In partnership with syg.ma we have launched our special project “The Map”! Twice a month we intend to publish new materials on important current socio-cultural research projects about Russia with a discussion of their authors. Our purpose is to search for and popularize new knowledge about Russia while gradually building a multidimensional map of the country.
Why do we live the way we do and not differently? What does the future hold for us? Why should we change and in what way? These are some of the questions that underlie every discussion of politics, economics, culture or gender issues in Russia. But what do we really know about our country?
It is all too easy to ignore Russia’s huge geographic expanses and to reduce the country to the all too familiar, all too neat and easy dichotomies of Moscow versus periphery, television-viewers versus Internet-users, conservatives versus liberals, etc. And yet, such misguided, limited vision, which feeds on the mythologies construed by the media, often falls short of capturing the diverse, fluid and dynamic reality. With the help of this new project we seek to map and reveal the complexity and diversity of contemporary Russia.
It is important to remember that the map never fully coincides with the landscape since it depends on the particular vision and lens of its creators. That is why our purpose is not only to amass as many current sociocultural research projects on one platform as possible, but also to gain some insight into why this particular scholar or researcher has undertaken the study of a given phenomenon to begin with. Who are the people that do research about Russia and create knowledge about the country? What scholarly methods are required to make sense of and to decode Russian reality?
We are going to publish two in-depth conversations on these subjects every month. Besides merely describing new projects we believe it to be important to juxtapose every research with the academic and personal background of its authors, therefore, we intend to discuss their experiences as academics and researchers, as well as the reasons that prompted their interest in a given subject.
No less crucial is to reflect on the methodology: what is the way to study Russia in order to form a solid and accurate understanding of the country? We see our task in creating a multidimensional, revised and up-to-date map of Russia, so that everybody can use it for their own research projects, discussions and texts about the past and future of our country.
All the materials pertaining to this project are published in Russian.
Concept and coordination: Nuria Fatykhova
Editors: Kirill Rozhentsev, Konstantin Koriagin
Graphic design: Dana Marasinova