New Russias is a brand-new initiative in Manchester aimed at introducing contemporary Russian culture to the British public in all its diversity and richness. The festival spreads over three days from 7 to 9 February in five different venues across the city showcasing the newest and most exciting trends in Russian literature, music, cinema, and visual arts.
On 7 February, Friday, the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures (SALC) at The University of Manchester will host the symposium “Russian Culture after 2010”, in which scholars from various parts of the world will discuss the state of contemporary Russian popular music, cinema, literature and visual arts. The symposium is free to attend and welcomes the general public. You may register here.
On Saturday, 8 February, Manchester Art Gallery will host a talk and a Q&A with the Russian Booker-finalist writer Elena Chizhova, as well as a film screening followed by a Q&A with award-winning director Sergei Kachkin. Simultaneously, LEAF will display the vibrant work of Chechnyan-born artist Ann Rotaenko, recent winner of the prestigious grant of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. In the evening, The Whiskey Jar will present Russia’s finest indie band, Pompeya, sharing their positive vibes with a UK audience for the first time.
On Sunday, 9 February, Manchester Art Gallery will hold an in-conversation event with the creators of Russia’s independent film festival Doker, showcasing the newest currents in Russian independent cinema. At the same time, the gallery will be the starting point of an immersive and original art performance by GRAD resident Alisa Oleva, exploring and redesigning the past, present and future of Russian Manchester. LEAF will showcase the innovative work of award-winning visual artist Dmitry Venkov.
Holding New Russias in Manchester capitalises on the city’s own culture and diversity as a major hub outside of London. “By organising this three-day festival, we hope to bring together audiences coming from different parts of the UK, including areas that do not normally have the chance to partake in London’s cultural atmosphere,” say the organisers. “This is the first event of its kind in Manchester, and we hope to make it a regular fixture in the city’s cultural calendar.”