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Open access

It Begins and Ends with an Image

Reflections on Life/Death across Autobiography and Visual Culture

Paolo S. H. Favero


A three-act session of storytelling, this visual essay explores the connection between photographs (and images at large) and death. A piece of authobiography, it follows the intimate journey of the author accompanying his father's departure first and his own grief later. The article positions photographs as objects that are more than mere representations. They are living things that accompany us during our lives. And photography, the author suggests by looking at photographs taken by himself, is a way for opening up time and acknowledging the present. Photographs are capable of bridging the gap between life and death.

Open access

‘Keeping Up with Myself’

Ethnography of a Young Adult Woman in Post-Transitional Croatia

Lana Peternel and Ana Maskalan


This article employs an anthropology ‘at-home’ approach to discuss dimensions of social and cultural changes amongst women in post-transitional societies. By applying person-centred ethnography, we aim to provide rich insights into the socio-cultural context and individual development of a young woman in Croatia. We examine how a young woman reasons about what kind of a person she is and wants to become by comparing the different sets of basic values that she ascribes to her emancipatory efforts, with a focus on how she juxtaposes ‘traditional family roles’ and ‘feminist values’. The article thus describes how this woman (Jadranka) experiences life challenges and shapes social values in her everyday cultural settings.

Open access

Livestock Dung Use in Steppe Pastoralism

Renewable Resources, Care, and Respect for Sentient Nonhumans

Victoria Soyan Peemot


This article studies the use of livestock dung in the social and ecological context of pastoralism in the Tyva Republic, Inner Asia. In steppe ecologies, livestock dung, depending on its (mis)management, can be a valuable resource or a threat to animals’ health and herders’ well-being. Its use is embedded in the relationships between herder-livestock communities and landscapes, which are sentient and superordinate. Utilizing dung for household needs is simultaneously a form of care for livestock and a method of balancing the relationship with sentient homelands.

Open access

Igor Popov


The development of the Arctic was an important political and economic topic of the Soviet Union. This urbanization activity declined dramatically in the economic and political chaos of the 1990s, although some positive transformations have been seen in the new millennium. This article examines whether the colonization of the Russian Arctic will follow Soviet-era plans or the region will remain scarcely populated in the near future. The history and methods of urbanization in the Russian Arctic have been analyzed in order to better shed light on this question.

Open access

Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Angeliki Gazi, Markéta Slavková, Jelena Ćuković, and Agnieszka Halemba

Aleksandar Bošković (2021), William Robertson Smith (Oxford: Berghahn), 120 pp., Pbk $24.94. ISBN 781800731585, Hbk $145. ISBN 9781800731578.

Christiana Constantopoulou (ed) (2020), Crisis’ Representations: Frontiers and Identities in the Contemporary Media Narratives (Leiden: Brill), 190 pp., Ebk. $192 ISBN 9789004439559, Hbk. $192. ISBN 9789004439542.

Julie L. Drolet (ed) (2019), Rebuilding Lives Post-Disaster (New York: Oxford University Press), 263 pp., Pbk. $46.95 ISBN 9780190942199.

Eszter Krasznai Kovacs (ed) (2021), Politics and the Environment in Eastern Europe (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers), 344 pp., Hbk. $82. ISBN 9781800641334.

Ulrich Kasten and Grażyna Kubica (2021), Das Männerlager im Frauen-Kz Ravensbrück, sowie Lagerbriefe und die Biografie des Häftlings Janek Błaszczyk (Fürstenberg, Germany: Verlag der Kulturstiftung Sibirien), 184 pp. Pbk. €18. ISBN 9783942883726.

Open access

Jenanne Ferguson

It is often challenging to find the strands that connect articles in a given issue of a small yet heavily interdisciplinary regional studies journal. Yet I often marvel at how certain themes emerge time and time again. This issue is random at first glance; the topics are individually diverse when compared, but it is mostly their perennially significant nature within our region that makes them similar. Therefore, in this first issue of Sibirica's twenty-first volume, I found that a theme of revisiting (and rethinking) came to the fore. The four articles included here all revisit key themes in Siberian studies—from human-animal interconnectedness and bear ceremonialism to state-instituted identity categories and urbanization—from fresh perspectives.

Open access

Towards Critical Analytical Auto-Ethnography

Global Pandemic and Migrant Women (Im)mobilities in Northern Ireland

Marta Kempny


This article discusses the usefulness of critical analytical auto-ethnography in studying migrant (im)mobilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas the auto-ethnographic genre has boomed during COVID-19 times, the authors of auto-ethnographic texts usually focus on their own experiences of the pandemic, engaging in an evocative style of writing. Following an overview of auto-ethnographic writing genres, this article discusses complex issues of insider/outsider status in pandemic research. It calls for a critical and analytical auto-ethnographic approach to the study of migrations and mobilities in a context in which they are currently unevenly distributed.

Open access

Valuing Difference

Bear Ceremonialism, the Eastern Khanty, and Cultural Variation among Ob-Ugrians

Andrew Wiget and Olga Balalaeva


This article draws on a large archive of original video documentation to complement ethnographic literature to provide the first description of modern Eastern Khanty bear ceremonialism and locate it in relation to the traditions of other Ob-Ugrian groups. The comparative analysis of Ob-Ugrian bear ceremonial traditions underscores fundamental differences in the function of such ceremonies, highlights foundational elements of local group identity, and suggests ways in which Ob-Ugrian groups interacted with adjacent populations.

Open access

Mahdieh Vali-Zadeh


Much has been said about the influential role of Forough Farrokhzad (1934–1967) in developing a feminine language in modern Iranian love poetry. Despite this, scholars have not systematically or theoretically examined what I call ‘the poetics of individuation’ in Forough's lyrics. The present article analyses Forough's poetic and individual paths of development as two inevitably parallel and intertwined routes. The article theorises that by removing a pre-imposed patriarchal sense of sin with regard to feminine love, Forough deconstructed the masculine narrative of good poetry in five highly significant ways via the feminine and self gaze. The article concludes that the poet's commitment to poetry as a platform of expression was a means of her liberation and individuation as an independent feminine poet with voice and agency.

Open access

Joachim Otto Habeck, Spencer Abbe, and Stephen Dalziel

Maria Czaplicka: Gender, Shamanism, Race: An Anthropological Biography Grażyna Kubica, translated by Ben Koschalka (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2020), Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology Series, eds. Regna Darnell and Robert Oppenheim], xix +591 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4962-2261-9.

Place and Nature: Essays in Russian Environmental History Edited by David Moon, Nicholas B. Breyfogle, and Alexandra Bekasova (Cambridgeshire, UK: White Horse Press 2021,), 343 pp. ISBN: 978-1-912186-16-7.

Mebet Alexander Grigorenko, translated by Christopher Culver (London: Glagoslav Publications, 2020), 174 pp. $23.65 (paperback). ISBN: 978-1-912894-90-1.