A guide to the New East


Follow of the week: brutalist architecture from the New East and beyond

22 June 2017 · Belgrade · Moscow · Russia · Serbia · Tajikistan
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Image: @brutgroup on Instagram.

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If you require a daily dose of brutalist architecture, you need look no further than @brutgroup.

The account comprises submissions from photographers and archive pictures, featuring everything from the well-known Spomenik in Serbia and the apartment blocks of New Belgrade, to rarer 1960s photos of modernist architecture in Brazil and unusual shots of the famous sights like the Gagarin statue in Moscow. Moreover, the account also posts clever collages and brutalism-inspired artwork for comic relief. 



Solidarity Square, Bar, Montenegro. #BRUTgroup photo sent in from @d.a.kovynev #socialistheritage #socheritage

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Some of the photos explore countries well outside the New East — from Germany and Britain to Israel, Lebanon, Japan and Cambodia.


Soviet Mosaics: the book that unearthed Ukraine’s forgotten art

22 June 2017 · Kiev · Ukraine
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Double-page spread from Decommunized: Ukrainian Soviet mosaics / Facebook

A new art book entitled, Decommunized: Ukrainian Soviet mosaics, has been published by Osnovy, documenting Soviet-era mosaics across Ukraine, including Russian-occupied Crimea and parts of war-torn Donbass.  

The book was created by Kiev-born photographer Yevgen Nikiforov, whose motivation for the project was to “bring people’s attention to the fact they’re surrounded by art. The art that is hidden by modern renovations, new tacky buildings and uncontrolled advertisements.”

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Russian news agency publishes unauthorised interview with Svetlana Alexievich

21 June 2017 · Belarus · Ukraine
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Svetlana Alexievich speaking in Cambridge in 2016. Image: Chris Boland under a CC licence.

A Russian news agency has published an interview with Nobel Prize winner in literature Svetlana Alexievich, without her authorisation. 

According to local reports, Alexievich asked for the interview with Delovoi Peterburg not to be published, after she claimed that the interviewer “behaved not like a journalist, but like a propagandist”. She added, “After his question: ‘Why do you support Ukrainian bandits?’ everything became clear.”

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Red Utopia: help fund a new art book documenting communist iconography across the globe

21 June 2017 · Russia
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Still from Red Utopia promo video

Red Utopia is an art book in the making, documenting communist parties and their iconography over the past 100 years in India, Italy, Nepal, Portugal and Russia. The project is currently gathering funds on Kickstarter and will be jointly published by Nazraeli Press and Ipso Facto. 

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Georgia wins at Cannes for 6 Millionth Tourist Campaign

21 June 2017 · Tbilisi · Georgia
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  • Award winning 6 Millionth Tourist Campaign video

Georgia is often associated with great hospitality and grand welcomes, but a recent award winning video shows how they took it to the next level, for an anassuming tourist from Holland. 

A clip made by production company WINDFOR'S in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) has won Silver and Bronze Lions at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. 

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Discover how Sarajevo’s Muslims break their fast during Ramadan

20 June 2017 · Sarajevo · Bosnia and Herzegovina
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View of Sarajevo from the Yellow Bastion. Image: Clark and Kim Kays under a CC licence

As the sun sets each day behind the surrounding hills of Sarajevo, people gather at the Yellow Bastion, a ten-minute walk from the heart of the Old Town, waiting for the bang to mark the end of the fast and the dawn of the feast. 

The Yellow Bastion was built as a defence structure during the Ottoman rule during the 18th century, and ever since, a cannon is fired there during Ramadan, to mark the end of the fasting day for the city’s Muslims. Gunner Smajil Krivic has fired the cannon since 1997, and will do so for the remainder of Ramadan, wearing a traditional Bosnian fez. 

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The Future is Certain exhibition to launch at Calvert 22 Space on Thursday 22 June

20 June 2017 · Russia
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  • Trailer for The Future is Certain; It’s the Past Which is Unpredictable

Cavert 22 Foundations's new exhibition The Future is Certain; It’s the Past Which is Unpredictable will launch with a private view on Thursday 22 June, 6-9pm, at Calvert 22 Space in London, and run until 20 August 2017. Featuring nine artists and collectives, the show examines the ways in which history is written and rewritten, as well as the inevitability with which the past reasserts itself in the future.

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Meet the award-winning Lithuanian illustrator, Akvile Magicdust

20 June 2017 · Lithuania
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Lithuanian illustrator Akvile Magicdust (aka Akvile Miseviciute), has won this year’s East London Comic Arts Festival x WeTransfer award.

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Former director of Moscow Gogol Centre detained on suspicion of fraud

20 June 2017 · Moscow · Russia
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Premiere of Hamlet at Moscow Gogol Centre, 2013. Image: Gogol Centre / Facebook

Alexei Malabrosky, the former head of Moscow’s Gogol Centre has been detained by police as part of an ongoing fraud investigation. 

Malobrodsky, who led the Gogol Centre between February 2013 and March 2015 was originally summoned as a witness as part of a wider case, investigating the embezzlement of government art funding by the theatre company, which saw its current head Kirill Serebrennikov detained in May. 

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Thngs: the digital archive celebrating 200 years of Russian science

19 June 2017 · Moscow · Russia
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Image: “Russia Makes its Own” on Thngs

Thngs, the digital archive of things, has recently digitalised an exhibition of Russian scientific achievements over the last 200 years, drawing from the collection of the Moscow Polytechnic Museum. 

Following on from the success of the museum exhibition entitled “Russia Makes its Own”, this new online archive provides easy access to appreciate the inventions of the last two centuries, described as the “golden age for Russian scientists”. 

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