Juliet and Erik are joined by Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi and Zarina Urmanbetova of Roadwork Asia to discuss China's road infrastructure projects in Central Asia and their research at Roadwork Asia, including their article on infrastructural connections across the Toghuz-Toro district of central Kyrgystan Welcome and Unwelcome Connections: Travelling Post-Soviet Roads in Kyrgyzstan.
Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi is a professor of social anthropology at the University of Fribourg and head of the ROADWORK project. She focuses on China and the Sino-Central Asian borderlands. Her recent research explores the nexus of transport infrastructure, settler colonialism, and processes of state territorialization in northwest China. She has also expanded her research into infrastructure maintenance and how temporalities of materials, investment, discourses, government agendas, ecosystems, and humans affect the social life of infrastructure in the Sino-Central Asian borderlands.
Zarina Urmanbetova is a social anthropologist from Kyrgyzstan. She has worked on projects for UN Women Kyrgyzstan, Urban Initiatives, the Research Institute of Islamic Studies in Bishkek, and the Analytical Center Polis Asia. She holds a BA from the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University and a MA in social anthropology from Hacettepe University in Turkey. At ROADWORK, she focuses on the social and cultural life of roads in central Kyrgyzstan.