New Russias is a brand-new initiative in Manchester aimed at introducing contemporary Russian culture to the British public in all its diversity and richness. The festival spreads over three days from 7 to 9 February in five different venues across the city showcasing the newest and most exciting trends in Russian literature, music, cinema, and visual arts.

New Russias Logo ©Thomas Drew

On 7 February, Friday, the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures (SALC) at The University of Manchester will host the symposium “Russian Culture after 2010”, in which scholars from various parts of the world will discuss the state of contemporary Russian popular music, cinema, literature and visual arts. The symposium is free to attend and welcomes the general public. You may register here.

In the evening, Night and Day cafe will present the concert of Russia’s most renowned music export, Motorama, who will perform their hypnotic post-punk for the first time in Manchester.

Motorama ©Rene Berger

On Saturday, 8 February, Manchester Art Gallery will host a talk and a Q&A with the Russian Booker-finalist writer Elena Chizhova, as well as a film screening followed by a Q&A with award-winning director Sergei Kachkin. Simultaneously, LEAF will display the vibrant work of Chechnyan-born artist Ann Rotaenko, recent winner of the prestigious grant of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. In the evening, The Whiskey Jar will present Russia’s finest indie band, Pompeya, sharing their positive vibes with a UK audience for the first time.

Pompeya ©Pompeya

On Sunday, 9 February, Manchester Art Gallery will hold an in-conversation event with the creators of Russia’s independent film festival Doker, showcasing the newest currents in Russian independent cinema. At the same time, the gallery will be the starting point of an immersive and original art performance by GRAD resident Alisa Oleva, exploring and redesigning the past, present and future of Russian Manchester. LEAF will showcase the innovative work of award-winning visual artist Dmitry Venkov.

On the Way Home: Sergei Kachkin. Design by Niklas Froese

Holding New Russias in Manchester capitalises on the city’s own culture and diversity as a major hub outside of London. “By organising this three-day festival, we hope to bring together audiences coming from different parts of the UK, including areas that do not normally have the chance to partake in London’s cultural atmosphere,” say the organisers. “This is the first event of its kind in Manchester, and we hope to make it a regular fixture in the city’s cultural calendar.”

All events are free except for the music concerts Motorama and Pompeya. Discounted tickets for both concerts can be bought at the price of £15 here

Free registration for the symposium and booking for the festival are essential, please click on the links to register.

  • Date: 07 February 2020 - 09 January 2020
  • various locations in Manchester
  • Tickets: Free Entrance to Symposium and Festival, concerts £8 - £15
  • Website: