Showing 24 publications

Noturēt Latgali vietā. Latgolys vaicuojums

Authors: Dace Dzenovska

Ņemot vērā pašreizējo ģeopolitisko situāciju, pastāv iespēja, ka Latgale kā teritorija militarizēsies. Šādā antiutopiskā scenārijā militarizētā Latgales teritorija kalpos kā mācību poligons. Sevišķi derīgi būs – jau ir – tukšojošies pilsētciemi, jo tie labi kalpo urbānās karadarbības simulācijai. Militarizētā teritorijā neviens nedzīvos, tajā uzturēsies īslaicīgi.

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‘Atpalicība’ un Latvijas valsts. Latgolys vaicuojums

Authors: Dace Dzenovska

Latgali Latvijā raksturo fundamentāla un līdz šim neatrisināta – un, iespējams, pašreizējā valsts pārvaldes modelī nemaz neatrisināma – spriedze. Problēma, manuprāt, meklējama tieši Latgales – un līdz ar to arī Latvijas – atpalicības skaidrojumos.

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Focaal special issue on “The politics of emptiness”

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

Location: Bosnia, China, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine

Themes: Borders, Deindustrialization, Depopulation, Extractivism, Infrastructure, Nothingness, Politics, Postsocialism, Tourism, War

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.

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Living portals: reflections on territorialization in contemporary Armenian art

Authors: Maria Gunko

Taking inspiration from Nairi Khatchadourian's curatorial essay “Carpet as Territory” on the “Living Portals: Settlement Fabrics of Khndzoresk, Tegh and Verishen” exhibition at the Verishen village of Syunik marz, Maria Gunko reflects on social space and the process of territorialization in Armenia. She focuses on artistic practice and care work bringing forth the carpet as an object and as a symbol. (Image courtesy of the AHA Collective.)

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The intimate and everyday geopolitics of the Russian war against Ukraine

Authors: Maria Gunko, Sven Daniel Wolfe, Olena Denysenko, Dina Krichker, OLga Rebro

Location: Armenia, Norway, Spain, Ukraine

Themes: Affect, Bordering, Geopolitics, Mobility, Violence, War

This Forum publication analyses the Russo-Ukraine war from the micro-perspective of everyday life by scholars who have been personally impacted by the war. Maria Gunko’s contribution focuses on a town in rural Armenia where an abandoned Soviet-era factory is being inhabited and restored by a small alternative community of people fleeing the violence of the war in Ukraine and the oppression of governments in Russia and Belarus. Contextualised within Armenia’s own turbulent post-Soviet history, Gunko examines the micro-politics of this multinational attempt to build a kind of improvised refuge out of the shell of the Soviet built environment.

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The clash of sovereignties: The Latvian subject and its Russian imperialism

Authors: Dace Dzenovska

Location: Latvia, Russia

Themes: Geopolitics, Imperialism, Sovereignty

Dace Dzenovska argues that the encounter between the Latvian subject and its very own Russian imperialism represents a clash of sovereignties. If the Latvian subject strives for an international relations version of sovereignty that allows it to join existing alliances, the Russian state as a multinational federation – or an empire – strives for a geopolitical version of sovereignty that allows it to constitute – or reshape – orders.

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‘Postness’, a contemporary human condition?

Authors: Friederike Pank, Felix Schiedlowski

Like emptiness, 'postness' denotes a condition between a disintegrated past and an elusive future that is difficult to articulate in positive terms. Describing reconfiguration without resolution, terminologies of 'postness' point to a present that feels epistemologically evacuated. In this virtual issue, Friederike Pank and Felix Schiedlowski collate JRAI articles published between 2002 and 2022 to trace how anthropologists have tried to make sense of this phenomenon.

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Not just rusty metal: What fences in Armenia reveal about the state

Authors: Maria Gunko

Location: Armenia

Themes: Demodernization, Infrastructure

Have you ever taken notice of fences while passing through rural or small-town Armenia? What, if anything, do you recall?

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Smashed tabernacle: Catholic emptiness and nationalism in post-industrial Scotland

Authors: Dominic Martin

Location: United Kingdom

Themes: Materiality, Nationalism, Religion

Dominic Martin, seeking to understand the phenomenon of ‘emptiness’, reflects on the emblematic trajectory of a remarkable building and the mythopoetic insight it provides into the absent future of the Scottish Catholic experience: the celebrated modernist architectural ruin, St Peter's, Cardross, Scotland.

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Good enough sovereignty, or on land as property and territory in Latvia

Authors: Dace Dzenovska

Location: Latvia

Themes: Capitalism, Geopolitics, Postsocialism, Sovereignty, The Countryside, The Rural

Drawing on ethnographic analysis of the tensions surrounding the Danish presence in the Latvian countryside and on historical analysis of the shifting regimes of ownership and rule since the beginning of the twentieth century, this article traces the emergence of ‘good enough sovereignty’ as a form of political practice aimed at ensuring continued existence of the Latvian state and Latvian farmers.

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Violent faces of the Russian state

Authors: Maria Gunko

Location: Russia

Themes: Infrastructure, Postsocialism, Statecraft, Statehood, Violence

While the war in Ukraine is making the 'fast' spectacular violence of the Russian state increasingly evident, the latter's 'slow' violence has largely remained out of the spotlight. Drawing on various data sources, this essay discusses the different yet co-existing sets of state practices – statecraft and statehood. It portrays a more nuanced picture of state violence expressed by the Russian state both against Ukraine and against its own citizens within Russia.

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Lost in transformation: comparative analysis of healthcare provision dynamics within urban systems of European Russia and France

Authors: Maria Gunko, Benoit Conti, Aleksander Sheludkov, Sophie Baudet-Michel, Anastasia Novkunskaya

Location: France, Russia

Themes: Healthcare

This comparative study of healthcare in France and European Russia traces variations in provision between cities of different sizes and administrative statuses during a 20-year period. Since the early 1990s, both countries have been putting New Public Management principles into practice on an ad hoc and planned basis. As a result, healthcare reforms have led to fewer hospital beds and redistribution of healthcare provision in favour of larger cities.

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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 emptiness@anthro.ox.ac.uk.