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Memories of social mobility and environmental change: dam builders of the Naryn-Syr Darya

Baialieva, Gulzat and Roberts, Flora 2021. Memories of social mobility and environmental change: dam builders of the Naryn-Syr Darya. Global Environment 14 (2) , pp. 269-309. 10.3197/ge.2021.140203

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Abstract

Central Asia, a landlocked region characterised by a generally arid or semi-arid climate and a relatively low rainfall, is traversed by two major river systems. Together, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya sustain millions of lives and a wide variety of ecosystems. Over three decades in the mid to late twentieth century, a series of increasingly large dams was built on the Syr Darya, radically transforming the river's appearance, behaviour and habitat. In this article, a historian and an anthropologist join forces to explore the impact of these ambitious hydropower projects on the human lives most directly impacted: the dam labour force, many of whom were recruited from across the Soviet Union, but ended up settling in the new towns adjacent to the power plants. How did the dam workers themselves experience the projects to which they contributed their labour? How did they relate to the river that they were called upon to transform?

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: White Horse Press
ISSN: 1973-3739
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 09:30
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/142297

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