Zhelezka: encounters, solitude, and community in shared mobility  (2023)  was filmed over two weeks in summer (19 August – 2 September 2023) on Soviet-era trains and metros, covering approximately 5000km across three countries along the Silk Road: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. This video explores the collective ethos that extends beyond transportation and the transformative potential of shared mobility in cultivating a sense of community. From encounters along the train corridors and metro stations to compartment sharing, and from witnessing sunrise and sundown together, the journey encouraged spontaneous social interactions among users of shared rides and experience, fostering a more inclusive and socially vibrant environment.
Identity and possible threats workshop (2023)
This workshop was conducted on 29 August 2023 at the courtyard of an accommodation in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Attended by the Zhelezka Project participants – consisting of a group of scholars, researchers, artists and activists, it explores the potential of art as a method for decolonialising social research. It investigates the contributions of visual arts in practice-led research, challenging the colonial power relations and Eurocentric knowledge. This workshop was a collaboration between Frank Maracchione (PHD Researcher (ESRC), Politics and International Relations, The University of Sheffield ) and multidisciplinary artist Rozana Lee (Master of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts, the University of Auckland).