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The M. Faizulloev Collection
The M. Faizulloev Collection - Documenting Soviet Ethnographic Expeditions to Tajikistan
Ethnography was an important academic subject during the Soviet period with an impact on political concepts. Theories and methods were developed in the Russian ethnographic institutes, primarily in Moscow, to which regional branches were tight. The information were collected during expeditions by a team of researchers and students. Dr Muhiddin Faizulloev went on expeditions as student and later researcher and expedition leader working in his hometown Khujand (former Leninabad in the SSR Tajikistan) as well as across Central Asia. His supervisors took some of his material to Moscow but some of it remained with him in Tajikistan. M. Faizulloev agreed to make this primary research material available to a larger public and contribute to a differentiated view of ethnographic research during the Soviet period in Central Asia.
In 2014 we were able to host him in Heidelberg at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” within the research group on Central Asia. Together with Muhiddin Faizulloev, the ethnographic team around Sophie Roche as well as Eric Decker and the Heidelberg Research Architecture and Data Futures we worked on his material – a unique combination of expertise that resulted in “The M. Faizulloev Collection”. The joint project makes available not only unique material from a region little known but also offers an innovative technology and tools to work with and on ethnographers from the Central Asian periphery of the Soviet Union. “The M. Faizulloev Collection” invites to explore a region in the heart of Asia through a transcultural approach, which suggests focusing on the interconnectedness and entanglements of an individual life course, of historical periods, documents and subjects.