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Everyday Experiences of Place in the Kazakhstani Borderland: Russian Speakers Between Kazakhstan, Russia, and the Globe

  • Alina Jašina-Schäfer (a1)

This article analyzes different ways Russian speakers residing in Petropavlovsk, a city in northern Kazakhstan close to the border with Russia, make sense of the place they inhabit and form a sense of belonging to it. Politically and geographically speaking, Petropavlovsk serves as a contested area divided between Russian and Kazakhstani nation-building projects. While keeping in mind the antagonistic politics of both states, this research rather focuses on the everyday practices and personal narratives of Russian speakers living in this area. With the help of empirical material collected during the interviews and dwelling alongside the participants, this article demonstrates how through symbolic practices and everyday life experiences Russian speakers differently construct their understanding of Petropavlovsk as a Russian, Kazakh, and global space simultaneously.

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