Frauen in der Landwirtschaft

Social and Cultural Geography

A Digital Geography of Marginalized Sexualities in Kyrgyzstan

Across the world, traditionalists and right-wing populists identify sexuality diversity and sexuality equality as a danger to national and cultural integrity. Non-heteronormative sexualities – be they sexual practices, sexual identities, sexual experiences or representations of sexualities – are threatened, tabooed, and stigmatized. In Kyrgyzstan, the research context of the project, unmarried young women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, in particular, experience violence and shaming with regard to their sexual practices and/or identities. The stigma around non-heterosexual and non-binary sexualities and the taboo of sex for unmarried women also limits access to sexuality knowledge and peer support. In response, people marginalized on the grounds of their sexualities increasingly mobilize social media applications (e.g. Instagram) to produce and circulate knowledge about non-normative sexualities. Analyzing the production, negotiation, and circulation of knowledge about marginalized sexualities in social media spaces, provides insights into peoples' creative use of social media platforms. My analysis also allows for a better understanding of the potential of social media in terms of defending sexuality diversity and sexuality equality worldwide.


Faculty of Science of the University of Bern (field work 2019)

den SNF Swiss National Science Foundation

Project Timeline

2019 - 2023

Involved Researcher

Elisabeth Militz, University of Bern

Collaboration with the OSCE Academy Bishkek, the Central Asian Studies Insitut, American University of Central Asia, Bishkek


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