It was overwhelming to meet Karipbek Kuyukov in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, during the 62nd Pugwash Conference focussed on Confronting New Nuclear Dangers. We talked about the pressing need to do away with nuclear weapons. Visiting an exhibition of his paintings in the National Museum of Kazakhstan was a shattering experience.
Karipbek Kuyukov was born 45 years ago in a small village in Kazakhstan, just miles from where the Soviet Union conducted more than 450 nuclear weapons tests. Those tests exposed his parents to radiation and resulted in Karipbek being born without arms. Karipbek has overcome many obstacles to become an anti-nuclear weapons activist and renowned artist whose works have been shown around the world.
Today, Karipbek often paints portraits of the victims of nuclear testing and, as honorary Ambassador to The ATOM Project, speaks out against nuclear weapons at conferences and events held in such places as the United Nations and the United States Congress.
WATCH VIDEO > Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project and non-proliferation activist Karipbek Kuyukov talks to IDN-INPS about the success of the broad-based movement for the closing down of the nuclear testing site independent Kazakhstan inherited from the Soviet Union after its collapse. He urges North Korea to end nuclear tests and appeals to the international community to help usher in a world free of nuclear weapons. Filmed and edited by Katsuhiro Asagiri, IDN-INPS Multimedia Director.