On Making Populations Available For Injury: Debilitation, Austerity, and Violence in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia
Svetlana Borodina has a PhD in Anthropology from Rice University. She is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies.
If you are unable to join us in person, the lecture will be available online via Zoom. Regiistration for the online option is required.
This talk offers reflections on how the work of Jasbir Puar (The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability, 2017) and Robert McRuer (Crip Times: Disability, Globalization, and Resistance, 2018) can help us identify and map out the various forms of violence (acute and slow) that have been unfolding in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Equipped with these authors' concepts of debilitation, war- and workfare, austerity, and making available for injury, I zoom in on the clusters of issues associated with (1) the ongoing war in Ukraine; (2) policing and repression of political dissent in both Belarus and Russia; (3) the (acute and slow) ruination of life-supporting infrastructures and infrastructures of well-being in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. I test these concepts and explore how they help in some ways and how they fail to grasp the complexity of events in other ways. As individuals, social groups, and entire nations have been made available for injury and trauma (both physical and mental), it becomes essential to (first) identify the scope and directionality of debilitation unfolding among the general population in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, and (second) trace the affinities and distinctions at the local and global levels that such forms of violence fuel. Without providing an exhaustive review of all forms of debilitation, destruction, and deterioration unfolding in the region, I instead call for more research on debilitation and capacitation in the region that accounts for the complex governmentally driven geo- and biopolitical negotiations and battles that unfold on the territory and in regards with all three countries.