Ukraine’s Long Road to “Decommunization”

On May 15, 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed into law four pieces of legislation referred to collectively as “Decommunization Laws.” The adoption of these laws comes more than a year after mass mobilizations that took place across the country, often known as EuroMaidan. A complex moment of enormous significance in Ukraine’s history, these mobilisations defined a […]

LGBT in Central Asia

2014’s Most Pivotal Moments Last year proved to be a turbulent year for LGBT politics in Central Asia. The passage of Russia’s “gay propaganda law” ignited discussion of the presence of LGBT people throughout the former Soviet Union. While Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan had repealed Soviet era legislation criminalizing male-male sex acts in 1997 and 1998 […]

English or Russian?

Language Ideologies in Multilingual Khorog, Tajikistan While perusing wikileaks for information on English in Khorog, Tajikistan, the administrative centre of Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region, I noticed a cable sent in 2008 from the American Embassy, Dushanbe. It was entitled “Tajikistan — Why American Corners Matter,” and it describes Khorog as an ideal location for a […]

Multiplying Moscow

Provisioning and Connectivity on the Roof of the World On a cold winter morning in 2010 I travelled with the driver Mital and a group of other passengers from the town of Murghab in Tajikistan to Osh in Southern Kyrgyzstan. While the journey usually takes a day, snowfall, a damaged car or border closure can […]