A guide to the New East


Dennis Baburov

Dennis Baburov (born 1984) is a freelance photographer based in Ivanovo, Russia. He has a degree in marketing from Ivanovo State Power University. Photography is a hobby, second source of income and a passion. Started to take pictures in 2007. Mainly interested in documentary photography. Regularly contributes to local magazines and newspapers. He is usually self-assigned to personal projects.

Joseph Backstein

Joseph Backstein is the artistic director of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, deputy director of the State Centre for Museums and Exhibitions ROSIZO, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow and a member of the Art Historians' Association. He is the curator of more than 30 exhibitions including the Norman Foster solo show at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Sergei Bratkov’s exhibition at 25th Sao Paolo Biennial and was the curator of the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale 1999. Backstein has a medal of the Academy of Arts of the Russian Federation and is the author of numerous publications on contemporary art. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Computer Sciences and has a PhD in Sociology of Arts and Culture.

Kriti Bajaj

Kriti is a writer and editor based in New Delhi. She has lived in India and London, and travelled in Europe and Southeast Asia. Her academic background is in literature and anthropology, and she has experience in writing, editing and online publishing primarily related to arts and culture. She is also interested in photography and visual media as methods of storytelling and research. Kriti was previously the Managing Editor of Art Radar, an online publication focussing on contemporary visual culture from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She has also worked with the UNESCO Parzor Foundation which focuses on India's Zoroastrian diaspora. She likes wandering around unfamiliar towns with her camera.


Maya Baklanova

Maya Baklanova is a Kiev-based freelance writer and photographer. Her interest lies in music and culture. Maya helps out with PR for a number of music institutions, including Into the Valley, Unsound festivals and runs PR for Ukrainian Pivnich magazine and Kazakh ZVUK series of events.

Anna Balagurova

St Petersburg-based Anna Balagurova is the editor-in-chief of The Village, a local news website. Before that she worked at Loft Project Etagi's Cultural Centre as an exhibition manager. In 2010, she launched one of the city's most popular seasonal markets, Garage Sale.

Tom Ball

Tom Ball is freelance journalist based in London. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Moscow Times and New East Platform

Kamila Banks

Kamila Banks is a photography student at London College of Communication. Moscow born, but spent most of her years in the UK, she communicates through her images. Her photographic style rangers from intimate portraits of her friends to exploration of modernist architecture. Main interests include Bauhaus, literature and film. 

Oliver Basciano

Oliver Basciano is a writer based in London. Since 2010 he has worked at ArtReview magazine where he is currently International Editor. He also regularly contributes to the news, arts and obituary desks of The Guardian and Daily Telegraph and has authored numerous artist monographs. He is a member of the 2018 Turner Prize jury and chaired the 2017 Artes Mundi prize jury. 

Maria Bazhenova

Maria Bazhenova is a graphic designer based in Moscow. She holds two degrees in graphic design and marketing from Moscow universities. Maria has been working with multidisciplinary projects as a freelancer and has participated in various art and social activities. She was a part of an art-group which created several art installations for local and international festivals such as Archstoyanie in Russia and Burning Man in the United States. Maria is also the co-founder and curator of the Setka — a project for an art-design community in Voronezh which connects people and helps them share their skills and develop themselves.

Maria participated in The Calvert Journal's New Writers Programme.

Nadia Beard

Nadia is the Editor in Chief of The Calvert Journal. She previously lived and worked in Russia where she was the Moscow correspondent for The Independent. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph and Reuters among several others. She holds two degrees in Russian and political science from University College London and the London School of Economics respectively and has also been an Alfa Fellow. Nadia was named a 2017 Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace. Follow her on Twitter here.

Nadia Bedzhanova

Nadia Bedzhanova is a New York-based filmmaker and photographer originally from Moscow, Russia. Graduated in journalism from Moscow State University and in film from School of Visual Arts, Bedzhanova creates her work within the context and under the influence of both cultures. Her films and photography were featured in the publications such as Dazed & Confused, PAPER, MovieMaker, Vogue US, Bullett, Allure and Interview Russia. 

Valeriy Belobeev

Throughout his career as a photographer, Moscow-based Valeriy Belobeev has snapped everyone from Moscow's it-crowd to famous musicians in a variety of extraordinary locations.

Marc Bennetts

Marc Bennetts is a Moscow-based British journalist. His work has appeared in a number of UK and US publications, including The Guardian and The Times. He is the author of two books: Football Dynamo: Modern Russia and the People's Game (Virgin) and Kicking the Kremlin: Russia's New Dissidents and the Battle to Topple Putin (Oneworld).

Dmitry Bezuglov

Self-professed jack of all trades, master of none, Dmitry Bezuglov, 22, is managing editor of Yekaterinburg’s WTF? magazine, co-editor of webzine Tesnota and part of the creative team for the Kleister art-space bookshop. He is also a writer and occasional accidental illustrator.

Deepa Bhasthi

Deepa Bhasthi is a writer living and working in Bengaluru, India. Her works are available here. She is also part of Forager Collective and edits The Forager magazine, an international online quarterly journal of food politics.

Lucy Birge

Born and raised in London, Lucy Birge studied Russian Studies at the University of Sheffield during which she spent two semesters living in Yaroslavl and St Petersburg respectively. She then went on to study for an MPhil in European Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Soviet culture and gender. After returning to St Petersburg for 18 months in 2014, she now divides her time between London and Moscow and writes about contemporary Russian culture.

Uilleam Blacker

Uilleam Blacker is the Max Hayward Fellow in Russian Literature at St Antony's College, Oxford. His research embraces contemporary Polish, Russian and Ukrainian literature and culture, focusing in particular on urban culture and cultural memory. He is also a translator of contemporary Ukrainian literature.

Alexey Bogolepov

Alexey Bogolepov is a freelance photographer based in St Petersburg. His work focuses on the architecture and ideology of modernism, both in the former Soviet states and worldwide. He also runs Granite Editions, an independent publishing house for limited-edition photobooks.

Jessie Bond

Jessie Bond is a writer based in London. She writes about art and photography for various publications including Art Licks, Paper Journal and this is tomorrow and is currently researching contemporary photographic depictions of conflict and the photobook.

Alexander Bondar

Alexander Bondar is a photographer based in St Petersburg. He studied at the Faculty of Press Photographers at the St Petersburg House of Journalists. From 2010 to 2013 he took part in several educational programs and workshops organised by Fotodepartament and ROSFOTO. Since 2013 he has been studying Photography and Time-Based Media at Jan Evangelista Purkyne University, Usti nad Labem, in the Czech Republic. He self-published two photobooks (2011 and 2013) and is the publisher of Zoopark Magazine with photographer Tatyana Palyga.

Alexandra Bondareva

Born on Sakhalin Island with a nomad spirit, Alexandra moved between cities in Siberia before finally moved to Sochi. There she dreams of writing a book someday. But for now, she collects inspiration and writes travel reviews, poems, hospitality leads and articles in the local web media.

Eliot Borenstein

Eliot Borenstein is a Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies and Collegiate Professor at New York University. He has worked on issues of sexuality and masculinity in Slavic literature and modern culture. You can see a list of his publications and read his blog for NYU Jordan Center here.

Masha Borodacheva

Maria Borodacheva was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Having completed a degree in international relations at Moscow State University she worked for a soft power foundation in Russia, Georgia and Armenia. She is currently based between Moscow and St Petersburg where she works as a Partner Manager for Calvert 22 Foundation.

Andrey Borzenko

Andrey Borzenko was born in and lives in Moscow, where he studied Soviet literature and history at the Russian State University for the Humanities. He has worked as a writer and editor for the magazines Snob and Vokrug Sveta, as well as a number of other media. He is now an editor and sometime correspondent for the weekly cultural publication Kommersant Weekend.

Denis Boyarinov

Music journalist, curator, lecturer, DJ and record collector. Boyarinov has worked for magazines such as The New Times, OM and Time Out Moscow. For the last seven years he been a part ofOpenSpace.ru, which three years ago turned into Colta.ru — a popular cultural online magazine. He is also the founder and curator of The Dark Horses, a project aimed at supporting young Russian musicians.

Mark Boyarsky

Mark Boyarksy studied graphic design before his career as a photographer for a range of leading Russian magazines and newspapers. 

Dmitry Boyko

Dmitry Boyko is an urban planner and the co-founder and owner of GeoClever Ltd. His work focuses on land use, economics, urban development policy and GIS.

Rosie Boys

Rosie Boys is a freelance journalist based in Berlin. Having graduated in Contemporary Art in 2010, she swapped animation and Leeds for teaching English and relocated to Moscow and Saint Petersburg from 2011-2013. Nowadays, when she isn’t working for the Bundestag, she freelances for various online publications on CIS culture, film and social communication.

Konstantin Budarin

Born in Tartu, Estonia in 1987, Konstantin Budarin has lived in St Petersburg since 2004. After graduating with a degree in microelectronics in 2008, Budarin switched to journalism: he completed the Pro Arte foundation cultural journalism course and currently writes about architecture for art1.ru and Project Baltia.

Alexander Burenkov

Alexander Burenkov is a Moscow-based curator, writer and art director, chief specialist of the Regional Development Directorate of the National Center for Contemporary Art (ROSIZO-NCCA) and program curator at ISSMAG gallery. He is a graduate of the St. Petersburg State University and the Institute for Contemporary Arts Moscow. He has previously worked as a curator at the V-A-C Foundation (2013-2016). Alexander’s field of research focuses on the young Russian art scene and international emergent art practices and trends. 

Aleksandra Burshteyn

Aleksandra Burshteyn is a writer and photographer raised in Ukraine, St. Petersburg, and New York. Her work studies the art and affect of societal transitions. She is a 2016 Thomas J. Watson Fellow and co-leader of a Ukrainian reporting project funded by National Geographic. 

Elizaveta Butakova-Grimshaw

Elizaveta Butakova-Grinshaw is an art historian and Research Curator at the Calvert 22 Foundation.

Krasimira Butseva

Krasimira Butseva is a freelance photographer and writer, based between Bulgaria and England. In 2017 she graduated from her studied in MA Photography at the University of Portsmouth; in her research and practice, she had focused on studying the violations against human rights in post-communist Bulgaria. Krasimira is also interested in exploring the past of Soviet Bulgaria as well as its effects on the present.