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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

After almost one year of global pandemic, the overlapping crises caused by COVID-19 have worsened in most regions, and people have become weary of both the coronavirus and government measures aimed at limiting its spread and collateral impacts. Many people clamor for a return to “normal.” With the announcement in November 2020 that vaccine tests have shown promising results, it seems that a medical solution to the health pandemic could be a defining feature of the first few months of 2021.

Open access

Malfunctioning Affective Infrastructures

How the “Broken” Road Becomes a Site of Belonging in Postindustrial Eastern Siberia

Vasilina Orlova

Abstract

Smoothly functioning infrastructures are “unnoticeable”; they attract attention upon a breakdown. When infrastructure does not function as intended, it does not stop working altogether. Rather, it functions in unprecedented ways. This article argues that in the process of malfunctioning, infrastructure not only facilitates engagement, but also produces an affect. This ethnography shows how the “broken road” (razbitaia doroga) in rural postindustrial Eastern Siberia becomes a site around which belonging and relating unfold. The broken road functions as infrastructure acquiring a capacity to be affective precisely as it malfunctions. The affect that people experience in connection to the malfunctioning piece of infrastructure has components of anger and annoyance, a sense of unity, sociality, and camaraderie, as well as the feelings of belonging to a certain group.

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Athar Haj Yahya

Multiculturalism is respectful of diversity among individuals and communities in a society, allowing them to retain and express their particular identities and engage in egalitarian dialogue. This article examines how the multiculturalist approach is reflected in the linguistic and semiotic landscape of Arab museums in Israel. It focuses on a case study of the Umm al-Fahm Art Gallery as a window onto the sociocultural realities of Israel. The article’s findings are based on an analysis of the linguistic and semiotic landscape elements of the museum space and a semi-structured in-depth interview with its founder. They attest to deficiencies in the process of retaining and designing the particular cultural elements for the Palestinian-Arab population in Israel, affecting the realization of multiculturalism and compromising egalitarian dialogue between the various communities.

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No Sabras in the Fields?

Sabra Artists in The Cameri Theatre, 1945–1953

Leah Gilula

The Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv has always presented itself as the first repertory theater in the Yishuv that represented the sabras, creating the impression that its actors and artists were themselves mainly sabras and Hebrew their native language. However, this image, based chiefly on the successful performance of the play He Walked through the Fields, does not reflect reality. The article questions the myth by exploring the actual number of sabra theater artists and actors in the troupe, their place and measure of influence. Exposing this image sheds light on The Cameri Theatre at its beginning as well as on the creation of the image of the sabra, as presented by the character of Uri, and embraced by Hebrew culture.

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Political Labels and Post-Politics

A Comparative Analysis of the Party Spectrum in Israel, Hungary, and Poland

Artur Skorek

Debate over the present-day meaning of the traditional political terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ has been ongoing for at least three decades. Many claim that these labels have lost their former relevance. This article offers a comparative analysis of the Israeli, Polish, and Hungarian party systems. Using qualitative content analysis, it examines party platforms and politicians’ speeches in order to assess the significance of political labels both in political narratives and academic debate. Two main research topics concerning political systems of the three countries are explored in the article: the blurring of the traditional left-right divisions and the partial adoption of an anti-establishment agenda by mainstream parties.

Open access

Jenanne Ferguson

The three articles that comprise this issue of Sibirica engage with the complexities of dialogic relationships to place. What do people bring to a place? What does place catalyze for people? The authors come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and bring disparate frameworks from human geography, cultural anthropology, and philosophy; in each article, they engage with both the immediate present and the broader arc of time and reflect on the pragmatic and practical dimensions of relationships with a place to those more spiritual and ineffable.

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Scratches on our sovereignty?

Analyzing conservation politics in the Sundarbans

Jayashree Vivekanandan

Abstract

The article critically examines the conservation politics in a transboundary protected area (TBPA) in South Asia, the Sundarbans mangrove forests in Bangladesh and India. It explores the reasons why, despite collaborative measures by the two states, conservation has largely tended to conform to sovereignty practices, making it top-down and exclusionary. This makes the very demarcation of territory for protected areas an intensely political act with significant implications for social equity. The article examines the cultural politics of conservation since contestations to state power have often entailed the articulation of popular sovereignty in the Sundarbans. It argues that the social sustainability of conservation will critically hinge on how issues of resource access and governance are framed, negotiated, and addressed.

Resumen

El artículo examina críticamente la política de conservación en el Área Protegida Transfronteriza (APT): los Sundarbans en Bangladesh e India. Explora por qué, a pesar de la colaboración bilateral, la conservación ha tendido en gran medida a ajustarse a prácticas de soberanía vertical y excluyente. La sola demarcación territorial de las APT, se convierte en un fuerte acto político con implicaciones significativas en la equidad social. El artículo examina la política cultural de la conservación, ya que las protestas al poder del Estado a menudo tienen implicaciones en la articulación de la soberanía popular en los Sundarbans. Argumenta que la sostenibilidad social de la conservación dependerá fundamentalmente de cómo se enmarquen, negocien y aborden las cuestiones de acceso a los recursos y su gobernanza.

Résumé

L'article analyse de manière critique la politique de conservation dans une aire protégée transfrontalière (APT) en Asie du sud, la forêt des mangroves des Sundarbans au Bangladesh et en Inde. Il explore les raisons pour lesquelles, malgré les instruments de coopération entre les deux États, la conservation a adopté des pratiques de souveraineté étatique qui l'ont rendue verticale et exclusive. La démarcation du territoire des aires protégées est un acte profondément politique qui a des implications en matière d´égalité sociale. L'article examine la politique de conservation à travers des actes contestaires vis-à-vis du pouvoir étatique qui ont souvent favorisé une articulation de la souveraineté populaire dans les Sundarbans. Il met en évidence que la durabilité sociale de la conservation dépend de l'encadrement, de la négociation et de la promotion des thèmes d'accès aux ressources et de la gouvernance.

Open access

Francesc Bellaubi

Abstract

Surrounded by mountains and forests, Lake Turgoyak in the Southern Urals (Russia) is a popular tourist destination. However, the many resorts and camps as well as the high number of visitors have had a negative environmental impact on the lake. Taking Lake Turgoyak as a case study, the research examines the values in the human-geosphere relationship, framed as a geoethical dilemma revisiting the concept of the noosphere. The formulation of geoethical dilemmas, as a way to explore the values that underpin the technocratic artifacts on which humans relate to the geosphere, reveals a spiritual dimension that shapes cultural identities that, in turn, unfold in eco-ideologies of resistance in hope.

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Adaptive Regulation

A Possible Model for Regulation and Innovation in Personal Social Services

Lihi Lahat and Yekoutiel Sabah

Abstract

The provision of personal social services in Israel has recently changed, with many services now outsourced to non-governmental organizations. This shift requires the strengthening of regulatory mechanisms, yet the unique characteristics of personal social services make it difficult to create an efficient regulatory framework. By linking insights derived from the literature on regulation to the specific features of these services, this article presents a conceptual model for their regulation. The model incorporates aspects of innovation in the public sector, including a more comprehensive learning and collaborative process and a new rhetorical language. The proposed regulatory approach consists of three stages: mapping, the design of regulatory instruments, and implementation and evaluation. Applied to the Israeli experience here, this approach may also be relevant for other countries.

Open access

Marie-Luce Gélard

Abstract

This text touches on the consumption of dry or dried products from the point of view of valorization and dessication as a norm of the “good”. Dried foods are also those which can circulate in the intra- and extranational migratory contexts thus allowing the commonality of sharing in absence. They also allow us to establish a clear distinction between human foods and demonic foods. And at last, they are the only ones to possess healing powers in the universe of therapeutic rituals linked to alimentation.

Résumé

Ce texte propose d'aborder la consommation des produits secs et/ou séchés dans une perspective de valorisation de la dessiccation comme norme du « bon ». Les nourritures séchées sont aussi celles qui peuvent circuler dans le contexte migratoire intra et extranational permettant le partage au travers de la commensalité des absents. Elles permettent d'établir une nette distinction entre nourritures humaines et nourritures démoniaques. Enfin, elles seules possèdent des pouvoirs de guérison dans l'univers des rituels thérapeutiques liés à l'alimentation.