One third of Russian settlements are inhabited by no more than 10 people. Russian trains carry nine times fewer passengers than their Japanese counterparts, and news from every third region, from Pskov Oblast to the Republic of Khakassia, virtually never reaches the federal media. Russian territories are yet to be conquered globally, but local changes are taking place right before our eyes. Creative communities explore abandoned industrial zones, and traditional settlements turn into places for year-round dwelling without the help of the city authorities. There are new consumer demands, and new communities and identities that are reflected in people’s eating habits, means of transportation, and even the types of germs in their intestines.
Moderator of the day — Alexander Nenashev, head of research and design network at pdupd.co and a systems designer for developing territories, organizations, new products and services, tutor at the British Higher School of Art and Design and Skolkovo MSM
— 'Uralmash, ZIL, South Tushino: A Bit of Fabric in All of Us' / Anna Strelnikova, HSE
Former industrial zones are being repurposed as office spaces, galleries, bars and residential properties. Industrial-era momuments are the newg outposts of the service economy. The history of these quarters remains part of their image – as are the legends told by the locals. The creation of a district image helps people understand that they are part of this city, care about its past and take pride in it. Anna Strelnikova, Associate Professor of the School of Sociology at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, will talk about how the public memory surrounding industrial era is shaped, why former industrial zones are often described as "environmentally friendly", and what happens when a district renounces its industrial past.
— 'Butter or Sour Cream: What Food Says About You' / Dmitry Alekseev, Atlas Biomed
Microbes threaten the colonization of Mars, can cause obesity and are increasingly being studied for their impact on mental health. Scientists are looking for confirmation of the "five second rule" for products falling on the floor, and try to examine how the intestines control our mood. But microbes are capable of much more: studying them can provide meaningful insights into global changes in the economy and culture. Dmitry Alekseev, scientific consultant of Atlas Biomed which studies Russia’s DNA profiles, will discusshow microbes vary egion-to-region, whether globalization has an impact on this, and why healthy and tasty food is not enough for good health.
— 'Favorite Product: What’s Healthy Food Like in Russia' / Yevgeny Shchepin, Vkusvill
The Russian interestin high-quality, locally-sourced food in Russia is on the rise despite its scarce supply The demand for healthy food fosters commercial development, but the monopoly of transnational corporations and weak infrastructure hamper Russian producers. What is quality food like, according to the Russians? Why do we buy only pale sausage, for example, and how does this affect the development of chain stores and the territories around them? These and other questions will be answered by Yevgeny Shchepin, PR-director of Vkusvill.
— 'Island of Freedom: Between a City and a Village / Konstantin Grigorichev', ISU
The suburban area of Irkutsk has grown threefold in the last 15 years, and the residents of the allotment holders' association actively cooperate, establish their own rules of cohabitation and take full responsibility for their own wellbeing. Sociologist Konstantin Grigorichev compares these processes with the settlement of the Wild West or Alaska. In search of freedom and "good ecology" people move away from cities to create a habitat for themselves on agricultural land. Konstantin Grigorichev will explain how the residents of ordinary gardening associations solve the problems of frontage roads, childcare and leisure without any support from the city authorities, and why the suburbs have become an island of freedom.
— 'Not Just to the Local Bakery: City, Mobility and Freedom of Choice' / Darya Zolotukhina, Yandex.Taxi
Online taxi services and car-sharing changethe way we move around the city – very intentionally. New modes of transport are popular in large cities, but personal vehicles continue to be associated with maximum freedom of movement. A quarter of residents of Russian cities are ready to give up personal cars, and taxi and carsharing trips have become part of everyday life. Different methods of transportation gradually covalesce to create a flexible system for movement, which can be viewed via just one mobile app. But what do city residents really need? Darya Zolotukhina, Head of Brand Service at Yandex.Taxi, knows the answer.
— Curatorial Project of Alexey Platonov 'Modern People in (Un)Familiar Spaces'
Teenagers gather on the staircases of apartment buildings, pensioners set up gardens in courtyards, artists arrange galleries in former garages – everyone develops territories in their own ways, , and sometimes crave recognition for their efforts, posting videos on YouTube. Accidental mini-stories illustrating various aspects of the Russian reality cumilatively create a macro-canvas, facilitating a fresh look at the country, free from the borders of conventional stereotypes. Alexey Platonov, graduate of the The New Normal educational program of Strelka Institute and founder of animation studio 'Lastic', will screen a film/study about Russia, consisting of fragments from YouTube videos.
The second day of the conference takes place with participation of Yandex.Taxi.
Contemporary Russia conference brings together professional researchers from various fields, including sociologists, biomedical specialists, marketing managers, analysts and cybersecurity experts. In brief lectures, discussions, and screenings they will provide facts, numbers and surprising results of their research of the country and the everyday lives of its citizens. Four days of the conference are dedicated to four main topics: Money, Values, and Happiness, Human, Movement, and Space, Word, Network, and Security, Cultural Code and Brand Identity. Each day requires separate registration.