Andrian Vlakhov



National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Project Duration: 2014-2019

Russian-speaking Svalbard community during post-industrial transition

My research project carried out since 2014 aims to bridge that gap by systematically describing the Russian community (or, to be more accurate, communities) in Svalbard. I have been using participant observation, in-depth interviews, social networks monitoring and media analysis to trace and capture the process of post-industrial transition taking place in Barentsburg and Pyramiden during the last few years.

I argue that Barentsburg is a unique type of Arctic industrial settlement as compared to company towns and shift villages. I also analyze the structure of the local community, its take on the town development, and the strategies of industrial and non-industrial futures used by actors at different levels.