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Open access

Reports

Publications and Films

Kathleen M. Gallagher, Ahmed Kanna, Natalie Nesvaderani, Rana Dajani, Dima Hamadmad, and Ghufran Abudayyeh

Melissa Fleming, A Hope More Powerful than the Sea: The Journey of Doaa Al Zamel (New York: Flatiron Books, 2017), 288 pp.

Omar Dewachi, Ungovernable Life: Mandatory Medicine and Statecraft in Iraq (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017), xviii + 239 pp.

Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, Sonita (Zurich: Xenix Film, 2015), 90 min.

Ron Bourke, Terror and Hope: The Science of Resilience (Portland: Collective Eye Films, 2019), 36 min.

Open access

Toward a Postimperial Order?

The Sakha Intellectuals and the Revolutionary Transformations in Late Imperial Russia, 1905–1917

Aleksandr Korobeinikov and Egor Antonov

Abstract

Focusing on the works and intellectual activity of the Sakha intelligentsia, this article examines the development of postimperial political imagination in the region of Yakutia. The formation of the Sakha intellectuals was a result of the circulation of wider imperial discourses on nationalism, anticolonialism, socialism, and regionalism during the crisis of the Russian Empire. By discussing the Sakhas’ marginal, even colonial, conditions, the Sakha national intellectuals followed self-governing aspirations inherited from political exiles and Siberian regionalists, whose ideas became frequent demands for many Siberian indigenous movements. Despite the Stalinist myth that the Soviet Union (and its social engineers) created autonomy in Yakutia for the first time in Russian history, it was the Sakha intellectuals who developed the autonomist discourse during the first two decades of the twentieth century.

Open access

Naomi Caffee, Paul Dukes, and Aimar Ventsel

Mists on the River: Folktales from Siberia Yeremei Aipin, Translated by Marina Aipin and Claude Clayton Smith (Brunswick, ME: Shanti Arts Publishing, 2020), 51 pp. ISBN 978-1-951651-40-4.

Regional'naia elita Dal'nego Vostoka v mekhanizme vneshnei politiki: Dokumental'naia istoriia voennogo konflikta na KVZHD mezhdu SSSR i Kitaem, 1929 Marina Fuchs (New York: South Eastern Publishers, 2020), 513 pp., 570 notes, with a summary in English, 54 pp.

Lifestyle in Siberia and the Russian North Joachim Otto Habeck, ed. (Cambridge, UK: Open Book, 2019), 490 pp. ISBN paperback: 978-1-78374-717-7; ISBN cloth: 978-1-78374-718-4.

Open access

Bridges or Walls? Or Bridges are Walls?

Hegemony, Situational Selection and Counter Narratives at the Boundaries of Spain and Europe

Elaine McIlwraith

Abstract

This Forum contribution considers the idea of bridges and walls. It compares two cultural programmes in Granada, Andalusia, that use the concepts of ‘dialogue’ and ‘tolerance’ along with the idea of a bridge between Spain and Europe, and the Arab-Islamic world. Ethnographic data suggest that the idea of bridges and walls are not always mutually exclusive. The former can incorporate subtleties that reinforce the latter. Consolidation of either depends on how closely hegemonic and subaltern narratives align. Even when bridge narratives have a significant presence within a country, ideas of walls at national borders reinforce the exclusion of an imagined ‘Other’. Considering hegemonic processes helps to clarify the emergence of these narratives and their effects on both cross-border and local ethnic connections.

Open access

Building Bridges over Troubled Waters

EU Civil Servants and the Transcendence of Distance and Difference

Seamus Montgomery

Abstract

This Forum contribution presents fragmented accounts of historical narratives collected while conducting ethnographic fieldwork among civil servants in and around the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. It focuses on the roles that heritage-making practices play in articulating European identity and belonging within these institutional spaces. In the ongoing debates over ‘bridges’ and ‘walls’, Commission officials advocate building the former and tearing down the latter. The European heritage narratives they enact tell the story of a supranational community formed from the expansion of external borders and the elimination of internal ones. Through the transcendence of borders, both physical and cognitive, geographic distances and social differences are made increasingly irrelevant. Their efforts in this regard are nonetheless hindered by futurist temporalities that orient Europeanness in opposition to the past.

Open access

Cross-Border Cultural Cooperation in European Border Regions

Sites and Senses of ‘Place’ across the Irish Border

Giada Laganà and Timothy J. White

Abstract

The growing interaction between local cultures and international organisations suggests the need for peacebuilders to act strategically when trying to overcome cultural differences and build trust in societies long divided by bloody conflicts. This task is more difficult because the mental barriers that divide people and cultures are exacerbated by borders and walls. Through an analysis of the evolving role of the European Union (EU) in peacebuilding in the border region of Ireland, this forum contribution examines the potential of international organisations to enhance reconciliation by creating new cultural opportunities for cooperation. Existing scholarship focuses mainly on policy initiatives, strategies, directives and funding bodies, often failing to mention how theories are deployed by practitioners especially in the realm of cultural programmes.

Open access

David Farrell-Banks

Abstract

Right-wing populist, nationalist and extremist groups frequently make discursive use of the past to support their political agenda. This contribution briefly examines the use of the 1683 Siege of Vienna in political discourses. It shows how certain parts of European heritage are mobilised globally to present a singular view of European identity as white and Christian. This identity is constructed in opposition to a Muslim and migrant ‘other’. The contribution shows that this notion of European identity is used not as a call for European unity, but to serve nationalistic needs when utilised by far-right groups. Moreover, this piece calls for greater recognition of how heritages are mobilised across borders in the interests of advancing a politics of exclusion and division.

Open access

Philip McDermott and Sara McDowell

Abstract

Does cultural heritage create either bridges of engagement or walls of division within and beyond Europe? To capture these diverse interpretations, we provide some initial discussion on the concept of heritage and how this relates to identity, memory and the past. In order to introduce the various studies that comprise the forum, we identify a series of collective themes explored by our contributors. These are: the use of heritage sites and practices as a means of exploring questions of European unity; the idea of a decolonizing heritage alongside the reframing of contested transcultural encounters; and finally, the potential for heritage as a form of conflict resolution.

Open access

Hubert Wierciński

Abstract

This paper explores the problem of knowledge and knowledge-making among Polish primary care doctors. Following Kirsten Hastrup and Tim Ingold, I argue that doctors are skilful social-weavers capable of exploring and reconciling various orders of knowledge. Thus, through a diverse set of knowledgeable yarns – originating from professional and state regimes, and embedded in today's social relationships and economies – doctors are involved in the art of weaving a fabric composed of many, it would seem, contradictory orders of knowledge. The fabric in question is one in a constant state of reworking – although it is one that establishes a meaningful and knowledgeable environment in which the doctors can perform.

Open access

Nicholas Parlato, Gail Fondahl, Viktoriya Filippova, and Antonina Savvinova

Abstract

In the struggle of Russia's Indigenous northerners for greater control over their ancestral lands, the spatiolegal formations known as Territories of Traditional Nature Use (TTPs, using the Russian acronym) have become their most effective tool. TTPs have assumed diverse characteristics across Russian regions in response to the evolution of federal and sub-federal law and of center-periphery relations at national and regional scales. In the Sakha Republic (Iakutiia), TTP formation is entangled with wider territorial politics and economic trends, which have led to the precarious but powerful advancement of Indigenous rights. This article explores this evolution by comparing the creation of two neighboring TTPs, formed eight years apart under distinct political and legislative conditions. A combination of local efforts, subnational legislative and economic initiatives, and reaction to federal overstep have compelled the improvement and systematization of Indigenous rights in the republic.