Provocative landscapes: a study of everyday cultural landscapes at the outskirts of agglomerations 

Korandei F.S., Abramov I.V., Kostomarov V.M., Cherepanov M.S., Sheludkov A.V.


Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, 3 (54)


              page 247257




The paper describes research principles and preliminary results of collaborative interdisciplinary research project aimed at the study of everyday cultural landscapes on the periphery of the Yekaterinburg and Tyumen urban agglomerations. The research design of the project implies a paradigm shift from expert reading of the landscapes to communicative learning of the environment, from the perception of the territories in question as resource reservoirs to their exploration as a domain of affordances providing opportunities for endogenous economic development. In 2020, an expedition worked in the villages of Tobolsk Zabolotye, in the cities of Irbit and Polevskoy of Sverdlovsk Oblast, and in the village of Belozerskoye of Kurgan Oblast. The cases and places deemed perspective in view of the application of the research method were characterized. This paper mainly provides an overview of the methodological principles that underpin our ongoing study, which should be considered only as an outline of the preliminary results of the first year of field work. The main source of the theoretical inspiration for the project design was the idea of affordances, coined by the American psychologist James J. Gibson, who studied the problems of perception. The main methodological objective of the project is to apply the theory of affordances to the field study of strategies for everyday landscape choice. In the 2020 field season, the design of the project, envisaging comparative perspective and increased mobility of researchers, was significantly influenced by the method of traveling interview. While working in Tobolsk Zabolotye, we followed everyday patterns of mobility, conducting interviews along the way, discussing with the respondents the hierarchy of places and territories, criteria for identifying vernacular regions, capacity of communication channels, modes of the mobility and its limitations. Concurrently, we were gaining the experience of non-discursive, embodied in materiality and corporeality, movement and recording local narratives of identity.

Keywords: edges of metropolitan areas, cultural landscape, ordinary landscape, everyday landscape, reading of landscape, affordances, processual landscape, sentient ecology, walking, resource paradigm, social anthropology, historical geography.


Acknowledgements. We warmly thank imam of the Laitamak rural settlement Hazrat Abdullah Kuchumov, and the ead of the Achir rural settlement Dilnur Yanaliev,
for providing us invaluable assistance in our field work,  also we would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions.

Funding. The study was supported by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research No. 20-05-00592 .


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 27.05.2020

Article is published: 27.08.2021


Korandei F.S., Tyumen State University, Volodarskogo st., 6, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation, E-mail:,


Abramov I.V., Institute of History and Archaeology of Ural Branch RAS, S. Kovalevskoy st., 16, Ekaterinburg, 620990, Russian Federation, E-mail:,


Kostomarov V.M.,  Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation, E-mail:,


Cherepanov M.S., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation, E-mail:,


Sheludkov A.V., Institute of Geography RAS, Staromonetniy lane, 29, Moscow, 119017, Russian Federation, E-mail:,