POSTED 08.11.2023

Artwork: Anastasia Ryabova

From the series Trillions, 2012

In the text "Support Structures Behind Russian Art Residencies" Reside/Sustain team wrote for Idäntutkimus [Eastern Studies Journal], published in the Issue #3 (focus theme "Money"), we look into funding in relation to art field activity, especially art residencies in Russia, as well as the so-called "green agenda".

We examine how internal trends on banning and further overregulating any international financial support for the civil society and the arts, combined with the Western sanctions, further restrictions and self-sanctions of international companies and organisations, made the situation with availability of various sources of financing extremely difficult for Russia’s civil society and arts sectors, especially after the Russian attack on Ukraine in 2022.

Since the focus of our work has mainly been around artist residencies and sustainability, as part of our activities we also provide an analysis of sources of financing of Russian art residencies, before and since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Four main possibilities can be mentioned as sources of grant funds: state grants from the federal, regional and municipal levels; grants from private foundations and charitable organizations; corporate grants; grants from foreign organisations working in Russia (if we talk about the period until spring 2022; today the public activities of most of these organizations are impossible due to new laws or restrictions, many of them are recognized as undesirable).

Based on the survey conducted in late 2020 by AiR of Russia, Russian art residencies, in the vast majority, do not engage in an environmental agenda. Also sustainable development and its environmental side are neither a popular political narrative, nor one of the key concerns of society, nor is it reflected in any way in cultural policy. But despite this, acts in relation to environmental agenda are done within arts and residency field as well. And this happens not because of but in spite of general attitudes toward environmental issues. Which connects to the attitude of the Reside/Sustain project as well: to enable things with the resoures available.

The article is available in Finnish upon purchasing the magazine.