Accepted paper:

The 15cm Road: paving the state in a Montenegrin village

Author:

Klavs Sedlenieks (Riga Stradins University)

Paper short abstract:

A planned 15cm elevation of a road in a Montenegrin Village turns the road into a playground where versions of the state and what is the role of citizens in that state is tested and played out thought formal and informal encounters on and around the paved surface.

Paper long abstract:

Infrastructure buildings are often described as sites of interaction where the ideas of the state are produced and shaped. Roads with their regulations, crossings, speed limits, traffic wardens and policemen are classic manifestations of state effects capable of shaping a driver and pedestrian alike into a willing or unwilling, but generally law-abiding citizen. However, at the moment when the road is not yet made, different kinds of state effects may be produced, where the individual power may or may not be at equals with that of the state. This presentation will illustrate how different citizens in a small village of Montenegro choose two different approaches (one slightly more formal than the other) in order to avoid various troubles that they think the planned elevation of the road by 15cm might bring to their homes. One group of citizens are organising themselves for a collective action, organise meetings among themselves and with the representatives of the state institutions. Meanwhile another group is not doing much but relies on a single person and his laid-back friendly relationships with the workers who actually work on the street. The road thus turns into a playground where versions of the state and what is the role of citizens in that state is tested and played out in many dimensions.

panel P106
Auto-anthropocenes: alternative uses of roads and vehicles