Hermann Kreutzmann – University of Copenhagen

ADI Conference 2018 > Keynote speakers > Hermann Kreutzmann

Keynote adress by Professor Dr Hermann Kreutzmann

18 June 2018 at the 10th annual  ADI conference

Professor Dr Hermann Kreutzmann, Chair of Human Geography, Department of Geography, Freie Universität Berlin
Professor Kreutzmann's research focuses on politi-cal geography, development, sustainable ressource management and migration in the mountainous regions of Central and South Asia. His work covers diverse geographical areas ranging from the pas-toral economies of China, the High Pamirs and Pakistan to sedentary communities in post-Soviet Central Asia. In addition to his interests in ongoing socio-economic transformations and human adaptations to ecological challenges, Kreutzmann has also published extensively on cartography and more specifically on the the colonial history of the Wakhi and Kyrgyz of the High Pamirs.

Pamirian Crossroads and impacts of the New Silk Road Initiative

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.