I address these various forms of violence enacted by the Crimean Bridge with what I term ‘colonial roadkill’, drawing from the analysis of roadkill by Stefanie R. Fishel (Fishel 2019). Roadkill happens because of the infrastructure of the road itself, which pushes non-human animals towards dangerous crossings, killing those who are afraid to pass and whose habitats happen to be in the way of the road. Indeed, roadkill is caused by the subjects operating the road as they move without the consideration of the harm that they can inflict. This combination results in the notion of the roadkill as not limited to the decaying corpse on the side of the highway, but as more general damage caused to the “road ecology” (Coffin 2007, 396 quoted in Fishel 2019). I use the notion of roadkill to emphasize that any act of logistics is inflicting rupture to the ecology of its site. Rupture in this sense is different from the notion of blockade or containment, as it does not imply any inside that is to be separated from the outside (Cowen 2017; Alimahomed-Wilson and Potiker 2017; Sebregondi 2018). This means that all logistics is built upon the principles of Adversarial Infrastructure, but its adversarial nature is usually masked by the fact that non-human killings are treated as collateral damage. With Adversarial Infrastructure I aim to connect the weaponisation of roads against human actors with its instrumentalisation against non-humans. The Crimean Bridge, in this case, is very particular road as it does not differentiate between human and non-human actors; both categories are rendered undesirable: fish, birds, dolphins, Crimean people (Coffin 2007 quoted in Fishel 2019; Romashchenko, Yatsiuk, Shevchuk, Vyshnevskyi, and Savchuk 2018; Veselova 2017; Williams 2016). Adversarial Infrastructure then becomes characterised by colonial roadkill, one that separates the targets by the difference in their colonial status rather than human - non-human dichotomy.
One of the non-human populations affected by the bridge is the dolphin. The Russian government, while using a dolphin as one of the promotional mascots for the Crimena Bridge, produces reports stating the construction of the bridge has driven the population of dolphins higher, thus establishing a clear connection between the dolphins and the bridge. In fact, the dolphin population was displaced by the Crimean Bridge. The Bridge has destroyed the ecology of the Kerch Strait vital for dolphins’ migration, and dramatically altered the levels of underwater noise, making it hard for them to feed and communicate (Romashchenko, Yatsiuk, Shevchuk, Vyshnevskyi, and Savchuk 2018; Davydov 2018). New ecological conditions resulted in the outbreak of dolphin deaths - since 2017, 998 dolphins have been found dead on the shore (RIA 2019).
Is it possible that the Russian government, by bringing the dolphins into the spectacle, inadvertently addresses the ecological violence that it would otherwise ignore?