Cover Osteuropa 3/2012

In Osteuropa 3/2012

Karakalpakstan and “Kilometer 80”
Nationalities and Memory in Authoritarian Uzbekistan

Askar Djumashev, Thomas Loy

Deutsche Fassung


In 1991, President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan laid the cornerstone for a “future capital Karakalpakstan” on the edge of the desert Kyzyl Kum. To date, no more than the shell of the planned seat of the Autonomous Republic’s Supreme Soviet has been built. What at first glance seems absurd has in fact symbolic character: Kilometer 80, located south of Karakalpakstan’s actual capital Nukus, marks the boundary between the Karakalpak-Kazakh populated and Uzbek-dominated part of Karakalpakstan. Karimov’s gesture contained a hidden but clear rebuff to advocates of independence for Karakalpakstan. The consequences of Soviet nationality policy as well as the current authoritarian regime’s restrictive handling of this heritage manifest themselves at Kilometer 80.

(Osteuropa 3/2012, pp. 151–158)