Take a fresh look at Moscow: what Moscow Urban Fest will teach you

June 10

The Moscow Urban Forum will run in Zaryadye Park between 4 and 7 July. The Moscow Urban Fest, which is a part of the forum, has prepared a special programme. The visitors will enjoy more than a hundred cultural and educational events, including group psychotherapy, coffee with famous architects, walking with a former homeless, yoga on the River Overlook footbridge, movies, plays, and meditations in the Dome.

This year's main theme is Umwelt meaning ''environment'' in German. But the full meaning of this word is much wider. Umwelt is everything around us that we can perceive with our senses and knowledge.

The festival programme is divided into three thematic sections — Feel, Realize and Take a Fresh Look.


The events of this section will not only let you see the city, but also feel it — how it sounds, smells, feels and tastes.

On 4 July at 6:30 p.m., Zaryadye Concert Hall will host an interview with Richard Sennett – a sociologist and an author of 'Flesh and Stone'. A political scientist Ekaterina Shulman will be talking to the guest.

On 6 July, a linguist and a psychologist Anton Sidorov-Dorso will be talking about synesthesia — a phenomenon when one sensory perception turns into another. Can sounds be wet and rough or can letters smell? The festival-goers will learn about this phenomenon in the Reserve Embassy at 2 p.m.

A sommelier from Germany Emmanuel Rosier and the founder of a wine subscription service Egor Kolosov with his wife Anna will help you learn more about the wine culture of Moscow and other cities on 7 July.

Maria Pirogovskaya, Candidate of Sciences in History, will tell us about what Moscow streets smelled in the past. The immersion trip starts on 6 July at 2:30 p.m. in Zaryadye Concert Hall. And the next day at 1:30 p.m., Maria will share information about where in Moscow you can enjoy interesting modern flavours.

On 6 July, Sergey Dmitriev from Terpeniye music band invites you to his workshop to mix a city track from various sounds of the streets. Start at 5 p.m. Another music workshop will be held in complete darkness with blind and visually impaired people as teachers.


This section will help to take a fresh look at familiar things, to realize them and to understand that it is the perception that forms our reality.

On 4 July at 6:30 p.m., one of the most famous psychiatrists, the author of 'Stress And The City' Mazda Adley will speak at Zaryadye Concert Hall. Together with blogger Ilya Varlamov, he will hold a group psychotherapy session with choir singing at the end. After that, at 7:40 p.m., there will be an autograph signing session with Mazda Adley at the Small Hall. You can buy his book there.

On 6 July, an American psychologist and a psycho-geographer Colin Ellard will tell you how city architecture affects our mood and health.

Level One has prepared an interesting programme for the festival. A medieval history expert Peter Mazaev will speak about how modern architects can refer to the experience of ancient cities. A literary researcher Egor Sartakov will read famous poems about Russian monuments, and a philosopher Nikita Petrov will give a lecture on urban legends and collective memory of city residents.

Between 6 and 7 July, Pecha-Kucha Night will be held in the Small and Large Amphitheatres. This is a kind of a mix of a party and a presentation. Speakers have 20 seconds for each of the 20 slides to share their ideas with the audience. After that, the audience can ask questions — it takes 6 minutes 40 seconds.

Take a Fresh Look

The visitors will see Moscow in a way they have never seen it before. The city of animals, the city of rituals, subcultures and hidden meanings — all this is very close, you just need to look differently.

Drink coffee and talk to a Danish architect Rainier de Graaf at the presentation of his book 'Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession' on 6 July at 11 a.m. at Zaryadye Concert Hall. This book tells about the profession of an architect and what difficulties can be found there.

Unusual excursions will help you look at your hometown in a different way. During interactive walks, participants will have a chance to see the world through the eyes of a dog handler and a dog, an artist, a former homeless, an architect, and a sound designer.

Take a Fresh Look section will also include a lot of unusual lectures. For example, Caitlin Doughty, the author of 'From Here to Eternity', will speak about the ritual traditions of different peoples of the world.

A game designer Steffen Waltz will give a new meaning to urban planning with the use of video games' principles. A South Korean artist Choi Jeong-Hwa will give a lecture on the search for happiness in the city.

The festival-goers will have a chance to watch plays and movies. Community Stage Theatre will show two plays — 'Jura Would Like It' and 'Walking the Streets of Moscow'. The former will start on 6 July at 5 p.m. at the Reserve Embassy entrance, and the latter one will start on 7 July at 5 p.m. on the embankment under the River Overlook footbridge.

The visitors will see two documentaries. On 4 July at 8:10 p.m., there will be the showing of 'Architecture of Infinity' by Christoph Schaub in Zaryadye Concert Hall. This movie is about sacred buildings, their power, magic and atmosphere. The second one is a French movie called 'The Real Thing'. It is about the cities where you can find replicas of famous sights such as the London Bridge, the Eiffel Tower and many others.

The Theatre of Muscovites is a special festival project that has been created together with Moscow residents, and it will be held at the Moscow Urban Fest. Led by experienced theatre workers, dozens of ordinary citizens have tried themselves as actors and playwrights. You can see how that turned out on 6 July at 5 p.m in Zaryadye Concert Hall.

Open-air music

The festival will include two big evening concerts. In the evening of 6 July, you can listen to a German multi-instrumentalist Daniel Brandt and his band Eternal Something in the Large Amphitheatre. They will play experimental electronic pop and some techno and neo-classical music.

Melt Yourself Down (London) will perform in the Large Amphitheatre on the festival's last day. They play fusion-mix of African and Caribbean rhythms, punk and electronics. The visitors will also hear 1/2 Orchestra (Moscow) playing jazz, funk and hip-hop.

This year the Moscow Urban Fest will be held for the second time. More than 200,000 people visited the festival last year. Admission is free, but some events require a prior registration.

See the full Moscow Urban Fest programme and register here

Source: mos.ru

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