Lost cities and the Great Game: Alternative narratives of social change

Large scale projects of modernity - like state-building and modern economic development - have tried to bring about social change in a uniform way. They have always met resistance, even though the story is still one of the onward marches of progress. What this project wants to do is examine the extent to which these modern projects are mediated, transformed, and even resisted at the local level in the borderlands, what you call disappearing cities. It will look at what sorts of narratives are weaved and reproduced to seek legitimacy for these projects and how these are in conflict with or co- opted by local narratives that try to tie the past to the present and shape the future. We define the processes of the silencing of cities as the disappearance of narratives, memories, and culture. So what this project wants to look at is how the great game of great power projects in the borderlands is leading to this disappearance, and at the same time how the alternative narratives of the silenced cities can influence the direction of the global change, in their turn.


Principle researcher: Viktoria Akchurina