Infrastructure Struggles


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Huge infrastructure projects were undertaken in the former Soviet Union under the heading of “reconstruction,” holding a territory together that stretched across Eastern Europe and the Caucasus to Central and all of Northern Asia. Today, decades after the downfall of the centrally governed, federal one-party state, the infrastructure network is in the process of disintegrating. What is actually more alarming: Rather than being halted or diverted in a more sustainable direction, the disintegration process is accelerated by privatization – even, or perhaps especially, privatization under the banner of “green” solutions imported from the West. Here, as elsewhere, the interests of the private sector are foregrounded, while the common good is neglected. Citing debates about infrastructure projects (e.g. public transport), critical geographers Lela Rekhviashvili and Wladimir Sgibnev show in their “Black Box East” video talk how images of the past and future are activated to defend a compromised present.

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