Bard Events Calendar

Human Rights Program, Environmental and Urban Studies Program, and Center for Civic Engagement Present

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Art and Creative Urban Activism in Russia
Olin, Room 102
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Anna Zhelnina, Associate Professor, Smolny College, Russia
Gagarin Human Rights Fellow, Bard College
In contemporary Russia, the transformation of political participation and disavowal of old political systems does not force people out of politics, but rather both changes the ways they participate and influences their living environments. One response to this change is DIY urbanism, a new form of contentious politics different from well-known Russian social movements. As citizens search for new ways to reclaim rights to their cities and to participate in decision making processes, often their attempts take the shape of creative initiatives and projects of direct action, not necessarily framed by political terms.

This talk will share a few examples of these ‘creative’ practices in urban activism, including street-art and grassroots initiatives using art and design to improve the urban environment. It will also argue that such initiatives can be analyzed as practices of Putin-era ‘neobohemians’, which do not succeed in reaching the wider urban public.

For more information, call 845-752-4514, or e-mail

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Location: Olin, Room 102