Accepted Paper:

Romantic securityscapes of mixed couples: surviving in present, imagining the future  


Asel Myrzabekova (AUCA)

Paper long abstract:

Intermarriage was used by the Soviet socialist propaganda in promotion of internationalization and modernity through which it was possible to spread Soviet culture and decline religiosity. At the same time, intermarriages with foreigners were considered as a dangerous, "disloyal" and "politically immature" practice and the government would "outlaw" such marriages, recognizing them as invalid. In the post-Soviet period this practice of the control of social and personal life of people decreased in independent Kyrgyzstan, thus in recent years state's influence on the marriage and family is symbolic and is observed only in the rhetoric of the state. Soviet and post-Soviet scholars and analysts often focused on rates of intermarriage and patterns of groups which were more likely to intermarry. However, they treated interethnic marriages as a given and unproblematic phenomenon. Today private life and family are perceived as a "shelter from threats" that come from public life, as well as from political, economic instabilities, and in this context the new marriage practices in Kyrgyzstan are blended with the Soviet legacy and images that remains a significant factors affecting gender relations in families. This paper will present subjective, emotionally rich cases of interethnic couples in Kyrgyzstan that are surviving in present with a particular focus on their future imaginations of threats and insecurities, such as financial securityscapes, fears related to crossing cultural/ethnic boundaries and threats related to loss of the loved one.

Panel ANT-05
No Past? No Future? Everyday Securityscapes in Central Asia