Gender at the Intersection of Racialization, Inequality, and Disability in Anbar Otin’s Writing

In: Central Asian Affairs
Donohon Abdugafurova Instructional Designer, Independent Researcher, Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC USA

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Racializing locals has been one of the main characteristics of Russian and Soviet imperial modernity. Anbar Otin (1870–1915) was among the thinkers and writers in Turkistan’s Muslim society engaging with such issues. In Risolai Falsafai Siyohon (The Treatise on the Philosophy of the Blacks) she treats siyohon (blacks) as a color employed as a social metaphor and social position used in reference to the ordinary people of Turkestan, their frustrated hopes, and their pain. In the work, Anbar indicates that the word siyohon (qoralar -blackness) has been used to racialize, discriminate against, and denigrate Turkestan’s peoples. According to Anbar, it also carries a positive connotation as in “inner and physical beauty.” In this paper, I analyze the writing of Anbar in relation to her understanding of racialization, inequality, religion, gender, and disability, situating Anbar’s experience within broader discussions of such topics in the Central Asian context.

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