The floating churches of Volgograd: river topologies and the warped spatialities of faith

Iulian Barba Lata, Claudio Minca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores creative reuse as an alternative modality to upcycle the materiality and documentary capacities of things, beyond the linear entrapments of historical or functional redundancy. Drawing on an amphibious ethnography of Volgograd's riverscapes, we analyse the floating churches inaugurated after the collapse of the Soviet Union to support the revival of faith practices. Acting as mobile centres of religious activity, they morph various temporalities, functions and places into multidimensional operative domains that range from the embodied practices of sailing and engaging in religious rituals to the making of sacred space at a regional level. We conclude by suggesting that their operations and impact rely on topologies of fixed points and shifting spatialities, which provide a salient vehicle for broader geographical interrogations of memory, creativity and mobility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-136
Number of pages15
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • archiving
  • creative reuse
  • floating churches
  • sacred space
  • topology
  • Volgograd

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