Doctor Cholpon Turdalieva presents at Humboldt University

18:00, 5 December, 2016

Central Asia Seminar Institute for African and Asian Studies

Humboldt University

Invalidenstraße 118 (room 507), Berlin

Front seats are reserved for elder People


The presentation  analyses gendered mobilities in Bishkek in the space of the most popular public transport: the minibus, or “marshrutka.” Marshrutkas in Bishkek are used by women more constantly and frequently, as they have complex and multitudinous duties in their everyday lives. A woman’s daily mobility–including care-giving, housework, work, shopping, social activity and kinship networking in terms of Kyrgyz culture–is realized through accessibility to different real and symbolic spaces and geographies. The marshrutka itself becomes the space of a woman’s daily negotiations, interactions, and communications, from which she gains both positive and negative experiences affecting her gender and cultural identities. Negative experiences on the marshrutka may exclude her from sources of socialization and increase gender inequality, while positive moments can increase her social awareness and thus diversify her differentiated mobility. Utilizing empirical data and theories of mobilities, I argue that the marshrutka space, as a space of negotiation and interaction, may potentially cause two unparalleled conditions: increase the social mobility of female passengers and therefore their social empowerment and influence, but also provide the ground for social exclusion and gender inequality.


Short biography

Cholpon received the Candidate of historical sciences and Doctor of historical sciences degrees from the Institute of History at the National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic. Her main research focusing on the history and culture of the Kyrgyz in the works of the 19th and early 20th century travellers was resulted in two monographs and more than thirty articles.

She is currently researching the marshrutka space as production of urban identity and negotiation of it with other identities like ethnicity, class and gender. Particularly, she is interested in to what extent these identities incorporate the element of change and transformation because of mobility and regular process of human negotiation and interaction.

As a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute of Columbia University, in 2016 she gave a talk on her current PhD research ‘(Re) consideration of Social and Cultural Identity through the Marshrutka Space in Kyrgyzstan’.

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