The Power of Areas: Reflections from Political Geography

Like the Kyrgyz traders in the photo above, area specialists face entanglements and should occasionally take stock of their wares. Where is the balance between theory production and deep knowledge of specific places? How far do the imperialist legacies of knowledge production on areas reach? On what basis can lines of abstract thought be developed from grounded research?

In a recent contribution to Political Geography, building on a workshop at Oxford entitled “Geographies of ‘Area’: politics, places and disciplines”, ten geographers address these and other questions underpinning the rethinking of area studies. As each of the co-authors tells his or her story, a productive and engaging cacophony emerges.

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An Irrigation System Revealing Centuries of Culture – Film Review

Film Review: “In the Lap of the Mountains: The Irrigation Systems of Ladakh’s Farming Communities” directed and produced by Joe Hill and edited by Pat Nehls

Based on an intense study of irrigation in Ladakh, in northern India, Joe Hill’s simple yet striking documentary film shows the long-standing traditions and recent fluidity of lifestyles of the people of a farming village called Karchay Khar.

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Not Just Bongo to Kumasi: Social and Spatial Mobility in Ghana

Motivations, patterns and consequences of internal migration in Ghana are the focus of Stephen Adaawen’s research on spatial mobility and social transformation. Following his Crossroads Lecture at ZEF in February 2016, the Crossroads Asia Team spoke to him about his findings.

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‘Iraqi Odyssey’ – Unravelling History through Life Stories

Iraqi-Swiss filmmaker Samir (Samira Jamal Aldin) takes the viewers of his 2014 film ‘Iraqi Odyssey’ (2h 43m) on a journey around the world and through the 20th century, following the trajectories of the members of his diasporic family: aunts and uncles, nephews and siblings who have left Iraq and now live scattered in all corners of the world.

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Coping Strategies in the Aftermath of Conflict – Lessons from Kyrgyzstan

Why do conflict dynamics differ greatly between distinct but close locations, despite their exposure to similar stimuli?

Reflections on a Crossroads Asia Lecture by Aksana Ismailbekova (Zentrum Moderner Orient) and Baktygul Karimova (University of Zürich) in December 2015. Photo of a  mosque in Osh, Kyrgyzstan © Joe Hill. 

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Gilgit-Baltistan at the Crossroads

The reshaping of borders and identities beyond traditional spatial containers in Gilgit-Baltistan is the focus of Aziz Ali Dad’s research with Crossroads Asia. How does the making and contesting of identities transgress borders economically, geopolitically and culturally?

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Entangled Epiphanies

How do “entanglements” help us conceptualize and explore phenomena such as power relations and flows, the creation and legitimization of narratives and the production of spaces?

Impressions from the Politics of Entanglement in the Americas Conference, held between June 25-27, 2015 at Bielefeld University.

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