Author:Michal Sipos (Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences)
Paper short abstract:
Chechen immigrants in Poland face a precarious situation; having escaped an oppressive existence in their homeland, they attempt to reconstruct their lives. This reconstruction occurs against in the insecure backdrop that dominates the daily existence of marginal groups in contemporaryEasternEurope.
Paper long abstract:
In my paper, I elaborate on continuing anthropological fieldwork carried out among immigrants from the Northern Caucasus living in the Eastern Polish city of Lublin. By the end of 2007, the number of Chechen and Ingush immigrants coming to Poland had peaked at more than 9,000 people. This immigration was mainly a result of their fear of isolation following the inscription of the new Schengen border in Eastern Poland; and of the dangerous socio-political and precarious economic circumstances in the Northern Caucasus. In Lublin, most of the Chechen and Ingush immigrants live in a state- rented accommodation centre, located in the deprived neighborhood of Bronowice. By looking into the narratives and daily practices of the immigrants, I aim to discover how experience of oppression and violence and current insecurities, impinge on the lives of these people, and influence the ways they approach their past, present, and future. The presentation aims to contribute, by way of a 'case study', to the broader discourse on commonalities and differences in fieldwork practices in Eastern Europe.
East looks West and West looks East - mutual constructions of anthropology