From mice-eaten passports to fingerprint scanning: fluctuating state presence and 'entangled documents' along the Kyrgyz–Uzbek border
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCentral Asian Survey. 2020, 39 (2), 236-254 10.1080/02634937.2019.1711022
This article focuses on engagement with identity documents among the rural Uzbek population in the borderlands of Kyrgyzstan. By exploring the materiality of the documents and people’s concern with these material artefacts of bureaucracy, this article illustrates how the state has been moving in, out and through the lives of the people living on the margins of the state. People’s engagement with documents illuminates the temporal dynamics of the state’s spatialization practices and highlights the fluctuating presence of the state. In addition, this article exposes the discrepancies between the classificatory bureaucratic order and the changing realities of everyday life. Gaps between these two domains are filled with what I refer to as entangled documents. People’s attempts to disentangle documents reveal how people on the margins of the state manage encounters with state bureaucracy and provide insight into the internal dynamics of a local bureaucracy.