Dariia Rachok

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Indiana U., Bloomington

Grant number

Gr. 10237

Approve Date

October 7, 2021

Project Title

Rachok, Dariia (Indiana U., Bloomington) "Affective Belonging: Vulnerable Groups’ Political Subjectivity and HIV"

The unfolding transformation of the public health system in Ukraine, including reorganization of HIV services provision, have evoked hopes, anxieties, and anticipations of despair among citizens. This transformation provides an advantageous site for studying how the relationship between marginalized citizens and the state is produced through affect’sensations that are bodily intense, oscillating in range, and relational. This project investigates how the political subjectivity of commercial sex workers is produced through affect that is generated through sex workers’ interactions with a reorganized public health bureaucracy when seeking HIV services. To do this, I elaborate the concepts of embodiment and ruins in relation to affect and situate affect in the system of power inequalities. My project investigates how structural inequalities become written on sex workers’ bodies and shape their visceral and affective responses to a state bureaucracy which is supposed to assume the responsibility for HIV provision as international donors withdraw. Emphasizing the corporeality and relationality of affect, this research advances anthropological notions of agency by foregrounding the issue of how political subjectivity is formed beyond the sovereign subject, through intense bodily experiences and outside of rational activity, and how the marginalized are political actors in their own right.