WINTER Webinar Series:
‘Taking Care of the Dead:
Experiences from Tajiks in Russia’
Date: 29 January, 2021 (Friday)
Title: Taking Care of the Dead: Experiences from Tajiks in Russia
Speaker: Juliette Cleuziou (University Lumières-Lyon 2)
In Russia, the population originating from Tajikistan - whether Russian citizens or Tajik nationals - is estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million out of a total population of 8 million in Tajikistan. Transnational lifestyles and the long-term settlement of Tajik citizens in Russia have become a striking reality of family life as well as geopolitics in the region since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The aim of this presentation is to understand transnational processes and relations between Russia and Tajikistan through the prism of the circulation of Tajik corpses within Russia and between Russia and Tajikistan. How are these bodies identified, circulated and buried, and according to what ethics in the context of a “foreign land”? Who takes care of them and with what means?
Following the circulation of these bodies makes it possible, of course, to highlight experiences of formal and informal solidarity between Tajiks, of relations between nationals and foreigners in Russia, between legal and illegal migrant workers, between families in Russia and Tajikistan. Even more interestingly, it also makes it possible to highlight the processes of formation of a “community”, i.e. a common belonging and a common imagination. What makes a group of migrants become a community of Tajik workers in Russia? What are the processes, the discussions, the negotiations involved in these processes? These are some of the points that my presentation will try to address.