Emptiness

Making sense of the war in Ukraine

Authors: Volodymyr Artiukh, Emma Rimpiläinen, Dace Dzenovska, Madeleine Reeves, Anna Balazs, Roosa Rytkönen

Location: Eastern Europe, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine

Themes: War

This forum is one attempt to make sense of the war and related events in a constantly shifting landscape. Most of us contributing to this forum are anthropologists. Some of us work explicitly on questions of migration, mobility and displacement. Others have been trying to make sense of how, in shifting political contexts, our informants seek to navigate competing epistemic claims about freedom and truth. Each of us finds ourselves trying to track an avalanche-in-motion, figuring out what the war means for our interlocutors and their families, for their livelihoods and futures, for their practices of social navigation when homes and/or hopes have been upturned.

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Post-Soviet coal mining cities as battlegrounds for the reordering of power relations

Authors: Maria Gunko

Location: Russia

Themes: Capitalism, Infrastructure, Sociality

The decaying post-Soviet mining cities are vivid illustrations of the on-going realignment of power relations after the end of the Cold War. As such they are both manifestations of new capitalism forms and platforms for the emergence of collective survival strategies, as urban anthropologist Maria Gunko argues in her contribution to the BG’s “After Extractivism” text series.

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US-plaining is not enough. To the Western left, on your and our mistakes

Authors: Volodymyr Artiukh

Location: Russia, Ukraine

Themes: Geopolitics, War

...Having faced ‘the impossible to imagine,’ I see how the Western left is doing what it has been doing the best: analysing the American neo-imperialism, the expansion of NATO. It is not enough anymore as it does not explain the world that is emerging from the ruins of Donbas and Kharkiv’s main square....

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Collaborate with us

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.