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Tajik Actresses’ Struggles

Tajikistan, under the former Soviet Union, benefited from the investment made in art forms popular in Russia and throughout the Soviet Union, especially theatre and the performing arts.

 

A few pioneering women, in the 1930s and 40s, had already entered the acting profession. A couple of generations of actors and actresses went to the performing arts colleges of Tashkent or Moscow to study, from the 1950s onwards, and then returned to perform.

 

 This was ground-breaking in the case of women, going against various traditional taboos about their public appearances that had existed before.

 

Those actresses now feel marginalised and not valued , with old-fashioned values and attitudes against their work returning to some parts of society and with extreme low pay and economic constraints adding to their problems.

 

 Their grandiose but respected titles of ‘People’s Artist’ and ‘Actor of Merit of the Republic’ do not gain them well-paying jobs, or even protection from the resurgence of old taboos.

 

In this multimedia report, we hear from three of these veteran actresses who talk of their achievements, struggles and hopes for the future.



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