Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bishkek Street Art Project (Part 2)

One of the main events in the recent Kyrgyzs history is the coup d’etat, which took place in 2005. Also known as the Tulip Revolution, a popular uprising leaded by Bakiev–the current president of Kyrgyzstan– forced the corrupt president Akayev to fleed the country, thus starting a new government. This revolution, which was backed by CIA, was a violent and traumatic event for the country. Thousands of people invaded Akayev’s presidential palace, looted shopping malls owned by Akayev’s family and destroyed private and public properties. Akayev fled the country in a rush aboard his helicopter.

I talked to several Kyrgyzs about this event and I realized the images of the looters carrying TVs, sofas and clothing out of the stores are still very much present in their consciousness. There was a sense of shame the whole world saw such a low point of their country.

Irony is that many believe the current president Bakiev is as corrupt – if not more corrupt – than the former president. As in most of the revolutions throughout history, we see the pattern of history repeating itself: The oppressive and corrupt power is ousted by opposing party who gain the popular support and ultimately the governing power by promoting freedom and justice. Once they’re in power, the exploitation, the corruption and the abuse of power start again. Think about the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Cultural Revolution in China and more recently, Chavez in Venezuela.

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