“Digital Memory and a ‘Massacre’: Post-Soviet Uzbek Identity in the Age of Social Media.”
June 5, 4:00-6:00 PM
Elliott School of International Affairs
George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW, Suite 412
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The speakers will examine the trans-national effort by ethnic Uzbeks to document the June 2010 violence and mobilize international support, first for intervention to stop the conflict and then in an effort to defend minority rights and preserve evidence of alleged injustices suffered by the community in Kyrgyzstan. These efforts were made possible primarily by new forms of digital communication and social media. Instant, global communication made the plight of Uzbeks in Southern Kyrgyzstan an issue of broad resonance for the wider ethnic community in a way that similar outbreaks of civil or state violence had never been in the past and facilitated the re-imagining of other late- and post-Soviet historical conflicts to fit new ethnic narratives. Combining analysis of digital media, art, and documentation with recent ethnographic fieldwork in Southern Kyrgyzstan, they will address questions about how permanent “digital memory” of violence shapes the process of conflict resolution and re-adapting to post-conflict everyday life, and how narratives produced by the global community–most of whom did not experience the conflict itself–shape, and sometimes conflict with, collective memory and understanding of the conflict for those who actually experienced it.
If you plan to join us please RSVP at: http://tinyurl.com/6-5-digitalmemory.