Gunel Movlud

Gunel Movlud was born in Azerbaijan. As a pursued Azeri journalist, translator, and poet, she has been living in Norway as an ICORN writer since 2016, where she has won the “Words on Borders” poetry prize in 2017. In 2019, she was published in Aschehoug anthology of refugee poets, To kiss a desert. To kiss a wall. Gunel is a women’s rights activist and writes against violence, oppression, and injustice.

Sex, criminality, hopelessness, and…beauty

“Today, they brought a little boy to the shelter again. He was beaten violently by his mother and step-father. Both of them are drug-addicted people, the child is not well, and we took him to hospital. The incident has already been reported to the relevant authorities.”   This text was written by Kamala Aghazade, a …

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Notes from Tbilisi International Book Festival

As a writer, my friends on my social media accounts mainly consist of people working in the publishing sector and media: Publishers, writers, journalists, translators. Quite a lot of people on this list are from Georgia, a neighbouring country to my homeland. Since the year started, posts shared by Georgians on my friend lists suddenly …

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In Need of Plain Bread

Interview   Shuddhashar:  What is it that you strive to explore and convey through your poetry? Gunel Movlud: I would define myself as a civic poet. From a very young age, when I started writing simple poems, poems about love, feelings, heartache, etc., I always felt as if something was missing there. As a university student, …

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Muslim feminists in the 19th century South Caucasus

A women’s movement started to emerge in Tsarist Russia in the mid-19th century. Just as most progressive ideas, women’s rights issue also came to the Russian Empire from Europe. Because female aristocrats of the country often travelled to Europe, they learned the latest developments towards women’s emancipation and observed heated discussions about women’s rights and …

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Homosexuality in the USSR: Past and Present

By the time the Soviet Union was established, homosexuality was considered a criminal act and punishable by death in Tsarist Russia. However, this was a mere legal formality. Those scandal-ridden courts set out for Oscar Wilde in Great Britain, Philipp, prince of Eulenburg in Germany, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Verlaine in France did not exist …

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Early marriages in South Caucasus: Underage girls as a political tool

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, religious and traditional restrictions were softened. Beside other nations, South Caucasian nations also enjoyed the freedom of going back to their own traditions and religions. Unfortunately, the “comeback of nations” in the Caucasus first hit women who faced oppression under patriarchal hegemony. Given a chance, mullahs and clerics …

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The questionable outcome of the Nagorno-Karabakh war

As for disagreement in the Azeri society, according to many political scientists, Aliyev himself does not see the Russain troops as a threat. Russian troops do not pose a danger to Aliyev as long as he is loyal to Russia. The fact that Russia is not as strong and threatening as it used to be …

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My exile story and the cover of my son’s passport

Only four years ago, I was devastated by the piece of paper in my hands. It was a rejection of our application for a living permit in Georgia. I had spent the last two years trying to stay in this neighboring country after I fled my native country, Azerbaijan.  At that moment, Georgian immigration services …

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The Nagorno-Karabakh Deadlock

Armenia and Azerbaijan so far have rejected international calls for negotiations. Azerbaijan’s Ministry of External Affairs claimed that the government will continue fighting until Armenia leaves the occupied territories.  Russia has urged both sides to negotiate and sign an immediate ceasefire and expressed willingness to host the negotiations.  Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of External Affairs, …

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Sex, sports, travel – everything for men! | Gunel Movlud

What is the situation with equal rights in the most patriarchal country of the South Caucasus? A wish for seven sons At traditional Azerbaijani weddings, the groom’s best man ties a red band around the bride’s waist and makes a wish: ‘I want seven sons and just one daughter.’ This ritual illustrates the expectations and …

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Siden jeg ble kjent med deg har høsten fart forbi

Poesitankegangen min Som barn, i frykt for å bli slått av foreldrene mine igjen for å ha lest en kjærlighetsroman, klatret jeg opp i trærne og leste bøker der, på toppen av disse trær. Selv de tynneste trærne tålte min sykelig tynne kropp. Av og til ble jeg likevel dratt så sterkt inn i handlingen, …

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