University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Political Ecology Group meetings >  Making connections in a recently collapsed empire: when Nenets reindeer herders meet with Soviet-era settlers and mobile oil workers above oil deposits

Making connections in a recently collapsed empire: when Nenets reindeer herders meet with Soviet-era settlers and mobile oil workers above oil deposits

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  • UserRémy Rouillard, Post-doctoral Researcher, Scott Polar Research Institute
  • ClockTuesday 28 May 2013, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseSeminar Room.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact RSKD.

Abstract: What connects the post-Soviet Chechnyan wars to indigenous Nenets reindeer herders living in the Nenets Autonomous District (NAD) in northwestern Russia? What effect have French documentary makers had on interactions between these herders and Russian oil workers, extracting oil from an island in the Barents Sea since the late Soviet era? Considering that these patriotic workers have spent most of their lives extracting oil in the Arctic for a state-owned company, how do they view the potential privatisation of their company and their transfer to extraction sites situated off the shores of Vietnam? Based on a year’s doctoral field research in the NAD , this presentation will discuss ways in which Nenets herders, Russian settlers and current oil workers engage with the land in the district, and with each other, in the context of an oil-thirsty global economy and of a Russian state “addicted to oil-revenues”. I will show how the interactions between these different groups are marked by the co-presence of different codes of conduct: the Nenets “law of the tundra”, Soviet-inherited patriotism and reindeer herding management practices, as well as values inherited from the global market economy.

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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