Cholpon Turdalieva

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 dealt with the research on 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’.

Turdalieva Project Proposal: Re/consideration of Social and Cultural Identity through the Marshrutka Space in Kyrgyzstan


Darkhan Medeuov 

I am a PhD candidate at Leipzig University. I have earned master degree in sociology at Saint-Petersburg State University (2014) and bachelor degree in philosophy at Kazakh National University (2010).

My current research focuses on understanding co-evolution of relations and mobility practices in schools. I am primarily interested in how social ties between students (e.g. friendship, romantic affairs) come about and how it subsequently impact mobility practices, as well as what effect mobility practices have on social networks.

Medeuov Project Proposal: Spatial mobility and social networks on the periphery of Astana


Mikheil Svanidze 

Mikheil Svanidze is a PhD candidate at Tbilisi State University. He has studied Sociology at Tbilisi State University and obtained Master’s degree in and Social Anthropology in Central European University. His research interests include political anthropology and political parties, social movements, inequality, mobility and public spaces in post-Socialist states. Methods-wise Mikheil positions himself as an anthropologist with extensive qualitative fieldwork expertise. Currently he is working towards his PhD thesis on production and reproduction of urban inequality and post-soviet way of life in Georgia as seen through the lens of Tbilisi’s transport networks, specifically minibus networks.

Svanidze Project Proposal: Social Life on the Last Stop: Understanding Tbilisi’s Urban Inequalities
through Marshrutka Hubs


Rustam Abdunazarov

Rustam Abdunazarov was born in August 12, 1978, Khatlon region in Tajikistan. Graduated Military Academy in Russian Federation, married, have three children. Since 2009 started to learn history, and Field Research Assistant of various European Researchers (Social anthropologists and historians). Since 2015 Postgraduate student at State University Khojand, Faculty of History.  Subject of research “The spatial dynamics of marshrutka movements in Tajikistan”


Tonio Weicker 

I studied sociology (B.A.) and Eastern European Studies (M.A.) in Jena and Munich. In my MA-thesis I analysed current commemoration-narratives in Ukrainian internet discourses. The thesis problematizes the idea of an equal and unlimited discussion culture in the digital world and shows processes of exclusion and homogenization in the case of Ukrainian digital commemoration practices. During the last two years I used to live and work in Volgograd. As a lecturer of the Robert-Bosch-Foundation, I taught at the State University and organized several projects at the university and in the culture life of the city. I organised various projects which aimed to intensify the educational exchange between Germany and Russia.

Because of my personal experiences, the object of investigation of my doctoral project are Marshrutkas in the everyday life of Russian cities. The main topic of my research is the Russian Marshrutka market as a target of transition processes and political reforms during the last decades lasting until present. Furthermore I am interested in the recently emerged Central-Asian-marshrutka-entrepreneurs in several Russian Cities and their ability to stabilize the more and more problematized mobility offer ‘marshrutka riding’. By analysing their transnational ties and living environments, I hope to link to the Central Asian/Caucasian space and our overall research topic.

Weicker Project Proposal: Fluid mobilities for cities in transformation: the marshrutka as an unusual place of encounter regarding work and migration in the everyday life of Obninsk, Russia