Southern Discomfort

Tomorrow I head south to the city of Osh for a few weeks to do work in the Kara Suu bazaar, which supplies Uzbekistan with most of its Chinese-produced goods. I will also be spending my time revisiting the ethnically Uzbek neighborhoods in which I interviewed during the week of the parliamentary elections in October so as to gather more information for the paper I will be giving at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in late March. This research will plunge me back into the sad realities of continued discrimination and intimidation talking place in the Osh and Jalalabad oblasts following the June Events, a spate of violence that left hundred (perhaps thousands) dead and sparked continued ethnic tensions.

Today has been spent packing up my flat, realizing that I have acquired more things than I realized during the last six months in Bishkek, cleaning, planning, and catching up on correspondence. I will be glad to have a change of scenery and kick-start myself into some new ideas. All the same, I am harshly reminded of the hassle involved in constantly being on the move.

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