Studies of indigenous place attachments tend to focus on the alternative environmental ontologies that animate and inform indigenous peoples’ relationships with place, but rarely engage with the material and psychological impacts of colonialist practices—namely, displacement and dispossession of land. Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 triggered the internal displacement of tens of thousands of Crimeans to mainland Ukraine, including ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, and indigenous Crimean Tatars. This multiethnic flow of internally displaced peoples (IDPs) affords the opportunity to contrast the post-displacement attachments of both indigenous and nonindigenous peoples to the same place. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this paper argues that Slavs’ attachments to Crimea are principally individualistic and rooted in a reverence for the peninsula’s natural environment, while Crimean Tatars possess an intergenerational narrative of national belonging to Crimea informed by cyclical patterns and experiences of colonialist displacement from their homeland.
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