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Making Sense of the Remote Areas

Films and Stories from a Tundra Village

Petia Mankova


Narratives of globalization, conceived of as large-scale political, economic, and cultural processes flowing from metropolitan centers, often emphasize the loss of tradition and cultural originality in the remote and wild peripheries. All three television programs filmed in the past 10 years in Krasnoshchel’e, a remote Arctic village in Northwest Russia where I did anthropological fieldwork, are marked by such sentimental pessimism. Here, I juxtapose them with several local stories, which do not resonate with the melancholic and nostalgic notes of the media. The stories show how new inventions are welcomed and incorporated with laughter and astonishment into everyday life. The sentimental dissonance between mediascape and local imagination brings valuable insights about how globalization is accommodated on different scales and in different geographic settings.