Landscapes of “bad change” in Ukrainian Carpathians: Transformation and crisis from factory hall to highland meadows Cover Image
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Krajobrazy „złej zmiany” w ukraińskich Kapratach: transformacja i kryzys od hali fabrycznej po połoniny
Landscapes of “bad change” in Ukrainian Carpathians: Transformation and crisis from factory hall to highland meadows

Author(s): Marcin Skupiński
Subject(s): Sociology of Culture
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: landscape; transformation; Carpathians;Ukraine;
Summary/Abstract: Members of degraded communities of Wałbrzych or Broniów described by Tomasz Rakowski often connected their experience of job loss and austerity with narrations about “the end of the world” and progressing degeneration of the world similar to ones recorded by earlier ethnographers in traditional rural societies. They created a story connecting both social and natural environment, which Rakowski called the feeling of “bad change.” I recorded similar stories during my research in Rakhiv district of Transcarpathia, Ukraine. Similarly to Rakowski’s research, the feeling of “bad change” included not only the social but also the natural surroundings. In this article I will show how narrations I gathered in the field are constructed in the context of landscape in combination with recent history of Ukraine and personal stories of my interlocutors. An important role in these narrations is played by not only the (post)industrial overview of the town but also that of “wild” mountain slopes, which together become symbols of the fall and economic stagnation of the region. In this paper I will show that the landscape is redefined in reference to not only the experience of political transition of the nineties but also the recent economic crisis in Ukraine unfolding since 2014. In the last part I argue that the stories I recorded in Rakhiv are deeply embedded in practices of “being in the world” of my interlocutors and thus they illustrate not only social but also ecological changes that Rakhiv district has undergone in the last decades.

  • Page Range: 99-108
  • Page Count: 10
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Language: Polish