Meet the Kazakh woman using presidential portraits to avoid eviction

Meet the Kazakh woman using presidential portraits to avoid eviction
Image: Radio Azattyq / Facebook

12 May 2017

When Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced plans last month to demolish old houses in Astana, rebellious city resident Nesipkul Uyabaeva had an innovative solution: cover the outside of her house in portraits of Mr Nazarbayev himself.

The president plans to bulldoze old houses in the centre of the Kazakh capital in order to clear space for Expo 2017, an international exposition on the theme of “Future Energy” beginning next month in Astana.

In response, 52 year-old Ms Uyabaeva created a Nazarbayev-themed facade for her house, plastering the exterior with 91 photos of the president in an attempt to deter the authorities from demolishing her home.

Nonetheless, this morning police arrived at the property to evict Ms Uyabaeva, who reportedly tried to set her house on fire. Radio Liberty’s Kazakh office Radio Azattyq broadcast the confrontation on Facebook Live. The determined resident resisted removal from the building for over an hour, after which point she agreed to vacate her home in three days.

“They will throw me out anyway. They don’t see me as a human being,” she told local news agency NewTimes. “I am a weak woman… I want our president to hear us! That is why I organised this campaign.”

Despite the fact that Ms Uyabaeva has not avoided eviction, social media users from across Kazakhstan were quick to comment their praise and support.

“Well done. This should work. It has already, because she has the press talking about her,” said one user, commenting on the story by Kazakhstan’s Nur.KZ on Facebook.

Source: BBC News