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[For Anthropology Faculty and Students Only] Drops of Knowledge and Floods of Responsibility: Plumbing and Repair in Bishkek Apartments

Amanda Wetsel
Date and Time: 
Monday, February 6, 2017 - 12:30

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


This chapter-in-progress explores forms of breakdown, excess, connection and shared experience produced by the leaks that proliferated in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan as responsibility for repairs shifted from state agencies to apartment owners.  While most individual apartments were privatized in the 1990s, shared spaces in apartment buildings--the outer walls, roof, basement, stairways, hallways, courtyards--often remained state owned.  This chapter examines the recent government campaign to transfer ownership of and responsibility for shared spaces to homeowners' associations.  At the Brown Bag Amanda will present an excerpt from the chapter and welcome feedback.


Amanda Wetsel is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. She conducted 29 months of dissertation fieldwork in Kyrgyzstan.