Master’s thesis on human-infrastructural relations in Eastern Siberia defended


On October 21, 2022, Gertraud Illmeier successfully defended her Master’s thesis on the topic “Oil infrastructures and their affordances for ‘traditional’ livelihoods in Eastern Siberia”.

Engaging a relational affordance concept, the thesis firstly explores

the relations between the taiga hunters of the village Tokma and

‘seismic lines’ ̶  straight routes logged in grid-like patterns for oil

exploration – which have altered the northern landscape, pervading it

with a dense grid of open corridors. Secondly, it examines the

unintended consequences of this oil infrastructure that affords the use

of snowmobiles and thus evokes demands for fuel and spare-parts. Seismic

lines foster new entanglements of the people of Tokma with the oil industry

that reconfigure local mobilities and livelihoods.