National Historiography, Élite Ideology, and Nation-Building in the Northern Caucasus
Very welcome to join our next RUCARR seminar on April 11 with Evgeny Romanovskiy, Charles University.
WHEN: April 11, 15.15-17.00
WHERE: Sign-up here for zoom link
The Caucasus has always been a mystical region for researchers not only from abroad, but also for Russians, where “traditional methods did not work.” Nevertheless, in this study, the author will lift the veil of the secrets of the formation and development of state policy in nation- and identity building in two republics of the North Caucasus: Chechnya and Dagestan. While Chechnya is a traditional mono-ethnic and mono-religious republic within Russia that has given rise to a “special” kind of nationalism, Dagestan is a «Babel tower of languages and cultures” that represents a different type of nationalism, or lack of it. While using modern social theories, the author of this study [in both cases] will try to prove that the Caucasus went through a difficult, but the same way of forming national identities as other regions of the Earth. This seminar will help to better understand the Caucasus, as well as the processes that took place and are taking place there and that have shaped the image of this region as we know it.
Evgeny Romanovskiy has an MA in Political Science from the University of Vienna, and currently he is a PhD student at Charles University, and also affiliate both at Queens University and CEU. His research interests are ethno-conflicts, border and visual studies, nationalism and Europeanization. He is the author of several scientific articles, with working experience in several think tank centres and media agencies in both Russia and Europe.
Members of RUCARR’s advisory board and other colleagues met in Tallinn on March 16-17. Chair of RUCARR’s advisory board, Sweden’s ambassador to Estonia, Ms Ingrid Tersman, hosted the group at Sweden’s Embassy to Estonia. The group was also invited to an evening at the Residence. Thank you for a fruitful and great meeting. Day 2 was devoted to a very interesting meeting at The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (https://ccdcoe.org/) in Tallinn.
Living with “borderization”: Accommodating, negotiating and contesting occupation in Georgian borderland villages
Welcome to next RUCARR seminar on March 21 with Dr Katrine Godfredsen, senior lecturer in Caucasus Studies at Malmö Unversity.
When: March 21, 15.15-17.00
Where: Sign-up here for zoom link (new link)
Zoom Meeting https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/67632369897 Meeting ID: 676 3236 9897
In this presentation I will outline some preliminary findings from recent ethnographic fieldwork in Georgia conducted as part of the research project “Occupied Intimacies: Borderization in Palestine, Georgia and Western Sahara”. The project as a whole is about contemporary military occupations and their effects on the everyday lives of people under their rule. It compares three cases of on-going and disputed military occupations: the Russian occupation of the Georgian territory of South Ossetia, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.
The Georgian case study explores local effects of Russian border-making practices, or “borderization”, between the occupied territory of South Ossetia and Tbilisi controlled territory. Through the installation of physical barriers and symbolic gestures, such as signposts, fences and patrolling border guards, a previously invisible and elastic administrative boundary line (ABL) is gradually being turned into a de-facto international border. Moreover, these activities are accompanied by instances of what is locally described as “creeping occupation” – the step-by-step moving of fences and barbed wire further into Georgian controlled land and seizing of more Georgian territory.
Borderization has grave effects on the lives and livelihoods of borderland village communities. Some families have already experienced being cut off, or displaced, from their native farmlands, gardens and orchards, and others live with the fear and risk that this might happen at any time. This ongoing uncertainty presents local families with a number of economic and social problems and dilemmas, but it also fosters innovative strategies of accommodation, negotiation and contestation. In this presentation, I will examine how, and to which effect, borderization as a tool of dominance and subordination affects and reconfigures local village communities and livelihoods.
“You’re a disgrace to the uniform!” Lev Protiv’s challenge to the police in Moscow streets and on YouTube by Gilles Favarel-Guarrigues
When: March 7th, 15:15-17:00
Where: On Zoom, link: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/66776698229
Lev Protiv presents itself as a “social project” intertwining civic involvement, moral policing and entertaining Youtube show. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and pretending to defend the innocent youth, the Moscow vigilantes patrol since 2014 in public spaces in search of people consuming alcohol or smoking and implement governmental bans. However, their targets are not only drunkards and youth subculture, but also the police which are reluctant to implement the law. Sponsored by the government during two years and earning money thanks to their YouTube channel, how to explain that a vigilante activity, openly challenging State authority , may be tolerated in an authoritarian regime? This paper is based on the analysis of the videos of the group and on personal participation in several anti-drinking nocturnal raids. It shows that Lev Protiv has imposed a particular form of police oversight from below, forcing law enforcement officers to act as vigilante auxiliaries, partially in line with the governmental management of civil society.