In the spring of 2013 a private workshop was organized by a major international donor for its Tajikistani state and NGO partner organizations in Dushanbe. The event was part of the reporting process related to a large labour migration program being implemented by three large international development agencies. I attended this event as a part of fieldwork on the bureaucracy of migration management I conducted between 2012-2014.
Continue reading Representing the Social Costs of Migration: Abandoned Wives or Nonchalant Women by Malika Bahovadinova, Oriental Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Gendering a Tourist Economy
Ölgii, the capital city of Bayan-Ölgii Province, is a small city that one can stroll all over in just an afternoon. Since falconry’s title of cultural heritage was affirmed by UNESCO, the concept of heritage has been widely accepted by locals. Just as falconry became a vital connection to the Kazakh historical past, natural environment, and traditional culture across Eurasia, handicrafts have also allowed Kazakhs to maintain their identity and traditional knowledge as an ethnic minority in Mongolia, and have become an attribute of “authentic” Kazakhness. While Kazakh men take up the iconic image and profit from falconry as part of ethnic tourism and international spectacle, women have quietly become the backbone of a local informal economy, clearly represented by traditional handicraft production. Continue reading The Afterlives of Yurt Wall-hangings: Tus Kiiz by Guldana Salimjan, University of British Columbia
Why is it that, amidst ineffective governance, failing infrastructure, violence, poverty, illness and death, Central Asians continue to make music? What does music offer that cannot be gained in other ways, and how might attention to it add to our knowledge of the region? Continue reading Why Should Central Eurasianists Care about Music?
(Reposted by agreement with the Exeter Central Asian Studies Network. The original, posted on Oct. 7, 2013, can be found here.)