Anthropology and the Caucasus
"It may be in the cultural particularities of people - in their oddities - that some of the most instructive revelations of what it is to be generically human are to be found."
- Clifford Geertz
The Caucasus is a place of great religious and political ferment. It is also the region with the biggest linguistic and ethnic variation in Europe.
My anthropological research and writing is about everyday life in the North Caucasus, the Russia's 'inner abroad', a place where a new social order is slowly being introduced,
away from the secular state and the watchful eyes of Kremlin officials.
Daghestan is Russia's most troublesome and most pious republic, where village imams impose
penalties on smoking and drinking, and religious heroes stand hand in hand
with Soviet ones.
Chechnya is a chiefdom of Putin's faithful ally, Ramzan Kadyrov, to whom
the Kremlin granted a great degree of autonomy, which he in turn used to
limit the freedoms of the Chechen people.