American University of Central Asia - AUCA - Ottavia Cima


Ottavia is a PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. For her master thesis, she conducted research in Nepal in the framework of an international development project. Ottavia’s doctoral thesis focuses on memory and on the role the past plays in the present. In a Central Asian context where memory is an often foregrounded, but also highly contested theme, Ottavia investigates the process of the constitution of memory through everyday practices. This process is to be studied in the framework of agricultural work, especially of cooperative organization in rural settings, with a case study in the Issyk-Kul region. The memory of collective work during Soviet time still plays a role in shaping people’s imaginary and willingness to organize together for agricultural work. For her main fieldwork period in Spring and Summer 2016, Ottavia combines an ethnographic approach – which allows to make sense of contemporary practices of agricultural organization – with oral history methods.

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