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Accepted Contribution:

The basket contains no bread: metabolizing ecocide against Ukraine’s soils, grains, water, and infrastructure  
Lina Bondarenko (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Short abstract:

Ukraine's soil became an agricultural powerhouse through industrialized ports and dams on the Dnipro River. Russia's invasion is an attack on the "Breadbasket of Europe," with targeted destruction threatening Ukraine's environment, risking ecocide of its environment.

Long abstract:

Ukraine’s land, a mass of fertile black chernozem, became an engineered machine for the production and export of agriculture largely through the Soviet construction of grain ports and dams along the Dnipro River in the 20th century. Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022, the immediate violence of human casualties has transitioned into an attack on the planet’s metabolism of wheat, known as the Breadbasket of Europe. Through targeted destruction of the water and agricultural infrastructure it once helped build, Russia is jeopardizing the environmental future of the soils and waterways of Ukraine, resulting in a slow violence of ecocide of an entire disturbed ecosystem.

By continuously squandering the vitality of the soil, Russia historically and currently weaponizes the metabolic rift between human beings and the earth through Ukraine’s soils and grains. This fracture extends far beyond Ukraine’s borders, and as a result, the breadbasket does not carry merely future bread, but in each industrial grain export instead carries the traumas of the violence itself. As political geographies eclipse humanity’s ability to make kin with its geomorphology, the post-Anthropocene climate’s rate of destruction accelerates.

This op-ed style research paper is the vehicle for a series of 9 large scale architectural graphic drawings ranging from maps, timelines, planting almanacs, biological diagrams, and mythological histories. Each drawings aims to narrate a key aspect of the argument while also standing as independent artworks for tracing throughlines between ecocide at odds with the planet's looming climate emergency.

Combined Format Open Panel P040
Zeitenwende et al. - Infrastructures as media of transformation
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 July, 2024, -