"The Phenomenon Dostum"
Current research projectDr. habil. Ingeborg Baldauf
The candidature of General Abdurrashid Dostum for the office of president in Afghanistan evoked many negative reactions in the international mass media, although the electoral commission did not find any proof for his involvement in criminal affairs or other reasons of exclusion. The chances of the General to reach the second round of the voting are quite good. Given the repeatedly articulated accusations of his policy and his personality the question after his popularity should be object of research. What keeps an heterogenous an incoherent group of people like former communists, mujahedin, members of all ethnic groups in North Afghanistan, peasants, intellectuals and workers, secular and religious people and many women to support the movement Junbishi Milliyi Islamiyi Afghanistan with its leader General Dostum and the candidature of Dostum for president?
In a narrative project Ingeborg Baldauf tries to go further into the question of the "phenomenon Dostum". Between 1996 and october 2004 she compiled memories, comments, myths and analysis which pick out the personality of Dostum, the people of his vicinity, the military, social and political activity of the Junbish and the recent history of northern Afghanistan as a central theme. People from all segments of the society take part. The interlinking texts are statements of an observer, who carried out research in the proximate environment of Dostum and within the Junbish for many months.
Election campaigning in Shibirghan, Oktober 2004 (Photo: I. B.)
The goal of the project is to examine why - beyond the allegations - so much hope is connected to the movement Junbish and the personality of Abdurrashid Dostum. The publication may also contribute to the research of the making of discourse and myths under the conditions of a society which is highly influenced by oral narration.
last update : 05 December 2011