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Berries in Trade for a Tape Recorder: Fartsovka between the City and the Village

Sun, November 8, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Virtual Convention Platform, Room 2


Late Soviet practice of fartsovka has been known as urban phenomenon yet it was a part of rural-urban continuum too. By discussing the trips of young musicians from the closed city of Severodvinsk to rural settlements of the Arkhangelsk region in order to trade berries and mushrooms in exchange for much demanded Western goods such as tape recorders made in Japan or down jackets made in Finland, I will argue that in the process the vibrancy of berries and other forest products affected the whole assemblage of actants and reshaped everyday practices. Actors engaged in the practice of village fartsovka experienced moments of situational rurality/urbanity that was symptomatic for the late Soviet period.