A guide to creative Russia


October 30, 2014

RT launches dedicated UK channel

Russia's state-backed news channel RT (formerly Russia Today) will launch its first dedicated British news channel tonight from its new London studios at Millbank. RT UK will cover local, regional and national stories from the UK, and will "challenge dominant power structures in Britain by broadcasting live and original programming with a progressive UK focus", according to the media organisation's website.

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October 29, 2014

Twitter users ridicule Russia’s new Football World Cup logo

It is not unusual that the days following the launch of a new World Cup or Olympics log sees social media become a playground of ridicule. The unveiling of Brazil’s green and yellow World Cup logo left in its wake a Twitter feed replete with the hashtag #facepalm, an inference to the hand-like yellow cartoon which snaked around the green trophy to rest atop it.

Yesterday marked the first public outing of the logo for Russia’s World Cup in 2018, and again a torrent of mockery was not far away. From comparisons to mushrooms to aliens in space, the #2018worldcup trending hashtag on Twitter has seen the new logo both lauded and laughed at. Here's our list of some of the best (and worst) tweets out there.

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October 28, 2014

Entire staff of Moscow’s Museum of Cinema resigns in protest against new director

Naum Kleiman

The entire staff of the Moscow Film Museum have collectively resigned from their posts in protest against the institution’s new director, Larisa Solonitsyna, who joined the museum in July this year. In an open letter to Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky that was published on the museum’s official website, the team slam Solonitsyna’s “incompetence, authoritarian style of leadership [and] lack of transparency over decisions”.

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New book on curating launches in St Petersburg

The first Russian-language publication on contemporary curatorship was launched in St Petersburg last week. A pioneer in the field of curatorial handbooks, The Manifesta Journal Reader collects together texts exploring the theory and practice of contemporary curating, including the geopolitics and potential controversies of the curatorial process.

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October 27, 2014

Tom Stoppard writes open letter in support of pioneering Moscow theatre institution Teatr.doc

Tom Stoppard

The British playwright Tom Stoppard has published an open letter in support of independent Moscow theatre Teatr.doc, which has been threatened with closure after the Moscow City Administration's Property Department unexpectedly terminated its rental agreement with the institution citing the violation of renovation rules. The international theatre community has slammed the eviction of Teatr.doc — an institution known for its stagings of controversial repertoire and political satire — as politically motivated.

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October 24, 2014

This week’s news; illustrated

Moscow puts up unreadable Latin-letter street signs

Moscow authorities have erected new street signs with street names transliterated into Latin letters around the city, but using a very strange transliteration system. Defying the transliteration systems used by Google Maps, The Moscow Times and The Calvert Journal, the new signs, which were presumably erected to make the Russian capital more easily navigable for foreigners, have baffled many tourists visiting the city. Sochi experienced a different sort of problem earlier this year, with a number of streets translated rather than transliterated, causing some street signs to bear names like Shotgun Street and Blue Dali Street.   


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October 23, 2014

Navalny’s blog blocked on LiveJournal app by media watchdog

The blog of vocal anti-Kremlin opposition activist Alexei Navalny has been blocked on the mobile app of Russian social networking service LiveJournal since yesterday. Attempts to access the blog on the app produces an error message explaining that the page has been blocked according to the decision of the Russian authorities. Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor added Navalny’s blog to a register of banned sites in March this year after accusing it of publishing extremist material, however the blog has been accessible in Russian territory on LiveJournal’s app despite its website ban.

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Melnikov House museum to open to visitors in December

Moscow’s iconic Melnikov House is to open its doors as a museum to the public for a testing phase on 3 December this year, according to a press release published today. Visitors will be given tours of the great avant-garde structure, in which furniture and other personal items belonging to the house’s architect Konstantin Melnikov and his son, the painter Viktor, will be on display. Plans to recreate the interior of the house at the time of Viktor Melnikov’s death in 2006 are currently in the works by museum staff.

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October 22, 2014

Cult online magazine WOS launches revamped website focused on Russia

Russian cult website Weekend OpenSpace (WOS) launched its revamped site yesterday, revealing changes to the name, design and concept of the publication. Although the new site has kept its original acronym, it now stands for the words “Around this vast country”, reflecting the new focus of the website — Russia. In a post published by the editorial team on the website, the team explains the reasons behind WOS’s new direction:

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October 21, 2014

United Russia politician proposes launch of patriotic TV channel for youths

Russia’s International Youth Forum at Lake Selinger, Russia. Photograph: Egor Tsvetkov

United Russia politician Viktor Vodolatskiy has announced plans to launch a government-funded patriotic television channel for young Russians. The idea has gained considerable support from members of the presidential commission for the patriotic, spiritual and moral upbringing of children. Vodolatskiy told Izvestia that the channel is necessary to counterbalance the corrupting influence of today’s television and to promote patriotic values in young people.

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