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Accepted Contribution:

Zaimka as an outpost of ignorance: lagging knowledge on the banks of a Siberian river  
Lidia Rakhmanova (HSE-University)

Short abstract:

The paper suggests revisiting the notion of knowledge of ecologies and natural logics from a temporal perspective: the very choice of a physical space to build a base/hut lays the foundation for the gradual loss of actual knowledge and can make the fisherman or hunter appear ignorant over time.

Long abstract:

When a fisherman or hunter decides to build a 'zaimka' (wooden hut), he chooses the best place rich in fish and animal migration routes, i.e. he relies on the knowledge of interrelationships in the ecosystem that surrounds him. However, after a while, the river bed changes, a hurricane wipes out the routes where deer or elk migrated in a certain season, and the season itself shifts and autumn comes later than usual. Thus, having chosen a point in "space", man turns out to be an "ignoramus" thanks to the action of time and ecological logics that turn his experience and knowledge into ignorance. Based on ethnographic material collected over 7 years in the middle reaches of the Ob River, I propose to reflect together on what practices of contemporary fishermen and hunters might be a "response" to the challenge of ecological shifts and transformations in a complex temporal logic. Is it possible to build a hut in advance on the place where there will be a " fishing spot" someday? Do rapid ecosystem changes imply the "nomadism" of modern villagers, when one carries the hut with him every time, or does this situation force the creation of a wide network of huts, at least one of which will be a successful outpost at a certain moment and embody the "proper" knowledge of ecological logics? The presentation will set ethnographic context after which I suggest discussing cases and possible scenarios and answer to the challenge of temporal ecological shifts and 'traps'.

Combined Format Open Panel P380
Knowledges of ecology and ecologies of knowledge
  Session 2 Friday 19 July, 2024, -