A guide to creative Russia


12 December 2014

Artist Pavel Pepperstein wins Kandinsky Prize

From the Holy Politics project (2013)

Artist and writer Pavel Pepperstein took home the €40,000 Kandinsky Prize on Thursday evening. Pepperstein, known internationally as one of Russia’s best contemporary artists, won with his project Holy Politics, which is made up of ten paintings depicting childlike interpretations of today's political realities. 

The Young Artist Award went to Albert Soldatov for his video installation Balthus, which features characters from the Polish French artist Balthus’s work. 

See a full preview of the 2014 Kandinsky Prize here.

12 December 2014

Google to close Russian engineering offices amid internet crackdown

Google is planning to shut its Russian engineering offices in Moscow, tech publication The Information reported today. Citing anonymous sources inside Google, the publication intimated that the decision of the search engine giant to shut its offices is the result of Russia's restrictive data laws.

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11 December 2014

Moscow’s “hipster” culture minister talks public space and community building

Sergei Kapkov, the Minister of Culture in Moscow's city government, spoke about the role of public spaces for the development of social capital at the Moscow Urban Forum this afternoon. The minister stressed how important it was for citizens to have a sense of ownership over the city's public spaces. 

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Gerard Depardieu launches ad campaign for “Proud to be Russian” watches

French actor Gerard Depardieu has launched a strange new advertising camping to promote his new line of watches "Proud to be Russian". In the commercial, posted on YouTube, Depardieu addresses viewers in Russian, inviting them to "rendezvous in Moscow, on 17 December at the Four Seasons Hotel in Red Square", before brandishing his watch-clad wrist in front of the camera. 

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Moscow mayor on “the art of managing a city”

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin opened the Moscow Urban Forum this morning with a keynote speech about the importance of putting Muscovites first in city development. Speaking at the first plenary session of the forum, whose theme this year is "Drivers of city development", Sobyanin touched on the need to approach urban development holistically, keeping the needs of city inhabitants at the heart of development plans. 

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Pussy Riot to collaborate with American band Le Tigre for new track

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina with Le Tigre’s JD Samson and Johanna Fateman

Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina have teamed up with members of American electroclash band Le Tigre for an upcoming collaboration track, The Guardian reported today. The two women revealed to NME that their collaboration with Le Tigre's JD Samson and Johanna Fateman would be for a single track, rather than an album, and will focus mainly the creation of videos. 

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Moscow Urban Forum to kick off tomorrow

This year's Moscow Urban Forum will kick off tomorrow with a number of city planning and urban development experts participating in debates across the four-day event. Launched to provide a platform for discussion about the opportunities and challenges facing the development of megacities, the Moscow Urban Forum is set to discuss urban progress underpinned by notions of sustainable development.

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Fund to support independent Russian media announces shortlist

The shortlist of applicants for Sreda, a new foundation devoted to financially supporting independent media in Russia, has been announced, with 12 media outlets including Colta, Novaya Gazeta and MediaZona selected from 170 applicants. Submissions for the fund opened in August, when Dmitry Zimin, Sreda's sponsor, businessman and founder of Russian telecommunications company Beeline, announced that three successful applicants will share Sreda's budget of 50 million roubles ($1.4m).    

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British Museum loans statue from Elgin Marbles to Hermitage Museum

The British Museum has loaned out one of the Elgin Marbles to Russia's State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, marking the first time the disputed artefact has left its London home since arriving over 200 years ago. Ownership over the 2,500-year-old marbles, which once stood as part of the Parthenon temple, is disputed by Greece, who maintains that the marbles were illegally removed by Lord Elgin in the 19th century during the Turkish occupation of Greece.

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4 December 2014

Teatr.doc pleas to reverse eviction ignored

Pioneering independent theatre Teatr.doc has finally been expelled from its Moscow home this week following an eviction notice sent in October from the Moscow City Government's Property Department. Despite support from Russian and international cultural figures urging the authorities to allow Teatr.doc to remain at its premises, where it has been located for the past 12 years, the theatre's artistic director, Yelena Gremina, has said that "nothing has helped".

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