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 in Ukraine"

DARIIA RACHOK, then a graduate student at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, received a grant in October 2021 to aid research on “Affective Belonging: Vulnerable Groups, Political Subjectivity and HIV in Ukraine,” supervised by Dr. Sue Drue Phillips. The unfolding transformation of healthcare system in Ukraine, including reorganization of HIV services provision, have evoked hopes, anxieties, and anticipations of despair among citizens. After the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022, Ukrainian public health workers, marginalized groups like sex workers, and workers of international NGOs alike expected a crisis in the delivery of HIV services to happen. Yet, the public health system withstood the blow and ensuing difficulties much better than expected in part due to the efforts of the marginalized groups. This project investigates how the relationship between the Ukrainian state and its marginalized citizens is produced through affect — sensations that are bodily intense, oscillating in range, and relational. This research explores how affect creates a shared political subjectivity among the marginalized citizens. This project shows that marginalized citizens — such as sex workers and people living with HIV — experienced the invasion as a threat to their physical bodies and existence. Elaborating the concepts of embodiment, corporeality, and vulnerability in relation to 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 how the marginalized are political actors in their own right.