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(Dis)Connected Rail

Infrastructural Suspension and Phatic Politics in Romania

Adrian Deoancă


The political force of infrastructures is often attributed to their functioning as designed, while their political afterlives remain underexplored. In this article, I explore ethnographically the phatic force of ruins of infrastructure, by dwelling on a liminal railroad segment in Romania that remains unrehabilitated many years after its breakdown. Such an open-ended state of suspension allows the isolation of infrastructure's political and affective dimensions. The Giurgiu- Bucharest railroad met its demise in 2005 in the wake of heavy floods, producing an infrastructural gap that impacts local mobility and unravels the postsocialist social contract. State authorities and citizens engage in tactics of remediation that, while unsuccessful in resuming traffic, maintain a sense of phatic connection that kindles nostalgia for the past and frustrates anticipation of the future. These tactics make the railroad a medium for hope and at the same time a symbol for the absolute impossibility of hope.

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Everything in Motion

Clio Andris and Juan Ruescas

somehow also economic. The gaps that open between the different scales of necessity are space for benefit. The animals’ differences in scale take on a new significance when in motion. Distances are absolute and shared by all—there is a single map of

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Ceasing Fire and Seizing Time

LA Gang Tours and the White Control of Mobility

Sarah Sharma and Armonds R. Towns

. Mobility gives us the distance to see a neighborhood in terms of the way it looks, enables us to hold it to an absolute standard of urbanity or cosmopolitanism, and encourages us to judge its character apart from any personal history or intimate social

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State of Uncertainty

Educating the First Railroaders in Central Sakha (Yakutiya)

Sigrid Irene Wentzel

that “uncertainty” is likely to appear when there is a “lack of absolute knowledge, the inability to predict the outcome of events, or to establish facts about phenomena and connections with assurance.” 29 In this context, Cooper and Pratten relate

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Railway Territorialities

Topology and Infrastructural Politics in Alpine Italy

Mateusz Laszczkowski

everyday life.” 20 Territories can be studied in many ways. Topology is an approach that stands apart from topography as the art of measuring the size of territorial units and calculating distances to produce “singular and absolute depictions of the space

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Race and the Micropolitics of Mobility

Mobile Autoethnography on a South African Bus Service

Bradley Rink

that pierces the absolute dialectic of mobility and mooring as “Passengers … may not get … off the bus when it is moving or at any place other than recognized bus stops, except under the direction of an inspector, driver or other company official.” 60

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“Two Wheels Bad”?

The Status of Cycling in the Youth Hostels Association of England and Wales in the 1930s

Michael Cunningham

that the distinction between touring and racing was not absolute (Taylor, A Claim on the Countryside , 232–233). 71 YHA. Executive Committee. M77 “YHA: Amendments to the Constitution.” London, January 1933 (Y700003–1). 72 YHA Annual Report, 1937

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Trending Transfers

A Decade of New Mobility Studies through the Lens of Transmodality, Transnationalism, and Transdisciplinarity

Gijs Mom

absolute lockdown, together with the rest of Spain. I knew what this meant as I had watched in awe how Wuhan, two months after I had come back from a fellowship at Shanghai University, had been isolated from the rest of China. 1 Spain's version was the