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Archive of Events 2007

The events advertised below were held in 2007. They were organized either by CAN in cooperation with our partners (and identified as a "Chechnya Advocacy Network Event") or by different institutions and listed as a service to our audiences. Please be aware that links, speakers' affiliations and contact information may no longer be correct. Events are listed in reverse chronological order.

Archive of 2006 Events
Archive of 2005 Events

Archive of 2004 Events


November 20, 2007:

The aftermath of the War in Chechnya. A Lecture by Gistam Sakaeva

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event
Co-sponsored by the Central and Southwest Asia Studies Program/UM and Thomas Goltz, Visiting Scholar at UM

Central and Southwest Asia Studies Program
Old Journalism Building
Lounge Room on 3rd floor
University of Montana
Missoula, Montana
12:30-2:00pm

Gistam Sakaeva has been an aid worker since the start of the first Chechen war in 1994, when she was recruited by Doctors Without Borders from a refugee camp. In addition to Doctors Without Borders, she has worked for Handicap International, Care Canada and the OSCE. She is currently a project officer for the Chechen NGO Reliance, where she runs income-generating programs for vulnerable women and those with disabled family members.

Gistam holds a degree in English, Russian and Chechen from Grozny University, and is currently a Fellow of the International Center for Tolerance Education, New York, and project officer at Reliance, a Chechen NGO.

The event is open to the public.


November, 19, 2007:

A moderated discussion of Tony Wood's new book "Chechnya. The Case for
Independence"

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event

Lindsay Rogers Room (7th floor)
International Affairs Building
Columbia University
420 West 118th Street
New York
6pm

With the author, Tony Wood. Discussant to be announced.

Tony Wood's book "Chechnya. The Case for Independence was published in 2007 by Verso Books and provides an analysis of Chechnya's pro-independence movement. It examines the question "whether or not the Chechens have the right to a state of their own". The book has been reviewed by Charles King in the Times Literary Supplement at http://tls.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25346-2646373,00.html . A debate between Tom de Waal and Tony Wood earlier this year at the Frontline Club in London can be watchedhere: http://www.frontlineclub.com/club_videoevents.php?event=190.

Tony Wood is assistant editor at New Left Review in London; his writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement and Art Monthly, among other publications.

Disclaimer: According to our mission statement, the Chechnya Advocacy Network, "does not side, and has never sided, with any of the parties involved [in the political and armed conflicts in Chechnya] nor do we promote any specific political outcomes". Therefore, CAN does not support the central tenet of Tonys book, i.e. independence. However, in line with our goal of promoting research and debate, and because the author values a critical, vigorous discussion of his arguments, we are assisting Tony Wood and Verso Books with this US book tour.


November 16, 2007:

The Impact of War on the Population of Chechnya, with Gistam Sakaeva

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event

Course "War and Morality", Professor David Kinsella

Ondine room 218
Portland State University
1912 SW 6th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201
9am-10am

Gistam Sakaeva has been an aid worker since the start of the first war in 1994, when she was recruited by Doctors Without Borders from a refugee camp. In addition to Doctors Without Borders, she has worked for Handicap International, Care Canada and the OSCE. She is currently a project officer for the Chechen NGO Reliance, where she runs income-generating programs for vulnerable women and those with disabled family members.
Gistams main interests are gender-based violence and the marginalization of mine victims and otherwise disabled children and adults in Chechnya. In her experience, the war and its side-effects of violence, power disparity and a harsher social climate have had a particularly detrimental effect on already marginalized groups. For example, in todays Chechnya, children with mine injuries as well as those with congenital birth defects are de facto excluded from all schooling, cannot get the care and rehabilitation they need and are often simply hidden away at home. Domestic violence has become more common, and women are also faced with various forms of sexual exploitation. Gistam holds a degree in English, Russian and Chechen from Grozny University. As an ICTE Fellow in the US, Gistam intends to learn from the comparative experiences of organizations working with disabled children and victims of domestic violence. She also aims to raise awareness of these issues among donors, experts and partner organizations.

The event is open to the public.


November 13, 2007 (rescheduled for November 14, 2007, 6pm!):

The Aftermath of the War in Chechnya by Gistam Sakaeva (Fellow, International Center for Tolerance Education, New York and project officer at Reliance, a Chechen NGO)

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event

83 Dwinelle Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
5pm

Sponsored by:
Institute for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, UC Berkeley
Boalt Hall Committee for Human Rights
American Friends Service Committee, San Francisco
Chechnya Advocacy Network, New York

Gistam Sakaeva has been an aid worker since the start of the first war in 1994, when she was recruited by Doctors Without Borders from a refugee camp. In addition to Doctors Without Borders, she has worked for Handicap International, Care Canada and the OSCE. She is currently a project officer for the Chechen NGO Reliance, where she runs income-generating programs for vulnerable women and those with disabled family members.
Gistams main interests are gender-based violence and the marginalization of mine victims and otherwise disabled children and adults in Chechnya. In her experience, the war and its side-effects of violence, power disparity and a harsher social climate have had a particularly detrimental effect on already marginalized groups. For example, in todays Chechnya, children with mine injuries as well as those with congenital birth defects are de facto excluded from all schooling, cannot get the care and rehabilitation they need and are often simply hidden away at home. Domestic violence has become more common, and women are also faced with various forms of sexual exploitation. Gistam holds a degree in English, Russian and Chechen from Grozny University. As an ICTE Fellow in the US, Gistam intends to learn from the comparative experiences of organizations working with disabled children and victims of domestic violence. She also aims to raise awareness of these issues among donors, experts and partner organizations.


October 7, 2007:

The Life of Anna Politkovskaya: A Panel Discussion

Refectory, Union Theological Seminary
Broadway and 121st Street
5:00pm

Participants:

Ann Cooper, Coordinator, Broadcast Program at the Columbia Journalism School, and former Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists
Rachel Denber, Acting Director of Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia Division
Mary Holland, NYU School of Law
Michaela Pohl, Vassar College

Moderator: Catharine Nepomnyashchy, Director, Harriman Institute

The panel discussion will be followed by a brief reception.

Attendance of the panel discussion does not guarantee seats at the performance of the Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya at 7pm. Please reserve your tickets at the Box Office (212-854-5638).


October 7, 2007:

The Harriman Institute and the Barnard Slavic, Theatre and Music Departments present: A Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya

James Chapel, Union Theological Seminary
Broadway and 121st Street
New York
7:00pm

Created by Amy Trompetter
Music composed by Alexander Bakshi
Featuring Barnard and Columbia Students

A Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya commemorates the life and death of a Russian journalist, who persisted in her clear-eyed reporting on the war in Chechnya despite having been poisoned and issued multiple death threats. She was shot on October 7, 2006 while entering her Moscow apartment. A Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya features new music by renowned Moscow-based composer, Alexander Bakshi, and the visual poetry of Amy Trompetter's giant puppetry. At the top of his field in the Russian theater world, Alexander Bakshi liberates and stretches sound to express narrative and dialogue. Amy Trompetters iconoclastic puppets, ranging from the tiny to the gigantic, honor Annas life and death, her tenacious observation of indefensible war, her bold expose of political folly, and her lament for the suffering of women and children.

To reserve tickets, please call the Box Office at 212-854-5638.


October 6, 2007:

The Harriman Institute and the Barnard Slavic, Theatre and Music Departments present: A Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya

James Chapel, Union Theological Seminary
Broadway and 121st Street
New York
7:00pm

Created by Amy Trompetter
Music composed by Alexander Bakshi
Featuring Barnard and Columbia Students

A Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya commemorates the life and death of a Russian journalist, who persisted in her clear-eyed reporting on the war in Chechnya despite having been poisoned and issued multiple death threats. She was shot on October 7, 2006 while entering her Moscow apartment. A Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya features new music by renowned Moscow-based composer, Alexander Bakshi, and the visual poetry of Amy Trompetter's giant puppetry. At the top of his field in the Russian theater world, Alexander Bakshi liberates and stretches sound to express narrative and dialogue. Amy Trompetters iconoclastic puppets, ranging from the tiny to the gigantic, honor Annas life and death, her tenacious observation of indefensible war, her bold expose of political folly, and her lament for the suffering of women and children.

To reserve tickets, please call the Box Office at 212-854-5638.


October 4 and 6, 2007:

Screening of "Alexandra" at New York Film Festival

Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Building
Columbus Circle
New York
6pm (10/04); 1:15pm (10/06)

The 2007 New York Fim Festival at Lincoln Center presents two screenings of "Alexandra", the most recent feature film by Aleksandr Sokurov. Best known in the West for his stunning "Russian Ark" (2002), Sokurov is one of Russia's most important contemporary directors. "Alexandra", a French-Russian co-production, tells the story of a Russian grandmother (played by opera singer Galina Vishnevskaya, the widow of the late cellist Mstislav Rostropovich), who travels to Chechnya to visit her grandson, who serves there as an officer. Alexandra becomes a witness to the soldiers' life on an army base, but also meets local civilians. Shot in and around Grozny, "Alexandra" has been called Sokurov's "most directly political work for years".

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the film's website.


October 3, 2007:

One Year after Anna Politkovskaya's Murder:
Where Is Russia Heading and What Is the Position of the EU in this Regard?

A briefing by Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch
7 Avenue des Gaulois
1040 Brussels
Metro: Merode

9:30 am

Speakers:
Tanya Lokshina, DEMOS center (Russia)
Oleg Orlov, MEMORIAL Human Rights Center (Russia)
Sacha Koulaeva, Head of Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk, FIDH
Lotte Leicht, EU Director, Human Rights Watch
Dick Oosting, Director, Amnesty International EU Office

One year after Anna Politkovskaya's murder, the human rights situation in Russia remains bleak. Journalists continue to risk their lives, civil society is openly curtailed and torture and disappearances remain common, particularly in the Northern Caucasus.

What has the EU done to that end, and what more is needed? Leading human rights NGOs invite you to attend a press conference to address these questions.

The press conference will include the participation of two prominent Russian human rights defenders who will be in Brussels for the EU-Russia human rights consultations taking place on the same day.

Please RSVP to Juliette Le Dore.


September 23, 2007:

Documentary screening I Remain the Same"

Tropfest@Tribeca
World Financial Center Plaza, Battery Park City
New York
8pm (start of screenings of 16 short films)


In early summer 2007 the Achilles Track Club, an organization that helps disabled athletes participate in mainstream sports, brought three young Chechens to New York for medical treatment, new prosthetics and participation in sporting events. Chechnya Advocacy Network volunteers assisted the visitors with interpreting, doctors visits, sightseeing and some regional travel. You can read press coverage about the young Chechens' time in New York here and here.

One of the young men, Adam Mezhiev, is 22 years old and lost a leg when he was ten. While Adam was in New York, two American film-makers made a shot documentary about him, titled I Remain the Same It will be shown at Tropfest, which is part of the Tribeca Film Festival and dedicated to short films (more here). Adam has since returned to Chechnya, but hopes to come back to New York and run in the annual New York Marathon.

The open air Tropfest is free and open to the public. From 5pm until 8pm, when the screening of short films start, there will be live music.


August 3-26, 2007:

Godislav - A play by Nancy Beverly, directed by Susan Lee

Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Boulevard,
Santa Monica, CA
8pm (Fridays and Saturdays); 3pm (Sundays)

An original play by Nancy Beverly, premiering on August 3, about an American documentary filmmaker and a Chechen doctor who has survived the wars and become a refugee. Ms. Beverly and her collaborators are happy to arrange for discounted group admission rates and/or a talkback session with the writer and the cast after performances (contact Nancy). Go to www.playwrights6.com/ for more information.


June 26, 2007:

Join us to welcome Raphael Glucksmann, Aurelia Chaudagne, Milana Bakhaeva and Raisa Borshchigova from the French student-led organization Etudes Sans Frontieres - Studies Without Borders (ESF).

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event

Room 1219 International Affairs Building
Columbia University
420 West 118th Street
New York
5:30pm to 8pm

ESF (www.etudessansfrontieres.org) is a student-led initiative that has been bringing students from war-torn countries to European universities since 2003 and would now like to expand its successful approach of student leadership and peer guidance to US universities. Raphael and Aurelia, two founding members of ESF and among its current leadership, are in NY with the two of the program's fellows, Milana and Raisa from Chechnya, to meet with US students and discuss their planned expansion of ESF in the US.

ESF is based on a revolutionary approach in which students take the lead, unlike traditional exchange programs which are run by foundations, governments and university administrations. This model allows students to strengthen their universities' global commitment, bring diversity to their campus and change the life of talented young people from some of the most troubled parts of the world. The success rate of ESF compares well to conventional fellowship programs, due to student volunteers' contribution: upon arrival, fellows from Chechnya, Rwanda or other suffering parts of the world are embraced by a group of peers that assist them with orientation and language classes, advise them on their course of study, help them build professional networks and offer friendship and support.

Etudes Sans Frontieres was founded in 2003 by a group of French students, who wanted to take fast, pragmatic action to help their peers in war-torn Chechnya by giving them an education and introducing them to a peaceful, democratic society. Through volunteer action, they brought a highly motivated group of young Chechens to France, enrolled them in graduate and undergraduate programs at elite universities and assisted them with internships and professional development. In fall 2006, the first class of ESF students graduated, and they have since then been returning to Chechnya where they use their new skills in local NGOs, media and humanitarian organizations. Since its inception, ESF has expanded to universities across France as well as Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy and Canada. The organization has also started recruiting students in other conflict-ridden parts of the world, like Rwanda, Congo and Afghanistan.

If you are interested in learning more about ESF and/or would like to bring this initiative to your own school, please join us for snacks, drinks and conversation.

Please RSVP to can@chechnyaadvocacy.org to help us gauge how many guests we will have!

Co-sponsored by the Russian international association at Columbia University and the Harriman Institute

Directions: Take the 1 train to 116th street/Columbia University, cross the campus towards Amsterdam Avenue and enter the IA building on 118th street. Or take the M11 bus going uptown on Amsterdam Avenue to 118th street.


June 24, 2007:

Reading from Danser sur les ruines, une jeunesse tchetchene (Dancing on ruins. A Chechen youth) by Chechen author Milana Terloeva

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event

The Tank @ C:U
279 Church Street
New York
6:30pm

Please join us for a reading from "Danser sur les ruines, une jeunesse tchetchene" (Dancing on ruins. A Chechen youth), by 27 year-old journalist and author Milana Terloeva from Chechnya. Since the book has only been published in France to date, the reading will be from excerpts translated into English.

Milana was 14 when war broke out in her native Chechnya. During the following years she experienced bombings, flight and displacement, the destruction of her home town and the deaths of people around her. Milana was studying French in Chechnyas bombed-out capital Grozny when the second war started in 1999 and she became a refugee. Unlike most of her generation, Milana was fortunate: in 2003, she was given the chance to go to Paris and embark on a graduate education in journalism at the elite Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, by a new grass-roots initiative of French students, Etudes Sans Frontieres (Studies Without Borders), who wanted to help their peers in Chechnya. After writing for French and Italian newspapers, Milana was approached to write her book, which was published in 2006, the same year she graduated second in her class. Milana has since returned to Chechnya, where she is working to establish a European cultural center and writing her next book. Milana is visiting New York with three of her colleagues from Etudes Sans Frontieres.

The excerpts of the book will be read by New York-based journalist Marisa Robertson-Textor, who spent seven years living and working in Russia. Marisa holds a graduate degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and has previously worked with human rights organizations in Russia and written about Chechnya.

Since seating is limited, please RSVP to can@chechnyaadvocacy.org. There will be a suggested contribution of $5 to cover expenses of the venue.


June 22, 2007:

Dancing on Ruins: Youth in Chechnya Today

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event, in cooperation with the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus

The two Russian-Chechen wars have left the educational infrastructure of Chechnya in disrepair, the economy destroyed, and an entire generation of Chechen youth isolated from the rest of the country and the world, with little or no opportunities in their future. Two talented young Chechens, Raisa Borshchigova and Milana Bakhaeva, have come to the United States to tell us about the everyday reality their peers face, including the experiences described in Milana's book, Dancing on Ruins: A Chechen Childhood.

Freedom House
1319 18th Street NW
2pm

Milana Bakhaeva:Growing up in the midst of two Russian-Chechen wars, during which her home town was destroyed and her family displaced, Milana managed to attend and graduate from the Grozny University. Upon completion, she was one of the first Chechens selected to participate in the Studies without Borders fellowship program in Paris where she studied journalism and in 2006 graduated 2nd in her class. Milana chose to move back to Grozny where she is now helping to set up a European cultural center. She has written a number of articles and is the author of a best seller Dancing on the Ruins: A Chechen Childhood. She is currently writing her next book, on women in Chechnya.

Raisa Borshchigova worked for a UNICEF implementing partner on the problem of HIV/AIDS in Chechnya. Raisa was selected by the Studies without Borders program in 2006 and is currently studying journalism in Europe.

Raphael Glucksmann and Aurelia Chaudagne are co-founders of the French student-lead organization Etudes Sans Frontieres Studies Without Borders that has been helping Chechen students receive higher education at French and other European universities. Over the past four years they have put dozens of students from Chechnya through elite graduate programs while providing them with personal support in their professional development.

Please RSVP to intern-acpc@freedomhouse.org


June 7, 2007:

The North Caucasus - Europe's Forgotten Human Rights Tragedy?
With Timur Aliev, Valery Dzutsev and Thomas de Waal of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Frontline Club
13 Norfolk Place
London, W2 1QJ
7:00pm

Two local editors for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Timur Aliev (Chechnya's best known journalist and also editor of Chechenskoe Obshchestvo newspaper) and Valery Dzutsev (IWPR's North Caucasus Director), who have covered events in Chechnya and at the school siege tragedy in Beslan, give a unique on-the-ground perspective on what is going on in the North Caucasus, together with IWPR's Caucasus editor and expert Tom de Waal.

The event is free and open to the public. For more details, go to www.frontlineclub.com.


April 27, 2007:

After the war: Journalism in Chechnya
Screening of the Chechen documentary "The Crying Sun" and panel discussion

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event, in cooperation with 16Beaver

Part of the "16Beaver" event series

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
New York
7pm


Zarema Mukusheva, Katya Sokiryanskaya, Ousam Baysaev, and Shamil Tangiev of the Russian human rights organization Memorial's office in Grozny, Chechnya, will discuss the history of the Russian-Chechen conflict, its impact on Chechnya's mountain areas and the situation of journalism in this region today. They will screen the documentary "The Crying Sun", which focuses on the life stories of people from the mountain village of Zumsoy in Chechnya, who are faced with forced displacement and human rights violations by the federal army, attacks by guerilla fighters and socio-economic decline.By helping to articulate these voices in the public and policy spheres, the authors of the documentary call on Russian authorities to end impunity for human rights violations, and to restore policies for the return of mountain villagers to their ancestral homes. In the international advocacy fora, the video will help bring visibility to calls for justice in Chechnya. Produced by Memorial in cooperation with WITNESS in February 2007, 25 minutes long (Zarema Mukusheva, author; Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya and Shamil Tangiev, producers).
The discussion will be moderated by Olga Kopenkina.

Participants' bios:
Zarema (Zina) Mukusheva is human right defender who has been working at Memorial Grozny since 2000. As Memorial monitor, she uses visual media to bring international attention to murders, mass graves, disappearances, and kidnappings in Chechnya. Zarema is the recipient of the 2005 Reebok Human Rights Award for young human rights activists. Mukusheva is a graduate of Chechen State University with an MA in history.

Ousam Baysaev is a human rights defender, author, and reporter for Radio Free Europe (Chechnya). Since 2000 he has worked in Memorial office in Ingushetia, documenting human rights abuse in Chechnya. Hehas co- authored a book series "People Live Here. A Chronicle of Violence of the Second Chechen War" and the investigative reports "Zachistka", "Anti-terrorist operation". Since 2002 he is a news reporter for Radio-Marcho (RFE/RL, North Caucasus desk in the Chechen language).

Shamil (Shamsudin) Tangiev is the Head of Memorial's office in Grozny. Since early 2000 he has worked on documenting and reporting war crimes in Chechnya with particular focus on enforced disappearances and summary executions of civilians. He has also been responsible for Memorial's UNHCR-sponsored work with internally displaced people in Chechnya, has co-authored Memorial's annual reports on "Situation of Residents of Chechnya in the Russian Federation" and other publications on human rights violations in Chechnya. Tangiev holds a Degree in Law from Russian Institute of Economy and Law (Regional branch in Ingushetia).

Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya has worked in Memorial Nazran since 2003. She heads the programs "Database of Enforced Disappearances in Chechnya" and "Counting Fabrications of Criminal Cases within the Framework of Anti-Terrorist Operations in the North Caucasus." Sokiryanskaya, a graduate of Central European University in Budapest, with an MA in political science of post-communist transition, holds a Ph.D. in political science from St Petersburg State University. She is Assistant Professor of Political Science at History Department of the Chechen State University in Grozny.

Memorial's Human Rights Center was created in 1991 for human rights research and advocacy of Memorial Society, a Russian historical and educational non-governmental association. It has a particular focus on human rights protection in the conflict zones in ex-Soviet Republics. Memorial also operates a Migrants Rights Network, providing free legal assistance and counseling to refugees and forced migrants in 58 cities of the Russian Federation. Since the beginning of the second military campaign in 2000, Memorial has been the only Russian human rights group with permanent offices on the ground in the conflict zones in the Russian federal republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia documenting human rights violations and offering legal assistance to victims.


March 2, 2007:

Human Rights in Russia: The Case of Chechnya
Presentation and Discussion

Akademie fuer Internationale Politik des Renner-Instituts

Renner-Institut, Bruno-Kreisky-Saal
Entrance Gartenhotel Altmannsdorf
Hoffingergasse 26-28, 1120 Vienna
1-4pm

Presentation:
Ekaterina Sokirianskaia (Memorial)

Commentary:
Eduard Steiner (Moscow-based correspondent of the Austrian daily "Der Standard")
Karin Keil (Refugee and Migration department, Caritas Austria)

Conclusions:
Caspar Einem (MP for the Social Democratic Party, Foreign and European Policy)

Moderator:
Hans-Georg Heinrich (Professor of poitical science, Vienna University)

Presentation in English, discussion in English and German with simultaneous translation

For details, go to www.renner-institut.at.

Please RSVP at walla@renner-institut.at


February 27, 2007:

From ethnic conflicts in the North Caucasus to racial profiling in the Moscow metro: Russias spectrum of inter-ethnic problems and efforts to address them

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event

Part of "Europe's Darkest Corner: New York Photo Exhibition and Event Series on Chechnya" at the International Center for Tolerance Education (more information)

International Center for Tolerance Education (ICTE)
25 Washington Street
4th Floor
Brooklyn, NY
5:30pm -7:30pm

Reception to follow.

The wars in Chechnya and a spur of hate crimes in Russia's cities have eclipsed less well-known problems in the area of inter-ethnic relations. From the very local, such as the frozen conflict between Ingush and Ossetians not far from Chechnya, to the regional - the growing alienation between the numerous ethnic minorities in the North Caucasus - and the national level with its restrictive internal migration policies and biased media coverage, inter-ethnic coexistence in Russia appears to be fraught with dysfunction.

Our panel of distinguished experts will provide insights and describe their efforts to promote peace, diversity and minority rights in the North Caucasus and all over Russia.

Click here to enlarge and print out the invitation to the event. Moderator: Mark von Hagen (Columbia University)
Panelists: Rebecca Gould (Columbia University), Ekaterina Sokirianskaia (Memorial/Harvard University), Tullio Santini (UNICEF North Caucasus), Nickolai Butkevich (Union of Councils for Soviet Jews), Julia Harrington (OSI Justice Initiative)

Speakers bios:
Historian Mark von Hagen is one of the most eminent experts on Soviet nationalities policies. He holds degrees from Georgetown University (B.S.Foreign Service), Indiana University-Bloomington (M.A., Slavic Languages and Literatures); and Stanford University (Ph.D., History and Humanities). He has also taught at Stanford University, Yale University, the Free University of Berlin, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris). He served as Associate Director and then Director of the Harriman Institute (1989-2001), the nations oldest university-based research and teaching center on the states and societies of post-Soviet Eurasia.

Rebecca Gould holds degrees in Slavic and Comparative Literatures from UC Berkeley (B.A.) and CUNY (M.A.) and is currently pursuing a PhD in anthropology at Columbia University. From 2004 to 2006 she lived in Georgia and the North Caucasus, where she studied local languages and conducted field and archival research. She has published on violence, indigenous culture, sociolinguistics, and Islam in the Caucasus, as well as translated key works of historic and contemporary literature from the Caucasus region from Russian, Georgian, and Chechen. Her most recent research focuses on the ethno-linguist situation of Kist, a dialect of Chechen, spoken only in the Pankisi Gorge. Her research has been funded by SSRC, American Councils, and NSEP.

Tullio Santini, based in Moscow, has been UNICEF's North Caucasus Programme Coordinator since 2003 and manages UNICEF's Humanitarian/Recovery Programme in the region. He previously served with the UN Department for Political Affairs (Cambodia) as well as for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (New York and Burundi). Before joining the UN he worked in the areas of electoral assistance and human rights monitoring, with the OSCE (Albania and Bosnia) and NGOs (South Africa and Bangladesh). In 1995-98 he held a research fellowship at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Padua (Italy). He holds degrees in Political Science, Journalism and Human Rights. He is currently working on a PhD thesis on the challenge of humanitarian protection in complex emergencies.

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia has been working at the Memorial Human Rights Center in Nazran, Ingushetia, for several years, where she has, among other responsibilities, initiated grass-roots programs to reconcile ethnic Ingush and Ossetians. She is a graduate of Department of Philosophy of St Petersburg State University as well as Central European University in Budapest, with a cum laude MA in political science of post-communist transition, and Russian State Pedagogical University, with MA in English and Japanese Philology. Katya is now working on her Ph.D. dissertation Governing Fragmented Societies: State -Building and Social Integration in Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia at Central European University's Political Science Department. She is also an Assistant Professor of history at the Chechen State University in Grozny.

Nickolai Butkevich, the Research and Advocacy Director at the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews received an MA in Central European, Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies from Georgetown University in 1998, and a BA in History from Mary Washington College in 1994. He has published widely on the subject of racism, anti-semitism, persecution of ethnic and religious minorities and hate crime in the former Soviet Union and has spoken about these issues at universities and testified in Congress as well as in US asylum cases.

Julia Harrington Julia Harrington is Senior Legal Officer for Equality and Citizenship at the Open Society Institute's Justice Initiative. In 2005/2006, she spearheaded an effort to document the problem of ethnic profiling in the Moscow metro system of people belonging to Russia's minorities, using the same methodology as had been used to document racial profiling in the US. The Equality and Citizenship program continues to work in Russia, seeking legal remedies in cases of discrimination against ethnic minorities. Prior to joining the Justice Initiative, Julia received Echoing Green and Ashoka fellowships in recognition of her work promoting human rights litigation in Africa.

Please RSVP by Friday, February 23 to BSUBBA@tmf-tolerance.org

Directions: F train to York Street, A/C to High Street, 2/3 to Clark Street (1st stop in Brooklyn). Click here for a map.


February 23, 2007:

Chechnya: Past and Present
An event to commemorate the 1944 deportation and assess the present

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event

Berkeley City College
2050 Center Street, Berkeley, CA, 94704
Our reception with Chechen food starts at 7 pm in the atrium
The presentation starts at 8 pm in room 51

Featured speaker Professor Michaela Pohl (Department of History, Vassar College)

February 23, 1944
The wholesale deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people to Central Asia begins. Their fate - deportation, forced exile and suffering - is shared by a dozen other ethnic groups from all over Stalin's Soviet Union. Their very name is wiped off the map of their indigenous homeland. In 1957, after Stalin's death, Chechens and Ingush as well as most other deported peoples are allowed to return home.
December 13, 1994
Russian troops invade the self-proclaimed independent Chechen Republic, setting off a decade of war, lawlessness and human rights abuses.
February 23, 2007
After 12 years of war, violence and upheaval: What is the state of Chechnya today?

Our 3-rd Annual Event is dedicated to looking at the lives of Chechens in todays reality, while analyzing and commemorating their past. Although the story of Stalin's deportations of entire nations, arguably one of the most massive crimes of the 20th century, is not widely known, it is a central part of the Chechen people's collective memory. We will take look at the present situation in light of the experiences of the last 3 generations.

Speaker bio:
Professor Pohl is the foremost Western expert on the deportation of the Chechen Nation and their lives in the exile and has conducted extensive oral history research. She received her Ph.D.in modern Russian history from Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana (1999). Her research focuses on the social history of the Soviet Union after Stalin, especially the Khrushchev period. Other research and teaching interests include the history of Kazakstan and Chechnya, diasporas in the borderlands of the former Soviet Union, youth and children in Russia and Europe, and Russian and Central European popular culture. Her on-going projects include research on the cultural resistance in exile of the Chechen people (they were deported from the Caucasus to North Kazakstan in 1944). Among her publications is "'It Cannot be that Our Graves Will be Here:' The Survival of Chechen and Ingush Deportees in Kazakhstan, 1944-1957."

This event is sponsored by the Global Studies Club and the American Friends Service Committee of San Francisco.

Please RSVP by February 21 to can@chechnyaadvocacy.org.


January 26, 2007:

"Responding to Conflict and Building Peace in Chechnya and the North Caucasus" - Informational Panel and Subsequent Workshop with Chris Hunter of the Centre for Peacebuilding and Community Development (CPCD)

A Chechnya Advocacy Network Event

Part of "Europe's Darkest Corner: New York Photo Exhibition and Event Series on Chechnya" at the International Center for Tolerance Education (more information)

International Center for Tolerance Education (ICTE)
25 Washington Street
4th Floor
Brooklyn, NY
10:30am-12:30pm Informational Panel

2-5pm: Interactive Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution Workshop

Speakers at the morning panel:
Professor Michaela Pohl, Vassar University
Chris Hunter, founder and chief executive of CPCD
Almut Rochowanski, Chechnya Advocacy Network (moderator)

Afternoon workshop lead by Chris Hunter

10:30am -12:30pm: Chris Hunter, chief executive of the UK -based charity "Centre for Peacebuilding and Community Development" will talk about his and his organizations work in Chechnya and the region during two wars over the last 12 years. He will also introduce a joint project with a US organization that has created a book Power of Goodness: Stories of Nonviolence and Reconciliation and its planned use with children in Grozny to promote awareness of peaceful and non-violent ways of dealing with conflict, building tolerance and respect for human rights. Professor Michaela Pohl of Vassar College will present background information about the history of the conflict and the current situation.

12:30 -2pm: Lunch at ICTE

Click here to enlarge and print out the invitation to the event. 2-5pm: An afternoon workshop session aimed primarily at
college/ graduate students will provide an opportunity to experience first-hand peacebuilding and conflict resolution exercises similar to those that are conducted mainly by local trainers with young people in the North Caucasus.

Background information:
Chris Hunter is one of the most remarkable and influential civil society leaders and international advocates working on Chechnya and the North Caucasus. His involvement in Chechnya started in 1994 at the start of the first Chechen war, when he organized various peace-related activities in Russia. Together with Chechen friends, he founded the Centre for Peacemaking and Community Development (CPCD - www.cpcd.info) in 1995, which has been the leading organization (and for a long time the only one) to work in the areas of peace, tolerance and non-violence. Chris Hunter has been awarded an MBE by the British government, for services to the people of Chechnya, an Honour of the Chechen People medal, the German Shalom Peace Prize, and the United Nations of Youth International Peace Prize. He is a member of the executive board of Peaceworkers UK and the Quaker Peace and Social Witness Overseas Project group.

In addition to CPCD's peacebuilding activities, which are targeted at children and young people not just in Chechnya, but across the region, CPCD has provided humanitarian aid, community development activities, has pioneered psychosocial programs for traumatized children and supports cultural institutions. CPCD is today both a registered Russian organization and a UK-based charity and combines the best of both worlds by being deeply rooted in North Caucasus communities while bringing international expertise and funding to its work. Unlike other international aid agencies and even most Russian organizations, CPCD remained in the region during the chaotic and dangerous interwar years between 1997 and 1999, continuing to provide aid to the population. One of the remarkable features of CPCD is its staff recruitment and its investment in young leaders from the region; the most dedicated, professional and thoughtful young professionals from the region have all either been trained by CPCD, worked for the organization or are still affiliated with it on a volunteer basis. CPCD invests in training its volunteers and staff members at home and abroad and many of them go on to influential positions in local media, international aid organizations and civil society.

Please RSVP by Wednesday, January 24 to BSUBBA@tmf-tolerance.org

Directions: F train to York Street, A/C to High Street, 2/3 to Clark Street (1st stop in Brooklyn). Click here for a map.

 

The Chechnya Advocacy Network was formed out of deep concern about the situation in Chechnya and the surrounding areas and the challenges faced by Chechen refugees elsewhere. We strive to raise awareness of the situation in the region, particularly its human dimension, advocate for a strong international response to humanitarian and rebuilding challenges and work to empower local people to improve their communities. We do not endorse any specific political outcomes. Instead, our goal is to help the residents of the North Caucasus region build a peaceful and happy future. We welcome everyone who shares these goals with us.

© Copyright 2004, Zachary Hutchinson
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