Experts Discuss Media, Art, Fashion, and Education at Telling Stories Festival 2020
What does the post-COVID future have in store for museums, universities, and the media? Does big data protect us or pose a threat? What are the prospects for fashion shows, cinema, and theaters? How are different generations experiencing the pandemic? These and other issues were discussed at the annual festival of communications, design, and media.
This year, Telling Stories commenced on International Family Day, which is symbolic, says Tatyana Rivchun, the general producer of the festival and a professor at the HSE Art and Design School. ‘HSE is a big family that is not only smart, but also creative. We have a lot of creative areas of study, and, of course, our festival is dedicated specifically to creativity. Man is the only creature on earth that is unique in that he can create, invent, and build a new reality, which is what we are talking about today. Is quarantine and self-isolation good or bad? Does it make things more interesting or more difficult for creative people?’
The festival’s theme, ‘New Norm // New Reality’, ran through all of the discussions of the festival and served as the title for the first one. Creators of lifestyle and fashion channels on Telegram, journalists, literary critics, film makers, musicians, sociologists, IT specialists, as well as students, instructors, and experts of HSE University, together with Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov, shared their thoughts about the digital reality of quarantine and the new norms that will characterize the new world that results after the pandemic.
New Norm // New Reality
Participants in the first discussion, ‘New Norm // New Reality’, discussed the prospects of art, education, and the world at large. General Director of the Tretyakov Gallery Zelfira Tregulova spoke about how the crisis has affected the art community and how the community sees its future. Tregulova predicts that post-quarantine, museums will be different. They will have to ensure that visitors have sufficient personal space and designate paths of movement so that visitors can keep their distance from one another and not intersect. Zelfira Tregulova is confident that after the worldwide self-isolation and the virtual museum visits people have enjoyed from their homes, visitors will return to their usual art spaces. ‘People will want to come to the museum for the special experience that you get standing in front of the original—an original to which you have come after only being able to view its virtual double. Indeed, real art, in addition to all other features, is remarkable in that it does not lie.’ The mission of museums, galleries, and exhibition halls will be even more significant for society, and they will have to work particularly hard. ‘We have to find formats that are right and completely safe and allow people to engage in real direct dialogue with art.’
HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov also took part in the discussion and outlined the trends—positive and negative—that are in store for the economy as well as education. Unlike primary and secondary education, which will not radically change, Kuzminov predicts big global changes for higher education. ‘There will be a revolution, because the crisis has added another format to mass online courses that fully reproduces the traditional communication between the teacher and students and the student audience among themselves—conference classes. HSE has been using this format for a long time in advanced research seminars, and now everyone is using them on a large scale. There will be more and more courses for external participants to join, and this could really change higher education.’
Yaroslav Kuzminov shared his vision of what universities will be like in 2025. ‘At its core, a strong university will have as many students as it does now, but it will also have just as many virtual students around that core. A strong university with virtual tools will attract an additional number of people whom it will influence. In addition, less time will be spent on campuses in face-to-face classes, while much more resources and time will go into organizing student independent projects. Students will not communicate less with each other; rather, they will become more independent.’
‘Will It Be Like This Forever Until It's Over?’
The panelists of the session under this title discussed emerging norms and forms of behavior, their endurance in the post-pandemic world, changes in everyday practices, and conspiracy theories. Ekaterina Fedorova, journalist and author of the Telegram channel, Good Morning, Karl!, talked about transformations in the fashion world, and critic Anna Narinskaya described what she sees as a new set of ethics that has emerged in the world. Narinskaya noted her surprise that, despite the predictions of filmmakers, ‘people in the world have been much more capable of offering mutual assistance, showing empathy, and making sacrifices.’ Yuri Saprykin, a culturologist and the project manager of the Shelf project, spoke about information security and big data. Arseny Meshcheryakov, Head of the Art and Design School, asked about the future of urbanization, noting at the end of the discussion that he was not inclined to think that we will witness a fundamental change in the trajectory of human development due to some ‘lousy’ virus. ‘People should not lose hope and optimism!’ he concluded.
‘Generations in the Crisis’
No less interesting was the discussion, ‘Generations in the Crisis’. At the beginning of the discussion, HSE First Vice-Rector Vadim Radaev spoke about the ways in which millennials differ from older generations: they postpone marriage, having children, and entering the labor market, and are more educated. In turn, Professor Sergey Zverev, head of the School of Integrated Communications of the Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design, shared his opinion on how the new generation Z is experiencing the current difficulties. ‘Baby boomers, Generation X, and millennials are experiencing the crisis as more or less established people, yet for the young people of Generation Z, it is a shock, and this shock is not the pandemic itself but a new sense of the world’s fragility, where everything we take for granted can so easily break down.’
4th year student Anna Rekus spoke about her views of the crisis and the future of working remotely. ‘Generation Z likes to sit at home surrounded by gadgets. For them, offline and online worlds are equivalent things, so learning and working in a remote format for Z makes sense. Working according to an hourly schedule does not fit with their understanding of productivity. They work toward obtaining a result, and not putting in a certain number of hours at the office.’
You can see all the broadcasts of the two-day festival on the festival’s official website.
Telling Stories is an international annual festival organized by the Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design that is dedicated to the contemporary world of the creative industries. It was first held in 2018 at Digital October, where it welcomed over 4,000 guests over the course of three days. Festival speakers include Hollywood directors, producers, photographers, international project curators, avant-garde designers, renowned journalists, actors, and critics.
From Moscow to Brazil, South Africa, and China: Panelists Discuss Challenges and Potential for BRICS Countries in the Global Economy
On May 14, as part of the ‘World Economy’ session of the XXI April Conference 2020 an online panel attended by representatives of BRICS Network University took place. The session was devoted to the topic ‘BRICS Countries in the Global Economy’.
HSE experts participated in the first international online forum, ‘The World, Post-Coronavirus: A View from the Heart of Eurasia’, which was held on April 28 in Ufa on the initiative of the Bashkortostan government. Scholars, businessmen, and politicians from different countries discussed threats, opportunities, and solutions for the economy and the social sphere.
The first research seminar of the International Laboratory of Statistical and Computational Genomics had been postponed almost a month due to COVID-19. In April, however, the event finally took place. Laboratory Head Vladimir Shchur discusses what life is like for scientists in self-isolation during the pandemic, what genomics is, and why gesturing is important when teaching online.
The OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (STP) held its first meeting of the year in early April. HSE staff members Mikhail Gershman, Dirk Meissner and Elena Sabelnikova joined Ministry of Education and Science representatives as members of the Russian delegation to the event. Here, they explain which approaches participants discussed for combating the coronavirus and for preventing other global crises.
On March 17, the Institute of Education hosted its annual seminar dedicated to issues in education. This year’s seminar addressed the topic, ‘Higher Education during an Epidemic: The Possibilities of Digital Technology’. For the first time in eight years, the seminar participants—representatives of Chinese, American, and Russian universities—participated in the event remotely.
At the end of February, the HSE IGITI Research Centre for Contemporary Culture hosted a roundtable entitled ‘Field Studies in Russia: A Country Familiar and Foreign’. Roundtable participants talked about field work methods and standards, research challenges, and ways to solve them. The participants also discussed the extent to which it is possible to apply international experiences and approaches to field work in Russia as well as ways to study Russia from within and without.
HSE University, represented by the Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector, and the United Nations Volunteer Programme (UNV) signed a partnership agreement, under which they will regularly exchange information, carry out joint research, as well as organize conferences and other events.
HSE University hosted its long-awaited student festival ‘Night’ at its building on 11 Pokrovsky Boulevard Thursday. Featuring 12 hours of lectures, games, master classes, music, and conversation. It was a night no students, lecturers or guests had any time for sleep.
On December 12, heads of missions and embassy representatives from over forty countries gathered in Moscow for HSE University Day for Diplomatic Missions. The event, which was held at HSE’s newly renovated Pokrovka campus, was aimed at fostering further cooperation between HSE and its international partners.
The Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies of the Faculty of Humanities has launched a Center of Iranian Studies and the Persian Language. On December 6, representatives of HSE University and the Cultural Representative of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Moscow signed the cooperation agreement.