Author: Edward Morgan

Edward Morgan: Former Milwaukee resident shares memories of Kyrgyzstan on its Independence Day

I recently returned from Kyrgyzstan, a remarkable half-year experience that enriched my life and changed my perspective in various ways. Kyrgyzstan is a small, landlocked country in Central Asia. The total population is less than seven million. I was there as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching in the capital city of Bishkek, with a population of one million. I taught courses in English and Journalism at Ala-Too International University, and Creative Storymaking for the TV and Film department at the American University of Central Asia. My students and colleagues were warm and appreciative and the work was rewarding, though really...

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Edward Morgan: Understanding how Kyrgyz society is still influenced by its relationship with Russia

Kyrgyzstan is beautiful. But it is also a country in limbo. Suspended between dependence and decolonization, this condition is partly the result of more than a century under Russian control, and partly the ongoing challenge of living in Russia’s shadow. Planning ahead for my semester teaching in Bishkek, I arrived with a basic knowledge of Kyrgyz history and some familiarity with current events. I expected to encounter “the hangover” from Soviet socialism, it is a legacy I have also seen in Eastern Europe. Sure enough, Kyrgyzstan suffers from corruption, institutionalized mediocrity, propaganda, and pangs of communist nostalgia. But in...

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Edward Morgan: Personal diary shares snapshot of daily life over six months in a Central Asian nation

Edward Morgan wrote about his experiences in Kyrgyzstan, sharing them on social media from January to June 2023. Some of those posts, like entries from a travel journal, have been assembled here. Individually, the raw and unedited entries share an account of his time in the Central Asian country. Collectively, the posts express a larger narrative about the social and regional conditions in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. FEBRUARY 2 Last night I went to a Beatles concert at Bishkek’s Opera and Ballet Theatre. An orchestra of strings and percussion played Beatles hits under a random...

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