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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

I am a PhD student in sociology, my dissertation is about artists in exile (with displacement and refugee experience) in Finland and Germany. I focus on visual artists since music and performative arts are much better explored in social sciences. The research includes artists and other art mediators (such as curators, members of cultural foundations and NGOs, tutors of art education programs, etc.) who work with them. I take 'exile' as a formal starting point of my study, not assuming it to be the central category that defines artists' creative process. The project is concerned with cosmopolitanism in a broad sense – the messy, problematic but also fruitful reality of people living and working together, creating new meanings and aesthetics.

There is a number of reasons why I made it the subject of my study. On the one hand, although migration and exile have for a long time been some of the key drivers in the development of various art fields, the last decade has increased their scope and effect on the global art landscape. It seems important and even urgent to document and analyse the current situation. On the other hand, this subject feels rather personal but at the same time distant enough to maintain the position of an observer.

Here are some facts about me:

I was born in Vladivostok – a city just across the sea from Japan. I moved to Moscow with my family when I was 12. I was very lucky to be engaged in an international academic community since my bachelor's years. The desire to study abroad and conduct comparative research is derived from there. I wrote my master thesis about the audience's perception at the architecture & art festival 'Archstoyanie'. The day we graduated from our master's in 2011 also happened to be the day of the first large protest in Moscow. For 7 years I was involved in several academic and applied research projects with urban planners, cultural institutions, and NGOs. I did not only study sociology of art and culture but also worked at a major Russian theatre festival, managing and editing one of its media projects. Since 2010, my colleagues and I have organised annual ethnographic expeditions to small Russian towns, which had a huge influence on how I perceive Others, understand my position as a researcher and just a human being. I spent an academic year in Odense in Denmark as a visiting student under the supervision of Prof. Ian Woodward, which allowed me to finish and eventually publish my first grown-up academic paper in an international journal. I have been a co-founder of the Laboratory of Urban Sociology at HSE university in Moscow, had to keep two parallel academic tracks and work a lot. My way to PhD has been not easy and it still is a bit of a struggle, which has however only increased my determination, certainty about the topic, and confidence in my research skills.

Since the start of my main fieldwork was postponed for quite some time, amid the pandemic I started a side-project about migrant artists in Russia who came from the neighbouring (former soviet) states, which helped to broaden my perspective. For this research and my dissertation, I conduct biographical interviews, trying to make the conversations as interesting, reflexive, and valuable for the research participants as they are for me.

I write my PhD under the supervision of Prof. David Inglis.


Other research interests based on previous fieldworks:

  • urban neighborhoods (distinctions and stigmatization)
  • trajectories of residential mobility
  • traditional/folk arts and crafts (cultural nationalism)
  • memory-work in local communities
  • rule-(non)following in public spaces during the pandemic and micro-ethics of everyday encounters

If you are interested in my research (as a research participant, a colleague, or an expert in the field), please, do not hesitate to contact me.

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • cultural sociology
  • sociology of art
  • urban studies
  • cosmopolitanism
  • sociology of migration