Biography of a Road: Past and Present of the Siberian Doroga Lena

Tatiana Argounova-Low* (Corresponding Author), Mikhail Prisyazhnyi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


This article examines the Lena Road (Doroga Lena), which is situated in the eastern part of Russia and stretches through the southern and central parts of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). A former traditional path, it was developed into a corridor for accessing rich mineral resources in the area during the Soviet period. The road is associated with the socialist past and its meta-narrative that highlights roads’ industrial profile. In this article the authors investigate the road's history through a biographical approach that incorporates biographies of people whose lives were linked to and shaped by the Lena Road. Such a biographical approach redirects the attention from a history written by a dominant totalitarian regime with its ideological prescriptions, towards the particular, individual and private, as well as highlighting the importance of people's contribution in creating the road and history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-387
Number of pages21
JournalDevelopment and Change
Issue number2
Early online date30 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

We thank the North Eastern Federal University for supporting our fieldwork. We are grateful to staff at the museums in Aldan and Neryungri for their assistance. The article has been improved by suggestions from many colleagues. It was further amended following pertinent comments from two anonymous reviewers. We thank everyone for their valuable comments.


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