Timoshkin Dmitry

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  • 1, 2020

    • You Are No Longer Here: Domestic Colonization and Urban Political Regimes of Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk in City-Level Media

      The article is devoted to the confrontation between influential groups i.e., coalitions of actors who possess access to urban institutional resources, and residents of the areas that fall under development programs of built-up territories, in the media space of Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk. The author views the development programs of the built-up territories as attempts by influential groups to appropriate vast urban spaces in order to profit from it. At the same time, influential groups construct an image of the city and its certain parts in such a way that justifies the expansion, while residents who uphold their own ideas about disputed territories tend to disagree with this image. The positions of the opposing parties are reflected in public statements that ascribe to the disputed areas certain social and spatial meanings.

      The article analyzes the arguments made by the parties when they try to define a symbolic space of disputed territories, speech techniques that influential groups use in order to claim their right for the city, and how residents perceive these claims. The purpose of the article is to document values that influential groups and residents attach to the disputed territories, narratives that justify ac- tions to design their future. Toponyms that denote disputed territories are inter- preted as “empty signs”, the content of which is set by the participants of the media discussion, who link them to various spatial, emotional or social categories. The image of the disputed territories of Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk, transmitted by influential groups, is examined through the metaphor of the frontier: the position of the authorities is compared to the position of a colonizer, who acquires territories via forced redistribution of the resources available to the local population. In their legitimizing narratives, the authorities justify seizure of this resource by the immaturity and deviance of its former owners, as well as through the imperatives of “progress”. At the same time, in some cases, the expansion of influential groups stimulates consolidation of residents, who in the future can turn into a significant player in the political scene of the post-Soviet cities.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-96-1-98-116

      Pages: 98-116

  • 1, 2013