Monday, 7 September 2009


I feel very honoured to have the opportunity to work with some of the people here developing their cultural and creative industries. Having visited both Proekt Fabrika and Zavod Flacon, I can see investors, curators, project managers, architects, artists, designers and others who exploring new and creative uses for the asset-stripped factories left over from the Soviet period and the more recent privatisation.


Like East Berlin after the wall came down, these old industrial buildings offer incredible opportunities. Right now, they have the empty beauty of ruins.


But when I ask about future plans, it is all about wait and see. There is plenty of energy and activity, but the kind of driven ambition one sees in western culture is less in evidence or at least less expressed. This is a country where expectations have often been thwarted, and where ambition was often connected to the unpleasant careerism of the apparatchiks. And we are in (yet another) global financial uncertainty…

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