One Response to An Unexpected Encounter at the Flight Training Unit

  1. fstammle says:

    Dear Lukas,
    fascinating story about these LTP’s. Several quick thoughts came to mind when reading this:
    One of the fascinating things in the comparative anthropology of the Russian North is the surprising diversity that most colleagues uncover under the umbrella of Soviet and Russian policies designed originally for the entire country. In real life on the ground in the region, one and the same thing can have completely different meanings, as you surely experienced in the ORHELIA oral history work. In Yamal and Yakutia for example, I didn’t hear about LTP’s. That doesn’t mean they are not there. But maybe their position in society was different. What I DID hear a lot was an institution called “sanitarno-lechebnaya shkola”. This was a boarding school where children were brought from the tundra in Yamal 1000s of km south, competely alienated from their environment, with the argument that their health (physical or mental?) was too poor to be in a normal school. While this was surely traumatic for some, others have also benefited from the exposure to the Russian environment of a big city and continued to more education.
    For the LTP you talk about, I wonder if it would make sense to talk to the people in the Kirovsk medical research institute. There the employees are really nice, and their mandate is to study scientifically the health of the Murmansk oblast population. Rather than reading their medical articles, they may have interesting stories to tell if they worked with “patients” of the LTP.
    About the apartment blocks in Lovozero: there is this study by Canadian sociologist John Porter (1965) called “The Vertical Mosaic: An Analysis of Social Class and Power in Canada”, to which one of our presentations in the extractive industries conference referred to in her community analysis of one apartment bloc in a small northern Canadian village. There also the lower the floor in the building, the lower is the social class and status of the inhabitants. A lot of Canadian studies have since referred to that work. I wonder how that compares to the Russian situation…
    This is also very interesting as things now change in Russia with the advent of more individual housing. In Soviet times, everybody had to live in apartment blocs, right?

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