A guide to the New East


Alina Sakhnenko

Alina is studying journalism at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. She has had short stories and travel writing published, and in 2014 her poem Eugene Onegin: Version 2.0, a modern take on Pushkin, was well received online. She lives between Moscow and Sochi. 

Maria Sakirko

Maria Sakirko (b. 1987 in Moscow) is a photographer, media-artist and researcher. After receiving a mathematical degree at Moscow State University she began working on personal art projects 
and participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions. Maria has recently graduated from the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, where her primary interest was the future of memory, collective remembering and preservation.

Anton Sazonov

Film critic Anton Sazonov has written for a number of Russian publications including Afisha, GQ, Interview Russia, The Hollywood Reporter, Look at Me, Openspace and Snob. He is a curator of Movement: The National Film Festival of Debuts, a new festival in the Siberian city of Omsk. He lives in Moscow. 

Alexander Schneider

Alexander Schneider is from Queens, New York, and lives in London. His studies focussed on the intersection of art and visual perception. His current goal is to take Russian lessons.

Ilnur Sharafiev

Ilnur Sharafiev works at SMENA, Kazan’s centre for contemporary art, and as a freelance writer for Meduza.

Anton Shebetko

Anton Shebetko is a Ukrainian artist and photographer based in Amsterdam who works closely with LGBT-related topics. His project Pleshka, about Kiev’s old cruising spots, was featured in the Festival of Young Ukrainian artists in Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kiev. His latest project, Common People, is a series of altered portraits of and interviews with closeted Ukrainian gays. See more of his work here

Dasha Shkurpela

Originally from Kyrgyzstan, Dasha Shkurpela lives in New York and works in painting, drawing and sculpture. She has exhibited her work internationally since 1995. Dasha writes arts criticism and explores the past and present of the former Soviet space through objects that remain. Her essay Dacha is included in Five Ways of Being a Painting, a collection of essays by the 2017 Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize winners. Dasha is an alumna of the American University in Central Asia, Central European University in Budapest, Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and the City University of New York Writers’ Institute. Her work can be seen on her website.

Olga Shvarova

Olga Shvarova is an associate consultant at Isis Innovation, the technology transfer company of the University of Oxford. She has a particular interest in innovative design, disruptive technology and hardware high tech, which lead her to complete a doctorate degree in Material Science. Despite pursing a career on the borders between science and investment, Olga has always found time for creative arts, writing and translating poetry, and has worked as a freelance writer for the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom under the leadership of Professor Timothy Garton Ash.

Isabella Smith

Isabella Smith is a freelance writer based in London who focuses on art and culture. She’s also assistant editor at Ceramic Review magazine. 

Noah Sneider

Noah Sneider is a Moscow-based writer. He is the Moscow Correspondent for The Economist, covering Russia, Ukraine, and the post-Soviet space. His work has also appeared in The AtlanticThe New York TimesThe New RepublicSlateThe Believer, The Big Roundtable1843 Magazine, and elsewhere.

Vitaly Stadnikov

Vitaly Stadnikov is an urban planner and architect, and a researcher on the Constructivist heritage of the Volga region. He has worked as the head of the project to restore the Samara Factory Canteen into a state centre of contemporary art, as chief architect at the Centre of Infrastructure at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, as City Architect for Samara (2012-13) and as gubernatorial advisor for the Samara region. He is the author of Samara: Endangered City on the Volga and Samara: Guide to Modern Architecture.