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Born to Pashtun-Russian parents in Belgium, my academic storytelling has been rooted in personal experiences of immigration and the Cold War in the Global South. I completed extensive research and pedagogical training across three continents. I took an interest in (post)colonial European and Russian-Soviet history, urban-environmental studies, and science, technology, and society (STS). I spent extended time in PR China, Russia, and Kazakhstan studying and working on socialist urban infrastructures and their afterlives. These became the foundation of my current Ph.D project Dancing after Decolonization.

Second, I’ve been developing a foundation in different dance and music styles for almost fifteen years. These include breaking/breakdancing (with the crew Root Division en De Stroate community center in my hometown Kortrijk), freestyle hip hop, house dance, hustle, salsa and bachata. In addition, I dug many music crates from a variety of genres all over the world. I’ve been DJing and doing turntablism since my college days - a bedroom hobby to this day. Over the years, I’ve visited different street and club dance scenes in Kortrijk/Belgium, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Almaty, and Vladivostok. I humbly helped co-found the Boston Hustle Collective in 2022 and I’m still getting to know the thriving dance scenes in breaking and house scenes in Boston (e.g. Floor Lords, Electric Relaxation, The Flava Continues) and Belgium/Brussels. Big, big shout out to all these folks!


Over the years, I've gained experience in pedagogy, through classroom-teaching (from elementary kids to university students), discussion/reading groups, dance workshops (breaking, house, hustle), and community organizing.

modern European history  (post)colonialism + racial capitalism breaking/breakdance  digital humanities   multisensory archives hustle dance (beginner)
reading groups   street and club dance activism house dance (foundations)





Public scholarship



Book reviews


  • Hyun-Gwi Park. The Displacement of Borders among Russian Koreans in Northeast Asia by (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017). Ostasien-Zentrum Hochschule Zwickau - East Asia Integration Studies (link)

  • Hastings, Justin. . New York, , 2016, in North Korean Review, vol. 16, no. 2 (fall 2010), 132-133.

  • Jennings, Bruce. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press, 2016, in , vol. 7 (2017), 283-287.

  • Rozman, Gilbert. . Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014. in International, vol. 22, no. 1 (2015), 62-63.

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