Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationIndependent Scholar
Grant numberGr. 10077
Approve DateApril 8, 2021
Project TitleKojanic Ognjen (Independent Scholar) "Drain the Swamp: Infrastructure, Political Economy, and Human-Environment Relations in Belgrade Wetlands"
Cities across the globe have to find ways to adapt to rapidly changing climate patterns, which requires a deep understanding of how humans relate to the environments they inhabit. Anthropological scholarship on infrastructure has demonstrated deep entanglement between natural and built environment. Once infrastructure is introduced to deal with the “naturalness” of environment, it begins to mediate human-environment relations. Thus, human-environment relations are shaped materially by infrastructural projects that, in turn, align with goals and promote values that reflect the political-economic regimes under which they are developed. Using ethnographic and archival methods to focus on infrastructure, I will study relationships with wetlands in Belgrade, the largest city and capital of Serbia. Belgrade used to have large wetland areas; however, over the past century, many of them were “reclaimed” through the creation of infrastructural objects. Thus, infrastructure in the city built or envisioned over the course of a century offers an excellent empirical entry point for answering open questions related to the politics of human-environment relations in wetlands.