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“Compared to my fellow teachers I took a quite different route to arrive at this summer school project. Born and raised in southern Kyrgyzstan, in my life the new and exotic experiences were not so much hidden in Central Asia but rather could be made further „West“. And so, after completing my Bachelor degree at the American University in Bishkek, I moved on to Costa Rica where I studied in a „Gender and Peace-building“ program. Being more of practioner than a scientist I then returned to my native city of Osh to work as a human rights monitor within a United Nations agency in the aftermath of the 2010-conflict that had struck southern Kyrgyzstan. Eventually, it probably is my own biography more than anything else that inspires me to participate in this summer school. I want to see more young people from Central Asia becoming young professionals and being exposed to alternative ways of understanding their own societies. Only this I believe will enable them to make their own positive contributions later on.”

Elina Schröder, Humboldt University Berlin



“I have been studying Central Asian affairs for more than a decade. In the past I spent months and years trying to unveil the mysteries of Kyrgyz politics, yet still I feel often puzzled by the developments in the republic. Today the interest in social conflicts has broadened my view beyond the Kyrgyz political arena into the neighbouring states, where I find – unsurprisingly – more puzzles. Currently I teach at the American University in Bishkek and at the OSCE Academy. Here I try to motivate all and everybody to break down theories (and no, not only Luhmann) into practical research. The Summer School project I support out of the strong belief that social research capacities in Central Asia need building up to have future sociologists and anthropologists working for our better understanding of the complex processes of social change in the region.”

Alexander Wolters, OSCE Academy Bishkek



“I made my first trip to Central Asia in 2002 – and ever since I have returned and returned to that region never loosing my fascination and admiration for how people there go about their everyday lives. Always curious but rarely understanding, just like the notorious Soviet movie-ethnographer “Shurik”, so far I did my research mainly in Kyrgyzstan, for example on Bishkek’s urban youth or on post-conflict integration in the city of Osh. In my current project I look at the relations of trade, migration and identity in-between Central Asia, Russia and China (For more information, klick here: https://iaaw.hu-berlin.de/islam/translocalgoods/philipp-schroeder-1). I have taught at German universities in Berlin and Halle/Saale, as well as at the American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan). I am inspired to participate in the Summer School, because I want to support the professional and personal development of our students, but also because I always enjoy making new experiences in Central Asia.“

Philipp Schröder, Humboldt University Berlin


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