Roads and Roadlessness: Driving Trucks in Siberia

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This article relates to the studies of roads and engages with the experience of driving in Sakha (Yakutia), Siberia. The article intends to contribute to the broad corpus of literature on mobility and argues that an alternative perspective on roads and road-users from a geographical area beyond the West might better inform and add another dimension to our notions of roads and our movement along them. The article examines the fluid nature of roads in Siberia and the social significance the roads carry by focusing on truck-drivers and their perception and engagement with the so-called winter roads through their sensory experiences. The article analyses narratives of the truckers who frame their experiences of the road with close reference to time and money and where notions of agency of the road become prominent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-88
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Ethnology and Folkloristics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

I am grateful to Ivan Ivanovich, Igor, Arkadiy, Yura and many other dalnoboishchiki for being generous with their time and knowledge. I thank the Regional Autotransport Union of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and the Ministry of Transport of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) for their assistance. I thank Aimar Ventsel for inviting me to the World Routes workshop in Tartu. The
draft of this paper was discussed with my colleagues at the department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen whom I thank for their comments. Julie Cruikshank and Jenanne Ferguson read the earlier draft of the paper and I appreciate their pertinent and valuable suggestions


  • roads
  • roadlessness
  • truckers
  • winter roads
  • Siberia


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