Resource May 8, 2019

Meet the Journalist: Ben Mauk

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Image by Thomas Dworzak. 2019.
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Ben Mauk reports for VQR on Circassian nationalism, the movement to establish an autonomous republic...

Young Circassians in formal dress in Terek. Image by Ben Mauk. Russia, 2019. 
Young Circassians in formal dress in Terek. Image by Ben Mauk. Russia, 2019.

Ben Mauk discusses "Mountain of Tongues," his cover feature for Virginia Quarterly Review. From the Russian Caucasus Mauk reported on a young return migration movement that is emerging in an unlikely corner of Eurasia among an indigenous ethnic group known as Circassians. Today, 90 percent of Circassians live in diaspora—they may be the most scattered people on Earth. A nascent nationalist movement born in the age of social media hopes to bring them home again. Mauk's story is a wide-ranging travelogue and essay about a forgotten genocide, a nationalist movement for the nationless, the diasporic uses of Instagram, secret police in Putin's Russia, and the future of emancipatory politics.

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