Vasilina Orlova

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Texas, Austin, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9741

Approve Date

October 23, 2018

Project Title

Orlova, Vasilina A., U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Affective Infrastructures: Moving Through Siberian Space,' supervised by Dr. Craig Campbell

VASILANA A. ORLOVA, then a graduate student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded funding in October 2018 to aid research on “Affective Infrastructures: Moving Through Siberian Space,’ supervised by Dr. Craig Campbell. The project is currently a book manuscript “Citizens of the Future: Infrastructures of Belonging in Post-Industrial Eastern Siberia.” The Soviet Union’s promises of the radiant Socialist future failed to materialize but left behind material reminders — ruins. By ruins, this work understands not only architecture and infrastructure but also values, tropes, and ideas. These “ruins” of a future as imagined in the past continue producing meanings. In the 1960s, the development of Soviet infrastructure manifested in Eastern Siberia with the construction of the Bratsk Dam and Hydroelectric Power Station. The dam-induced flood displaced thousands of people. New centrally planned settlements arose at the shores of the Angara River. One such settlement is the village of Anosovo. With the collapse of the USSR, Anosovo saw a drastic reduction in government support. Like countless other settlements across the former USSR, Anosovo found itself in the position of a monotown with a privatized enterprise and plummeting social sphere. How do people live there navigating the entanglements of ruins and new beginnings? What keeps villages in a place whose population dwindled from more than 2,000 in the 1970s to a little over 500 today? How do they define their belonging, and how do they effectively “belong?” This work argues that the explanation for people’s rootedness in a place is “affective infrastructure” understood as the human (and animal) connections and engagement with the materiality of the place.