АНТРОПОЛОГИЧЕСКИЙ ФОРУМFORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE
RUS | ENG
Forum for Anthropology and Culture, 2019, no. 15
Abstract: The article considers the condition of one of the quarters in the centre of Irkutsk that can be called a ‘time frontier’. This refers to the exclusion of this urban locality from the present time. The place in question has ended up on the border between various projects of the future and the past. This affects not only its architectural appearance, but also its social content. The authors seek to understand whether this situation is reported in the stories told by people who find themselves in the context of the ‘border’ locality, and whether this affects the architectural and social appearance of the post-Soviet city. The study is based on materials of participant observation — the results of ‘strolling’ in Walter Benjamin’s interpretation of that term — and nonformalised interviews. Michel de Certeau’s dichotomy of ‘strategy-tactics’ and Henri Lefebvre’s concept of spatiality have been employed in the processing and conceptualisation of the data. The authors conclude that the ‘time frontier’ situation implies the same set of characteristics as a ‘physical’ frontier: nonlinearity, mobility, and a superabundance of projects for reformatting the ‘frontier’ locality. For people and places caught up in the situation of this time frontier, not only the future but also the past becomes a project, thus both categories become equally pluralistic. As a result, the location lives ‘outside the present’, outside the projects actually in process, forming a social vacuum: weak ties are destroyed, the resulting vacuum is filled with third-party projects that compete to offer a definition of the locality’s meaning.
Keywords: open market, informal economy, post-Soviet city, ‘ethnic’ marking, time frontier, urban space.
To cite: Timoshkin D., Grigorichev K., ‘“Non-Place” outside Time: Indeterminacy as the Specificity of the Existence of Localities in a Post-Soviet City (The Case of Irkutsk)’, Forum for Anthropology and Culture, 2019, no. 15, pp. 183–202.
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