Remoteness and connectivity in the Himalayas

International Guest Lecture at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, 29 January 2015


In public imaginaries, remoteness is generally assumed to be the defining condition of life in the Himalayas. Some see remoteness as the reason for cultural resilience, some describe it as a major obstacle for development, and others are concerned about wildlife trafficking across remote frontiers. At the same time, however, connections with the outside world are an essential feature of livelihood strategies in the Himalayas. Seemingly remote areas frequently find themselves at the crossroads of intensive exchange of natural resources, labour, and capital. This talk takes the importance of both remoteness and connectivity as a starting point and asks the question how the two are entangled with each other.

A recording of the talk can be downloaded here.