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Violent Infrastructure: Ecologies of Decay and Displacement

Dr. Otruba Exhibit and Talk

Violent Infrastructure: Ecologies of Decay and Displacement is a traveling photovoice exhibition that features thirty photographs taken by ten internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Republic of Georgia. The photographs capture IDPs’ three decade-long experience living in “temporary” housing in the former Soviet spa resort of Tskaltubo. The photographs were collected as part of a feminist visual ethnography, which studies the emotional impact of housing infrastructure conditions. The project asked how housing quality impacts IDPs’ sense of identity, personhood, and dignity; shapes IDPs’ life trajectories and relationships; and structures IDPs’ decisions, daily routines, and social practices. In a period of increasing numbers of forcibly displaced people worldwide, the exhibit builds critical consciousness by amplifying the voices of displaced persons to tell their stories of spatial injustice, social marginalization, and the attrition violence of war’s capacity to harm over an elongated time horizon.

Ariel Otruba, PhD is a feminist political geographer and conflict resolution practitioner, who specializes in the study of violent geographies in the South Caucasus. Her research interests include critical geopolitics, border and migration studies, and posthumanist approaches to political ecology. She currently teaches in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program at Arcadia University. Prior to this role, she was the InFocus War and Peace Scholar-in-Residence at Moravian University. Her publications have appeared in several edited volumes and Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.

Dr. Otruba will be presenting her exhibit’s opening talk, "Violent Infrastructure: Ecologies of Decay and Displacement," on Wednesday Oct. 4, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the Athenaeum Classroom in Newman Library. The talk is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be on display from October 1 to December 15 at Newman Library.

Photovoice Workshop flyer

Dr. Otruba will also be conducting a workshop on the community-engaged participatory method called photovoice on Thursday Oct. 5, 2023 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the Graduate Life Center, Room F

The photovoice workshop is free but registration is required. Please RVSP here:

Publication Date: September 26, 2023