Based on fieldwork in southern Kyrgyzstan in October and November 2017, this article explores at a micro-level the security practices undertaken by Uzbek people in Osh. It closely examines the experiences of Uzbek taxi-drivers, traders and businesspeople and thereby seeks to understand how and why local actors have managed to find creative ways to secure their economic activities. The business sector is the sector in which the Uzbek community is dominant, whereas the Kyrgyz community dominates the state structures.
The high level of homophobia in society and a contradictory state policy towards sexual minorities define the specific mode of existence of the LGBT community in Kyrgyzstan. The need to socialise and spend some time together is a big part of building and maintaining an LGBT identity, which requires collective security practices. The concept of “securityscapes”, based on Arjun Appadurai’s idea of “scapes”, was used as a main instrument for the analysis of ethnographic data.
This article analyses the internal dynamics of identity in one particular settlement which is scrutinised with regard to the nation-building efforts of the Kyrgyz state. The inhabitants have a number of choices from ethnic concepts for their identification processes, depending on their actual situatedness. Jan Blommaert’s approach focusing on “loaded words” and “intertextual asymmetries” has been used as a practical tool to organize the ethnography and to analyse conversations. The article shows how ethnic categories have been understood and used by villagers in everyday life, i.e.