In today’s world, 232 million people live outside the borders of their native countries as migrants. It is no surprise that these communities are drawn to major metropolises, and Moscow is no exception. Even in the beginning of the 20th century, it was already a thoroughly multinational city, and it continues to develop as a metropolis of multiple cultures.
However, with the growing prevalence of phobias and prejudices around migration, religion and ethnicity, the integration of various ethnic or cultural minorities finds itself hitting obstacles in everyday life, be it in interpersonal communication, neighborhood relations, or collaborative efforts.
This workshop will conduct a research project based on the library “Dialogue of Cultures”, in the Kotlovka district. The library has already established itself as the meeting grounds for various ethnic groups through its offerings of Russian language courses for migrants and event spaces for community activities, but it remains above all a space for cultural and ethnic integration.
Using the library as a cae study, workshop participants will apply research methods that allow them to study the city as a multicultural environment. The workshop will culminate in the development of a long-term project for the library, which will facilitate its role as a center of integration for the residents of its surrounding neighborhoods.
The first part of the workshop will be dedicated to training participants in research methods like mapping the territory, conducting in-depth interviews and focus groups, and testing hypotheses through practical application. In the workshop’s second half, participants will develop their own proposals and program recommendations for the library.
The workshop welcomes culturologists, sociologists, anthropologists, architects, designers, journalists, and students of these disciplines, as well as representatives of other professions who are interested in working with the question of multiculturalism.
Workshop classes will be held weekday evenings, starting at 7pm, as well as on weekends. Participants will receive a more detailed schedule upon registration.
Igor Savin is an anthropologist, ethnographer and researcher interested in interethnic conflicts. He currently holds a position at the Center for Central Asian, Caucasian and Ural-Volga Studies at the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Oriental Studies.
Ekaterina Girshina is an expert on involving city residents in the processes of urban development as director of social and cultural programs at the Strelka Institute.