Keynote address

10th annual ADI conference
University of Copenhagen, 18-20 June

Professor Dr Hermann Kreutzmann, Chair of Human Geography, Department of Geography, Freie Universität Berlin, will give a keynote address entitled: "Pamirian Crossroads and impacts of the New Silk Road Initiative", as part of the 10th annual ADI Conference held at University of Copenhagen.

The Pamirian Crossroads have been a thoroughfare for pilgrims, refugees, traders and nomads over long periods of time. The harsh environment has provided home for mountain farmers and pastoralists. Mobility has been an important aspect of survival strategies. Surprisingly, earlier scientific perceptions were linked to a stagnating state of affairs in mountain abodes. A general perception in geographical thought was suggesting that these mountain dwellers were solely depending on local agricultural resources and had only little means for generating off-farm income. In terms of modernisation theories, they were detached from market economies and dependent on subsistence-oriented production. In a more balanced approach remoteness and connectivity could be two complementary ascriptions for communities in the high mountain regions of the Karakoram and Pamirian Crossroads. Recent research has revealed additional evidence that these communities have been dynamic entities, have participated in international exchange relations, and have been affected by regional and global socio-political developments. The Pamirian Crossroads were a contested arena during the Great Game and functioned as a buffer zone during the Cold War. Nevertheless, infrastructure development of the 20th century has created road links for motor traffic between Afghanistan, Tajikistan, China, and Pakistan. In recent years the new Silk Road initiative, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative for Eurasian exchange have given a renewed attention towards a strategically located mountain region. The presentation will draw attention to the transformation of external interests, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and their effects on communities in the Pamirian Crossroads.

All are welcome

The lecture is part of the 10th annual ADi Conference. You can read more about the conference here.