Akylai Kabaeva is an urban planner with a MA in Urban Planning and Development with a particular interest in the ecology of the city. She was working part-time at three jobs and is a student in ArtEast’s School of Contemporary Art. She is an intern at Fauna and Flora International on projects related to conservation, is the Assistant Director of YARAT, the Center of Documentary Photography, and is consultant on urban issues for the NGO Urban Initiatives. Akylai is particularly interested in the relationship between urban planning and the arts and believes that art as a part of the creative economy plays one of the key roles in the development of cities and that art not only reflects social, political, and ecological issues, but also serves as a trigger of change in cities, nations, and the whole world.
YARAT is a newly established Center of Documentary Photography. The Center has a library of albums and books on documentary photography and conducts lecture courses and photo projects in the field of documentary photography.
Urban Initiatives (UI) is a new NGO that supports citizens and municipal governments to implement their ideas for the development of the city. UI conducts research on the urban environment, organizes seminars and discussions on urban planning, and working with citizens, communities and city administrations.