Culture P.S., or Culture Post-Soviet, offers a glimpse into the new cultural landscape that’s emerging in Russia. Like many former Soviet countries, Russia is struggling to figure out its modern identity. On one hand, the nation is old, saturated with a rich history of folk dance and farming, of Tsars and literary giants. But at the same time, Russia is a new country. The Soviet Union fell less than thirty years ago and with it collapsed an extremely strong, well-defined national identity. What would replace it? That question is still being sorted out.
This website is a place that examines that sorting process and what it’s creating. We talk to Russians about how they view new Russian culture and where they see it going.
Who We Are
Nikki Lohr — Words
Hey there, my name is Nikki. I’m an American living in Moscow, where I’m completing my master’s degree in Russian studies. I grew up in New York City, so I am always pleased when I spot Yankees caps on the streets of Moscow – which is at least once a day.
I became interested in Russia for its art. When I was in college, I decided to apply for Vassar College’s semester abroad in St. Petersburg to study art history at the Hermitage Museum. I didn’t know a word of Russian, but I figured, when in my life would I ever get it together enough to go to Russia on my own? I was curious about this country whose history is so entangled with the United States’ but whose contemporary life is fairly obscure to Americans. When I got to St. Petersburg, I was struck by how un-Soviet it was and by how all the Russians I encountered were really excited to meet an American. Four years later, I’m still hooked. From 2017-2018, I taught English language and American culture at Minin Pedagogical University in Nizhny Novgorod through the Fulbright Program, and today, I’m based in Moscow with Middlebury College’s Graduate Program.
Follow her on Twitter here.
Anahit Yakubovich — Photographs
My name is Anahit! I have a star tattoo on my face and I grew up in Chicago for almost all of my life. My parents are both Russian and from Moscow, so in September of 2019 I ran away from my momma and caught a flight to Moscow. I’m living in Moscow and studying at the British Higher School of Art and Design, hanging out with my grandparents and figuring out my Russian soul. My favorite things to do are to play dress up, take pictures and dance. I don’t have any rhythm so I just make my own. I compulsively capture myself and the world around me and live my life like it’s a movie, particularly a runway film. The worst thing about the Russian language is that there’s no word for “excited.” I’m always excited and have no way of telling people here!
Follow her on Instagram here.