AbstractUsing ethnographic materials collected in 2008 and 2009 in a distant and isolated village in East Siberia, this article shows how slow and distorted connections contribute to the development of a specific eco-biopolitical space that can be likened to a spaceship physically disconnected from the mainland. Life in such a ‘bubble’ is dependent on supplies from the mainland, which create rhythms of activities in the community. The lack of access to state services and institutions is compensated by local initiatives to mimic such organisations. The state provides channels of escape from the village, such as emergency flights, but does not invest in infrastructures that would link this settlement to other places. The community ‘bubble’ exists not because of infrastructural absence per se, but because this isolation is asymmetrical. It is easier and faster to get from the village to the centre than it is to return. This imbalance expresses the power relations between the centre and periphery and systematically reproduces conditions in which resources drain from the village. This ‘slow connection’ is the condition for the creation of a specific eco-biopolitical regime, in which a rich place is occupied by people living in poverty.
Inner Asia – Brill
Published: Apr 24, 2020