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Accepted Paper:

Chalma-grad: the mobilisation of translocal lineage based community in Moscow  
Aksana Ismailbekova (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO))

Paper short abstract:

Despite the difficulties many migrants in Russia faced during COVID-19, Kyrgyz migrants from Kara-Kulja in particular helped each other in different ways, depending on the migrants' needs.

Paper long abstract:

Kyrgyzstan remains one of the most migration dependent regions in the world. It is no surprise then that when borders closed and lockdowns came into place in the wake of Covid-19, this part of the world was struck particularly hard. During the pandemic, migrants from Kyrgyzstan as well as from other Central Asian countries were frequently in the news. As borders closed, thousands of migrants were stuck on the Russian-Kazakh border. With many migrants unable to work during lockdowns or not able to travel to Russia, remittances plummeted before rapidly recovering as migration restarted. However, despite the difficulties many migrants in Russia faced during COVID-19, Kyrgyz migrants from Kara-Kulja in particular helped each other in different ways, depending on the migrants' needs. My informants indicated that they understood the importance of translocal lineage communities especially in the times of COVID-19, when there was no support from Russia or Kyrgyzstan and they had to rely on themselves. The COVID-19 pandemic actually strengthened this informal social security network. Many community leaders worked on a volunteer basis. Thanks to the strict written record of the names of the lineage members held by leaders and Whatsapp connection, it was possible to reach almost everyone. They managed not only to help their own lineage members, but were also asked to assist the Kyrgyz Embassy in Moscow.

Panel P003c
Beyond the 'Suffering Subject' in Migration Research III
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -