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The Zhelezka project: On the Tracks through Central Asia

Kazakhstan / Kyrgyzstan / Uzbekistan

The CoMoDe research group is organising and hosting an experimental mobile summer school which will happen on and off rails of the Central Asian region spanning Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

The Experimental Mobile School aims to generate a unique space for young researchers’ networking and developing conceptual and methodological approaches. During a two-week railway journey through Central Asia, they will be applying and enhancing novel, mobile methodologies for creating new knowledge about lesser-explored and multicultural places and exploring transport infrastructures, mobility regimes, and lives of communities along railways.

During two weeks on mostly Soviet-era trains on the rails, commonly known as ‘zhelezka,’ the group of twenty researchers, practitioners, and artists will focus on exploring life on and off the railroad by unraveling specific travel and mobility practices, documenting urban and rural landscapes, collecting stories of strangers, local communities and railroad workers in three countries of post-Soviet Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan. 

Some activities during the travel from Astana, through Almaty, Shymkent, Tashkent, Nukus, Bukhara/Kagan, Andijan, Osh, and, finally, to Bishkek will include lectures, workshops, meetings, excursions in cities on the way, collaborative projects, a final workshop in Bishkek, documentation, and publication of findings.

The Zhelezka Project: On the Tracks through Central Asia is supported by the Volkswagen Foundation and administered by the Social Innovations Lab Kyrgyzstan, the American University of Central Asia, and the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography.

PLEASE NOTE: The call for the Summer School has been closed since April 10
Until the deadline, we have received about 200 contribution proposals. Of course we are pleased about the great interest. On the other hand we regret that for organisational reasons only 20 people can participate.

Further information

Dr Lyubomir Pozharliev
Phone: +49 341 600 55-260