In our joint presentations we will see how Portugal, historically a country of emigration, welcomed several hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the 1990s and early 2000s, after the EU accession – the largest wave being Russian-speaking migrants coming from the post-Soviet countries. We will then analyse in detail two of these communities: the Russians – from the initial labour migrants to the "Golden Visas" of more recent years, with different identifications and transnational practices; and the Central Asians – mainly from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and with a special focus on a current case study: the Kazakhstanis of the Upper Douro Valley (the Port Wine region). Finally, these presentations will also be an opportunity to remember two key contemporary issues: the importance of Russia in Eurasian societies, and the role of the EU in the recent History of our continent.
Elena Bulakh holds PhD in Comparative and Historical Linguistics, and is a lecturer of Russian Language and Culture at SOCIUS-ISEG (University of Lisbon) as well as a researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences (UL). Her current research project is dedicated to the Russian migrants in Portugal, with a special focus on networks, transnationalism and identities.
Antonio Eduardo Mendonca is a Portuguese senior anthropologist, and researcher in the field of Migrations at the IGOT - Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of the University of Lisbon. He taught at the Universities of Algarve and Lusófona in Portugal, and the University of Ankara in Turkey as well as served as Vice-President of the Portuguese Anthropological Association. His current research project deals with Central Asian migrants in Western Europe.