Duino film festival in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 5th to 15th October. The participants were inspired and empowered to experience human rights as an exciting and appealing community celebration in their friendly rapport with the vibrant, effective and confident Kyrgyz civil society. This included exposure to a wide range of global issues including migrant and LGBT rights, and encouragement to expand their professional use of audio-visual media.
According to the well-travelled documentary film-makers present, this festival is renowned for powerfully bringing together into one creative community film directors and producers with social and civic
workers by creating safe spaces for frank discussions and passionate advocacy for causes. This visit was an inspiring, moving, intense and very dynamic experience. Much of this was due to our participants, who were enormously active, curious, open to explore new ideas and subjects – even if some of them found that challenging at times.