The koshogo, a nuptial veil in use in Kyrgyzstan, became a new media that helped us make our point. The way we combined this symbol with accounts of harsh reality created a shock in people's’ minds. The fact that the koshogos appeared in the places where kidnappings took place added to the power of the campaign.
In Kyrgyzstan even nowadays young women risk being kidnapped and then, forcibly married. This is called ala kachuu, a tradition, say some, but in fact, a crime. In 2018, 15 000 brides were kidnapped in Kyrgyzstan, but only 28 cases made it to the court. Police officers, often out of respect for a venerable tradition, refuse to file victims’ reports. And in general, the subject is taboo.
Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)
On May 28 2018, Mars Bodoshev abducted Burulai Turdaly-kyzy. Caught and brought to the police station with his victim, he managed to sneak into the room where the young girl was sitting and stabbed her to death. During Bodoshev trial, KLOOP, an online news portal, decided to break the silence with the Koshogo campaign. A koshogo is a white curtain that the kidnappers’ family hang in his house. According to tradition, for the bride, passing under the koshogo means giving her consent to marriage. If she resists, she will often be raped. We collected the reports of the ala kachuu victims, that were rejected by police, and printed them on koshogos. These white sheets, hundreds of them, appeared in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek in the exact spots where the abductions
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
This subject is taboo for the majority of the population and media of Kyrgyzstan. Only KLOOP had the courage to speak the truth and to condemn this tradition and those who support it. We combined the koshogo - a powerful symbol of the traditional marriage and virginal innocence symbolized by its white color - with stories of violence against women, even rape, taken from the ala kachuu victims’ reports rejected by the police.
Describe the execution (20% of vote)
We collected the reports of the ala kachuu victims, that were rejected by police, and printed them on koshogos. These white sheets, hundreds of them, appeared in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek in the exact spots where the abductions took place. At the same time the rejected reports, recorded by these young girls on video in the very places where they’ve been abducted, appeared on the internet.
List the results (30% of vote)
The campaign was nothing short of a shock. After the taboo was broken and people started talking, in Kyrgyzstan and other countries, the media joined the conversation. Many business communities gave their support to the campaign, but also museums of modern art, cinemas etc.
As more and more stories emerged, social networks were flooded with indignant comments, giving rise to a wave of protest that ultimately forced the Kyrgyz Prime Minister to demand drastic measures against ala kachuu.
•9 000 000+ views
•23% more reports from ala kachuu
victims registered by the police
•The reports that were
once rejected are now filed
•26 police officers supportive
of ala kachuu discharged from duty or severely punished.
•Campaign to be extended to Middle East by UN Women
•The campaign focused general attention on
Bodoshev case which resulted, at least partly, in extremely
severe penalties the kidnapper and his accomplices received.