chapter  8
14 Pages

Doing business with Bibi Seshanba

As mentioned in Chapter 4, life in post-Soviet Uzbekistan is characterized by existential insecurity, but also by hope and fascination with the new opportunities independence has brought about for those who understand how to navigate in the post-Soviet chaos. It has confronted people with a range of new existential and moral dilemmas. In this chapter, I examine what may be the most morally ambiguous field in post-Soviet Uzbekistan: the field of business – or biznes, according to local terminology. More particularly, I focus on women’s efforts to negotiate a foothold in this morally ambiguous sphere through their engagement in the Osh Bibiyo ritual.