Emptiness and topology
Authors: Dace Dzenovska
Authors: Dace Dzenovska, Volodymyr Artiukh, Dominic Martin, Anna Varfolomeeva, Anna Balazs, Anastasiya Ryabchuk, Dragan Đunda, Ivan Rajković, Nejra Nuna Čengić, Natalia Ryzhova, Alessandro Rippa, Madeleine Reeves, Franck Billé, Caroline Humphrey
This special issue of Focaal (vol. 2023, issue 96) – guest edited by the EMPTINESS team – focuses on the politics of emptiness. The people who think of emptying as a loss and those who think of emptying as an opportunity are not the same political subjects. The shift from thinking about emptiness as a loss to thinking about emptiness as an opportunity is a political shift, a moment of decision about the place of the present in a framework of meaning that gives form and direction to life. There is no neutral platform, no shared frame, in which all – those who see emptiness as a loss and those who see it as an opportunity – can be equally represented or can equally take part.
92-year old Milda lives in a village next to a former railway station in the Latvian-Russian borderlands. During the Soviet period, it was a vibrant transportation hub. Residents recall 'wagons of watermelons' that passed through and 'crowds of summer residents' that came from Leningrad. Things have changed since then. This European Research Council-funded project aims to find out what these changes mean for the people who are living them, and what they reveal about forms of capitalism and political authority in postsocialist spaces and beyond.
If you would like to find out more about the project or contribute a blog on a resonant aspect of your own research to the Field Reports section of our website, please get in touch by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.