You might not think of a night in jail as a “nice time,” but for public anthropologist, Dr. Alexandra Arkhipova (Wilson Center, DC), her arrest in Russia in 2017 was both an opportunity for research and part of a long-standing tradition for public scholars within her country. In her interview with Dr. Alexey Golubev - recorded on March 23rd, 2022, - Dr. Arkhipova discusses the difficult work of collecting and preserving information under the oppressive regimes of the Soviet Union and Putin’s modern-day Russia. A self-described “anthropologist of crisis,” Dr. Arkhipova uses social media to crowdsource for people’s memories and eyewitness accounts of protest against the authoritarian government and the current war in Ukraine. She talks about how this work of gathering and archiving people’s diverse experiences becomes its own form of protest against governmental censorship and attempted control of the historical record.
For more on Dr. Arkhipova's work, see https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/alexandra-arkhipova.