The Union conference on lung health
My activist path started after I survived tuberculosis in 2015. During the 7 months in isolation in a TB hospital in Moscow, I created a series of paintings which tells the stories of people who shared my fate. The exhibition Hold your breath travelled the world bringing awareness and fighting stigma around TB. Half of the money I earned by selling these art pieces was donated to the cause of TB.
In 2016 I was one of the 20 representatives of different countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia who founded TBpeople - a community group which grew into a global network of people affected by tuberculosis.
In 2017 I initiated my second big project. Tuberculosis and You is a a book about TB made by and for people affected by the disease with the support of some of the world's most renowned experts. At this moment the book is available in 13 languages. In 2018 I was invited to the UN General Assembly in New York, High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis to officially launch the English version of the book.
Currently, I speak at conferences and events on Tuberculosis, I give lectures to medical students, I visit hospitals around Russia and distribute the brochure, I consult patients online, and I showcase my artistic work to the global medical community, spreading awareness. I work with such organisations as WHO, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Stop TB Partnership, TB Alliance.
I truly believe we can eradicate TB from the planet, but stigma is the main obstacle in this fight.
I beat TB once, now stigma is my target.
Global and regional events attended:
2019 – World TB day event, Robert Koch institute, Berlin
2019 – Participant of IVLP (International Visitor Leadership Program) “Promoting social change through the arts”, U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, USA
2019 – First global strategy development meeting of TBpeople, Istambul
2019 – Oxford Immunotec TB Summit Training, Mallorca
2018 – The Union conference on lung health, The Hague
2018 – UN General Assembly, High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis "United to end tuberculosis: an urgent global response to a global epidemic”, New York
2017 – Seminar “Global problem: MDR-TB” organised by Russian and Dutch Ministries of Health, KNCV and WHO, Embassy of the Netherlands, Moscow.
2017 – First WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response, Moscow
2016 – Europe Regional UNION Conference on Lung Health, Bratislava
2016 – Regional Workshop on TB Community Mobilization, Bratislava
2016 – Cultural event hosted by Stop TB Partnership in collaboration with WIPO and Permanent Mission of India, "Hold your breath" presentation, Geneva