Although her parents wanted her to study medicine, fashion photographer and designer Christina Abdeeva pursued art. Since her recent graduation from the British Higher School of Art and Design, she has worked as a freelance photographer for publications such as Vogue Russia, Port and Esquire. She currently divides her time between Moscow and Paris.
Edward Adrian-Vallance has lived and worked in Russia for six years. He has a particular interest in indigenous minorities and has travelled through much of the Russian Arctic, Far East and the ex-Soviet Central Asian States. He now runs a small but successful interpreter/fixer service for journalists, photographers, filmmakers, academics and tourists wishing to visit these hard-to-reach places. His writing on Russia has been published in The Geographical, Travel Addict and Globespots online travel guide.
Marina Akatova was born and lives in St Petersburg. She studied journalism at St Petersburg State University, and now works as a freelancer for numerous publications including Kommersant and Discovery magazine. In her spare time, Marina likes art.
Petr Antonov was born in 1977 in Moscow, Russia. After receiving his university degree in foreign languages, Petr chose to pursue a somewhat unrelated career which led to him becoming a photographer. He currently does freelance work for both Russian and international press in addition to personal photography projects.
Joseph Backstein is the artistic director of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, deputy director of the State Centre for Museums and Exhibitions ROSIZO, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow and a member of the Art Historians' Association. He is the curator of more than 30 exhibitions including the Norman Foster solo show at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Sergei Bratkov’s exhibition at 25th Sao Paolo Biennial and was the curator of the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale 1999. Backstein has a medal of the Academy of Arts of the Russian Federation and is the author of numerous publications on contemporary art. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Computer Sciences and has a PhD in Sociology of Arts and Culture.
Self-professed jack of all trades, master of none, Dmitry Bezuglov, 22, is managing editor of Yekaterinburg’s WTF? magazine, co-editor of webzine Tesnota and part of the creative team for the Kleister art-space bookshop. He is also a writer and occasional accidental illustrator.
Mark Boyarksy studied graphic design before his career as a photographer for a range of leading Russian magazines and newspapers.
Sasha Burenkov is an artist, curator and creative director who explores the boundaries between communication and immaterial art practices. After studying Ancient Greek and general linguistics at St Petersburg State university, he received a BA from the Institute of Contemporary Art Moscow and collaborated with a number of media and art institutions including Strelka Institute, Polytechnic Museum and Dream Industries.
Jonathan Campion studied Russian in Exeter, Yaroslavl and Tver, and since 2007 has worked as a translator for companies in Kiev and London. Jonathan is a published travel writer, with a fixation for Russia’s remote regions and all of the former Soviet Union. His website is jonathancampion.com.
When Moscow-based fashion photographer Alena Chandler isn't shooting magazine editorials, she takes snapshots of the Moscow party scene for Central Park Mag, a website she runs with her partner, Alexsei Kalabin. She also runs Cycles Lady, a blog about style savvy women on bikes in Moscow.
Tom Cubbin is a design historian who studies the material culture of Russia and Eastern Europe. He has written about the rebirth of design in the Soviet Sixties and on futurology in that period. He is currently researching a PhD on “artists in design” in the USSR after the Second World War.
Olga Danilkina, 24, graduated in PR from Moscow State University, but has always maintained an interest in journalism. Her passion for contemporary art began about five years ago — she later studied under photography curator Irina Meglinskaya — but her love of the written word won out. She now writes about contemporary culture for a number of Russian publications and organises teaching and publishing initiatives at artist Anatoly Osmolovsky’s BAZA institute.
Before turning to photography, Demianova studied journalism and creative writing, and worked as a photo shoot producer at L'Officiel magazine. She has taken photographs for a range of well-known publications including L'Officiel, Harper's Bazaar, Afisha Magazine, Look At Me and Port.
Joanna Dobson is a freelance writer and translator. She has recently returned to London having spent the past decade in the Altai Republic where she worked as translator and interpreter for the United Nations Biodiversity Conservation Project. She also translates non-fiction for Russian and Altai authors. Dobson has a blog, Altai Pilgrim, and is currently writing a travel novel on her experiences of life in the Altai Republic. She has a passion for rock art, shokoladnitsa and capoeira.
Anna Dranishnikova is a writer, freelance curator and art critic from Novosibirsk. She is the manager of various culture, art and education projects, including the Moebius Apple Science Art festival and Total Dictation, a Russian language educational project.
Maria Dudko has made three attempts at getting a university degree and has failed at all of them. Most recently she did not obtain her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Melbourne. She is unemployed, but is very good at reading in the bathtub and having opinions. She likes art and politics. Her biggest achievement to date has been keeping her social anxiety disorder in check for the duration of the Moscow Experimental School for Gender Studies.
Masha Egupova is a freelance journalist from Vladivostok, a city in the Russian Far East on the Pacific coast. She writes about social, political and media issues in Russia, Hungary and Egypt as well as her hometown. A keen traveller, Egupova divides her time between Cairo, Bangkok and Budapest. She also writes a travelog about her experiences in in each country.
Anna Filipova is a Moscow-born, London-based freelance photographer and researcher.
Born and bred in London, Galitzine has an MA in History of Art from Edinburgh University, where she specialised in the art of the Russian avant-garde. Interested in exploring her Russian roots, she moved to St Petersburg where she has been living for the past year. She has worked in social media for cultural project New Holland and written for Garage Magazine's official blog. She recently assisted on the installation of the Chapman Brothers' show at Hermitage 20/21 and is currently working as a freelance writer.
Ivan Gololobov was born and raised in Krasnodar, Russia. Since the age of 17, he has somehow combined careers as a punk musician and as an anthropologist, sociologist and political scientist; this eventually led to him becoming a research fellow and lecturer at the University of Warwick. He is currently working on post-socialist punk and contemporary Russian underground music, teaching social theory and methods of qualitative sociological research, and commenting for the BBC Russian Service on contemporary youth movements and current affairs in Russian popular culture.
Seth Graham is a lecturer in Russian at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. He has written widely on late-Soviet and contemporary Russian culture, especially cinema. He is the author of Resonant Dissonance: The Russian Joke in Cultural Context.
Tatyana Grishina has worked as a journalist in her hometown of Perm since 2011. She is the managing editor of Fish magazine, a publication about Perm and the local culture, which she helped found. She also writes for a number of other websites including The Village, W-O-S and Hopes & Fears.
Owen Hatherley is the author of four books on British architecture, politics and pop culture as well as Across the Plaza, an e-book on public squares in post-communist Europe. He wrote his PhD thesis on Americanism in the Weimar Republic and the USSR. He lives mostly in Woolwich and sometimes in Warsaw.
Helena Boutko is a freelance photographer, non-stop traveller and fashion addict. She recently moved from Yekaterinburg to Moscow and continues to shoot pretty much anything as long as it gives her the opportunity to be creative. Boutko has worked with numerous Russian designers for magazines and collaborated with fashion sites such as Buro 24/7, Vogue.ru, LookAtMe and others.
Rob Hornstra, born in The Netherlands in 1975, is a photographer and self-publisher of slow-form documentary work. He has been commissioned by international magazines to produce documentary series and taken part in numerous exhibitions. In 2009, together with the writer and filmmaker Arnold van Bruggen, he started The Sochi Project, which over five years would document the area of Olympic Sochi. In addition to his work on The Sochi Project, he is also the founder and former artistic director of FOTODOK—Space for Documentary Photography.
Arthur House is a founding editor of online quarterly The Junket, and a journalist for The Daily Telegraph
Photographer Lily Idov returned to her hometown of Moscow in 2012. Before that she lived in New York for 15 years her work was published in Vogue, GQ, New York Magazine, Architect and Food+Wine.
Michael Idov is the editor-in-chief of GQ Russia. Born in Latvia, he has spent most of his life in the United States before moving to Moscow to edit the magazine. His own writing has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, New York Magazine, The New Republic and many other publications. He is the author of two books — Ground Up, a novel, and Made In Russia, a collection of essays on Soviet design.
Although a psychologist by training, Anya Kadyrova has always been drawn to journalism. Kadyrova, who is now based in New York, used to work as a political correspondent for Rain TV in Moscow. She also covers fashion, design, theatre. Kadyrova's work has taken her to a range of places from Chechnya to the Dominican Republic.
Ilya Kalinin was born in 1975. He is a historian of culture and literatry critic and teaches at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St Petersburg State University. He is editor-in-chief of the Moscow-based journal Untapped Resource: Debates about politics and culture (Neprikosnovennyi zapas).
Andrei Kartashov is a St Petersburg-based film critic, cultural journalist and blogger. He has a BA in Russian language and literature from St Petersburg State University. He is a staff writer for Bumaga and has contributed to various Russian film and lifestyle publications as a freelancer.
Mark Kelner is a writer and curator based in Washington, DC. A graduate of George Mason University, where he studied with the novelist Vasily Aksyonov, his work has appeared in The Atlantic, Russia Beyond the Headlines and other outlets. Of note, his humorous essay, How to Sell Art to Oligarchs, was published as part of A Hedonist's Guide to Art (Filmer/Artica, London, 2010) and was excerpted in its entirety in The Times. In 2010 he was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Hermitage Museum Foundation where he works on international contemporary art projects.
Masha Kuzmenko is a Moscow-born, London-based freelance writer who has had work published in Wallpaper and Architectural Review. After completing a degree in architecture at Edinburgh University, she worked in several design practices. She has a particular interest in design and technology, and the crossover between the two.
Artyom Langenburg is a writer, cultural critic and specialist in contemporary philosophy, based in St Petersburg. He currently works as online editor of lifestyle magazine Sobaka.ru.
Lisa Lelkova studied journalism at Moscow State University before moving to Stockholm in 2012 to continue her studies. She has worked as a journalist and editor for several Russian newspapers and magazines, including Snob and Bolshoi Gorod. Lelkova also works as a freelance illustrator.
Victoria Marchenkova is an artist and researcher. She graduated from the New Media faculty of the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia and she is now finishing her PhD dissertation about Russian and Chinese video art. She has written for a number of Russian art magazines.
Carlo is a student of Russian and Philosophy at University College London and aspiring journalist. He spent the last year living in St Petersburg as part of his degree.
A Yekaterinburg native who loves ginger very much, Melnik is a Masters student at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St Petersburg State University, as well as a freelance journalist and occasional translator. Although his Masters is in Music Criticism, his tastes and cultural interests are much broader.
Slava Mogutin is a New York-based Russian-American artist and writer, exiled from Russia for his outspoken writrings and activism. His artwork has been exhibited around the world from the Museum of Arts and Design in New York to the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel, and has appeared in a wide range of publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, i-D, Visionaire, L’Uomo Vogue and BUTT.
Davide Monteleone is a documentary photographer who has spent years photographing Russia. He currently lives between Italy and Russia pursuing long-term personal projects including work for VII Photo. In 2001 he moved to Moscow where he worked as a correspondent for the photo agency Contrasto before becoming a regular contributor for high-profile magazines such as the New Yorker.
Andrei Morozov is a Moscow-based journalist and founder of the event agency Proper People. A keen music aficionado, he is known for introducing European and US electronic bands to a Russian audience.
Andrei Muchnik was born and raised in Voronezh, but moved to Moscow after university. He currently works for The Moscow Times and Russia! magazine, writing on culture. He has also worked in PR and other copywriting roles.
Moscow-based photographer Sergey Novikov has taken photos in Russia, Europe and the US for publications such as Russian Esquire, Italian Rolling Stone and Russian Reporter. In 2011, he self-published FC Volga United, a book of photos about football fans who live along the Volga, Europe's longest river.
Although she was born in Siberia, Openko has always dreamed of moving to St Petersburg, where she currently lives. She writes about US culture and is in the process of conducting research on Russian soft power. She has been involved in various projects promoting contemporary Russian film and literature in the UK and the US.
Garrett Pappas is a Moscow-based photographer and legal consultant at a top international firm. He has been living in Russia and the CIS on and off since 2006. His debut exhibition Longue Vue Moscow was shown at a gallery in the Russian capital in October 2012 and received critical acclaim.
Ed Park is a British photographer who lives with his Russian wife in London .After studying fine art, he turned to photography, taking pictures of landscapes, food and still-lifes, with his personal projects attracting commercial commissions. Recent publications include Tuscany and Sicily by Phaidon Press. He has travelled in southern Siberia, camping, photographing and fishing.
Sasha Pershakova is an editor and journalist covering fashion and culture. She contributes to a number of magazines, both print and online, and consults young fashion brands and startups. She is interested in the dynamics of print and digial media, social media and science.
Alexei Ponomarchuk was born in 1986 in Yekaterinburg and graduated from Ural Pedagogical University. He is a photographer for a leading news agency and also works freelance.
Andy Potts first visited Russia in 1990 on a school exchange, and after returning in 2005 to explore the TransMongolian railway he moved to Moscow the following year. Now he works as a freelance journalist, editor and hockey reporter.
Anna Pozniak is a Moscow-based journalist and researcher with an interest in urban sociology and the sociology of culture. She is originally from Belarus, where, around foour years ago, she co-founded an online magazine about local culture KY with a group of her friends. Now she continues to collaborate with Belarusian media and also works at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.
Agata Pyzik writes in Polish and English for a number of publications inlcuding the Guardian, The Wire, Icon, Frieze, Lampa and many more. She has contributed to anthologies on experimental music, Ryszard Kapuściński and contemporary urbanism. She is currently working on two book projects: Counter-Tradition, a collection of interviews with artists and theorists, and Poor But Sexy, on Cold War and post-Communist culture.
Valentin Ramon is a Swiss-born, London-based illustrator.
Sasha Raspopina studied International Journalism at St Petersburg State University and graduated in 2011. She worked at a local TV station in St Petersburg before moving on to freelance work as a journalist and editor for various magazines and online projects. In collaboration with a friend, she also used to make IstinaZine, a printed and online zine about films, music and pop-culture.
Dmitry Renansky is a theatre specialist and music critic. He is the editor-in-chief of the theatre section on internet portal Colta.ru as well as a staff writer at Kommersant. Renansky has previously worked as the head of future planning at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St Petersburg, and has served on the Board of Experts of the Golden Mask national theatre award. He is the co-founder of creative group Opergruppa, curator of the Laboratory of Contemporary Opera (Moscow, 2012-13), and a deputy director of the Post Theatre in St Petersburg.
Natalya Reznik is currently a researcher in art history at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany and a photography teacher at Fotodepartment, a St Petersburg-based non-profit that promote contemporary art. Her work has been exhibited widely in Russia, Europe and the US and also published in magazines such as Marie Claire. She studied design at Perm State Technical University and has a PhD in the philosophy of culture from St Petersburg State University.
Denis Ryabov is a 23-year-old photographer and DJ. He currently works at Podpisniye Izdaniya, an independent bookstore in St Petersburg, and has previously worked for New Holland's summer programme. He moved to St Petersburg from his native Izhevsk five years ago.
Film critic Anton Sazonov has written for a number of Russian publications including Afisha, GQ, Interview Russia, The Hollywood Reporter, Look at Me, Openspace and Snob. He is a curator of Movement: The National Film Festival of Debuts, a new festival in the Siberian city of Omsk. He lives in Moscow.
Chicago-born but Brooklyn-based writer Abby Schreiber is an Associate Editor at New York's Paper Magazine where she covers music, fashion, food and nightlife. Her writing has also appeared in New York Magazine and BlackBook.
Dmitry Shabalin is junior fashion editor at Numéro Russia, an art and luxury magazine, and a student of performance art at the Institute of Contemporary Art Moscow. Since turning to journalism at the age of 17, he has written for Grazia Italy, Metal Magazine and the Russian editions of Elle, Collezioni and GQ Style.
Anastasia Shavlokhova is a contemporary art curator from St Petersburg. She studied history of art in St Petersburg, where she also was one of the founders and artistic director of Open-Studio Nepokorennie. She was the founding-curator of the START project to support young Russian art at the Winzavod centre in Moscow. She has also worked as an independent curator, organising group and solo shows for Russian and European artists, such as The Space of Silence at Krasnoye Znamia in St Petersburg; video art festival Video Caprute; Fabio Viale Marble at Garage in Moscow. Anastasia holds a German Chancellor Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for 2012-13.
Ekaterina Shcherbakova was born in 1990 in Novorossiysk in southern Russia. She holds a Diploma in Philosophy and Cultural Studies from the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Ekaterina has contributed to the realization of several contemporary art exhibitions, working in collaboration with Moscow galleries. She is currently extending her professional development as a curator by working independently in France and finalising her participation in the Curatorial Training Program at Ecole du Magasin in Grenoble.
Born in St Petersburg, raised in Siberia and educated in Siberia and France, Max took up photography in 2006. His work, personal and commissioned, has since appeared, among others, in Courrier International, Monocle, Esquire (Russia), Le Monde, Bloomberg Businessweek, Ogonëk, Wallpaper, The Independent Magazine, Financial Times Weekend, Newsweek Japan, Afisha, Bolshoi Gorod, Russian Reporter, Snob, as well as in photography publications including Foto8, Private, Fraction Magazine, Flak Photo, Unless You Will, LPV, to name a few. He has exhibited in St Petersburg, Vienna, Moscow, Bratislava, etc. In 2008, Max was nominated for KLM Paul Huf Awards, and in 2013 he was a finalist in the Cord Prize. He currently lives and works in Moscow.
Olga Shvarova is an associate consultant at Isis Innovation, the technology transfer company of the University of Oxford. She has a particular interest in innovative design, disruptive technology and hardware high tech, which lead her to complete a doctorate degree in Material Science. Despite pursing a career on the borders between science and investment, Olga has always found time for creative arts, writing and translating poetry, and has worked as a freelance writer for the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom under the leadership of Professor Timothy Garton Ash.
St Peterburg-based photographer Igor Simkin studied public relations before moving into documentary and art photography in 2010. He has since worked for a variety of well-known magazines including Afisha, Nash Zenit, Russian Reporter, Neon and The Village. He is currently studying visual art theory.
Olga Smirnova is a St Petersburg-based freelance writer and photographer. A social anthropologist by training, she is currently the head of media at f42, a creative agency. Smirnova previously worked as online editor of lifestyle magazine Sobaka.ru and was part of the editorial team responsible for launching The Village, a hyperlocal media site covering St Petersburg.
Noah Sneider is a California-born, Moscow-based writer and designer. He currently works for the New York Times and is pursuing personal projects connected to photography, art and design in Russia.
Phoebe Taplin is a freelance journalist and writer, specialising in culture and travel. She spent five years exploring Moscow and is the author of four seasonal guidebooks, Moscow Walks. Her articles have appeared in the Guardian, Telegraph, Sunday Times, Washington Post, New York Times, Moscow News, World Today and other magazines and newspapers.
Gulliver Theis is a freelance photographer based in Hamburg working across fashion, advertising and travel. He has collaborated with Vogue, Wallpaper, Coca-Cola, Motorola, Panasonic and many more. He has travelled regularly to Russia since 2005.
Curator and critic Dr Olesya Turkina co-created Russia’s first feminist exhibitions after 1989. She has worked on numerous exhibitions, including MIR: Made in the XX Century at the Russian Pavilion at the 48th Venice Biennale, 1999, and contributed to numerous publications such as ICE CREAM. 10 contemporary curators. 100 contemporary artists. 10 source artists (2007) and Gendered Art History in the Post-Soviet Space (2010). She is a Senior Research fellow at the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg and teaches at the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St Petersburg State University.
Adam Ure is a writer and researcher into Russian intellectual and cultural history. Originally from Manchester, UK, he has lived and worked in Russia and written widely on Russian religious thought, as well as contemporary Russian culture. One of his major areas of interest is the work of Vasilii Rozanov, and he is the author of Vasilii Rozanov and the Creation: The Edenic Vision and the Rejection of Eschatology.
Arnold van Bruggen, born 1979 in the Netherlands, is a writer and filmmaker and founder of journalistic production agency Prospektor. He is currently collaborating with photographer Rob Hornstra in The Sochi Project, which over the course of five years time will become an atlas of this volatile region, from the multibillion dollar investments in the Olympic areas to the conflict ridden territories of the Northern Caucasus and Georgia.
Georgiy Vanunts graduated as a political scientist from St Petersburg State University and now works as a freelance journalist, writing on cinema, culture and fashion for a number of local online media outlets. He has a great passion for classic horror movies and the history of porn.
Pavel Vardishvhili is currently Society Editor at the Russian edition of Interview Magazine. Before that, he worked in PR.
Giuliano Vivaldi was born in the UK but has spent most of his adult life living in Spain, Italy and for much of the past decade, Russia. He has studied in Trieste, Salamanca, Moscow and Brighton. A translator by training, he has written on Russian and Soviet film for Bright Lights Film and Film Philosophy and is a member of the Russian Cinema Research Group. He has worked as a film subtitler, a translator of film scripts and keeps a number of blogs devoted to Russian and Soviet film as well on others on more general cultural and political issues. He is currently completing a translation of the Argentinian-born Italian language writer Juan Rodolfo Wilcock’s Stereoscope of Solitary Beings, and embarking on a study of the iconography of Lenin as well as a book-length project on neglected Soviet film-makers.
Eduard Voronov is based in the southern city of Krasnodar and has a background in graffiti and street photography. As well as being interested in collecting and producing underground house music, Voronov is also the co-founder of a local city bike rental business. Voronov helps to coordinate mixtapes for The Calvert Journal.
Moscow-born art history graduate Svetlana Vorontsova-Velyaminova started out at Harper's Bazaar before moving to Russian Vogue as online editor. Her articles have been published in GQ Style, Afisha magazine and Interview Russia.
Elijah Yakovenko is an activist, artist, emigrant, philosopher and queer. He is one of the co-founders of the Moscow Experimental School for Gender Studies. Born 1989, Mariupol, Ukraine, Yakovenko has an MA in Foreign Economic Activity from EU Donetsk. He later finished the Institute of Contemporary Art Moscow and currently lives and works in Moscow.
Asya Zakharyeva was born and lives in St Petersburg. After studying Applied Mathematics at St Petersburg State University, she worked as a business analyst. She then decided to convert her hobby into a profession and started a Masters in Music Criticism at Smolny College, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science at St Petersburg State University. While completing her degree, she has worked as a contributing author and editor for Compozitor Publishing House, the Bolshoi Theatre and other major cultural institutions.
Olga Zavarzina lives in New York where she studies "the anthropology of everyday life" and takes pictures of botanical gardens.
Alexis Zimberg is the director of Post-Soviet Graffiti, a culture and research hub that investigates, amplifies, and advocates for free expression in censored or authoritarian states. She studied at Georgetown University’s Centre for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies and at McGill University in the fields of Political Science and Russian and Slavic Studies. Zimberg’s fieldwork photographs and research have been featured in journals, at academic conferences, and at galleries worldwide. In addition to her 2012 book titled The Spray Can Is Mightier Than The Sword: Street Art as a Medium for Political Discourse in the Post-Soviet Region, she has also written for Foreign Policy magazine, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty and Curbed.