Exceptions to authoritarianism: Cultural heritage politics and corporate statecraft in the Altai Republic (Siberia)

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Intervenant : Gertjan Plets (Utrecht University)

Titre : Exceptions to authoritarianism : Cultural heritage politics and corporate statecraft in the Altai Republic (Siberia)

Résumé :

By applying the theories of Agamben and Schmitt to ethnographic insights about identity politics in the Altai Republic, this paper explores how the governance of cultural heritage and nationalism in Russia is far from uniform but characterized by exceptions and diffuse sovereignty. Through the idiom of ‘exceptions of authoritarianism’ it contributes to a blossoming literature that, on the one hand, explores the various strategies of government the Kremlin applies, and on the other hand, studies the broader modes of sovereignty characterizing governance in the Russian Federation. Through an anthropological examination of cultural life and politics in the Altai Republic this paper will nuance the conception that memory and culture at large is increasingly instrumentalized by the Kremlin for regime legitimation and the maintenance of the so-called power vertical in an age of decreasing oil income. It will show by analyzing how Gazprom enables the blossoming of indigenous cultural institutions that various agendas, interests and power dynamics influence the culture-political fields of practice in authoritarian states. As such it will also theorise parastatal corporations like Gazprom, and how they are uniquely positioned between the global market, local cultural life and the authoritarian state.

Biographie :

Gertjan Plets is a cultural anthropologist based at Utrecht University (Netherlands) specialized in corporate heritage funding and indigenous Siberian cultural politics. He has been working in the Altai Republic since 2009, where he has been tracing the impact of Gazprom’s corporate social responsibility programs on local cultural politics and cultural heritage preservation initiatives. Before his tenure at Utrecht, Gertjan was based at Stanford University where he co-coordinated a research lab exploring the role of cultural heritage in global politics. He has published on a variety of issues related to heritage and memory politics in Siberia, the World Heritage politics of the Russian Government, and the funding of heritage preservation abroad by the Kremlin as a soft power tool in the Middle East.

  • Quand ?

Le vendredi 4 octobre 2019 de 14h00 à 16h00

  • Où ?

ULB - Campus du Solbosch

Institut de Sociologie (bâtiment S)

Salle Doucy - 12e niveau - Salle 123

44 avenue Jeanne - 1050 Bruxelles