Events Calendar

Ariel Otruba (Moravian University and Arcadia University)
Friday, October 27, 2023, 03:00pm
Hits : 246

Violent Infrastructures: Ecologies of Decay and Displacement in Georgia


In this talk, Dr. Otruba will discuss her research and traveling photovoice exhibition, Violent Infrastructure: Ecologies of Decay and Displacement. This exhibition features a curated sample of photographs taken by ten internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Republic of Georgia. The photographs were collected as part of a feminist visual ethnography and photovoice project, which studies the emotional impact of protracted displacement under abject infrastructural conditions. The photographs capture IDPs' three-decade-long experience living in collective centers in the former Soviet spa resort of Tskaltubo. 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 brings visibility to urban displacement and war's capacity to harm over an elongated time horizon. In doing so, it seeks to inspire a critical reimagining of more just spatial futures for displaced populations in Georgia and beyond. 


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. Beyond the classroom, Dr. Otruba supports anti-trafficking education, advocacy, and survivor services at Valley Against Sex Trafficking (VAST) in Allentown, PA.

Location Tillet room 264