CYS gifted CISR by excellent performances
May 24-26, the Centre of Independent Social Researches celebrated its 25th anniversary by the international conference "Beyond..."
The theme of the conference was given widely; the organizers didn't want to limit guests to a few thematic or methodological fields. There was a special section for the Centre for Youth Studies (HSE – St. Petersburg).
The section "Never too early, no too late: youth research beyond" was opened by report "Sub/cultural redistribution: a defense and/or attack?" of Elena Omelchenko, the chief of the Center. Elena began her presentation by review of the theoretical approaches explaining the youth reality. The speaker turned to the description of the heritage of "classical" theorists of the famous Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham. Elena Omelchenko described the conflict that occurs between the supporters of the ideas of subcultures, post-subcultures, and so on. The report presents an approach, implemented by the CYS, overcoming theoretical and empirical disputes about subcultures. Other concepts of cultural and youth sociality ("solidarity" and "cultural youth scene") were shown. The second part of the report was based on empirical data collected by the Center for Youth Studies. The Director of the Centre outlined the main vectors of youth solidarity and also presented the results of the quantitative survey (conducted in 2016 as RNF project ) and showed the main trends of youth (sub)cultural life.
The following report ""Oh, really? I was here?" or how to leave your mark in the city: the case of stickershock St. Petersburg," was stated by Nadezhda Vasilyeva. The speaker presented results of the analysis of the sticker-artists of St. Petersburg held in 2016 in the framework of the international project "YOUTH IN THE DIGITAL MEDIA CITY: Urban Ethnography in the Streets and Stations of Helsinki and St Petersburg" supported by the Kone Foundation. This study was based on ethnographic data, including interviews with sticker-artists, observations and walk along of sociologists and sticker artists. This immersion in the life and work of young sticker artists allows obtaining not only a unique sociological data, but also incredible research fun. The report focused on the following questions: who and why uses stickers, what is the value of these images for their creators and urban space, how does they interacts with the official art?
Alena Kravtsova presented a report on "Promoting youth participation and social inclusion: analysis of youth activist projects and communities of St. Petersburg" research project. She studied the youth movements and groups fighting for the moral and physical health of society. The theme of her report ""Youth for health society": civil society activists in the old and new social movements of St. Petersburg and Russia". The researcher noticed that some of the young residents of the Russian capital cities show a high level of involvement and civic engagement. There are a redeployment of human resources, integration and changing of values and ideas of such movements in recent years. Alena analyzed youth communities and movements that implement their "civilian capacity" fighting for the public "moral" order: removing sex work ads or catching smoking and drinking in the inappropriate places. Such type of civil activism becoming more and more popular among young people, and meanings of participants are worth to understand: why they become "civil activists", fight against prostitution, choose not only the healthy, but also the sober lifestyle. Qualitative methods were used in the study: participant observation and interviews. It was noticed that the roots of such movements back to the late 80s.
Anastasia Sablina presented her report on “"Theatre of pain", about performativity, body and pain. Experience studies play-piercing project in St. Petersburg”. Researcher wrote her master thesis on this topic. Anastasia believes that some types of body modifications became a widespread practice long ago, but some of them seems unusual and even cause "moral panic", despite their popularity among beauty practitioner. Anastasia wanted to observe not only a puncture, implant or tattoo, but also performative forms of bodmod culture, such as play-piercing projects. Play piercing involves the performativity like dance or theatrical performance during body modifications, from simple forms of piercing to split and other complex modifications. Anastasia combines such approaches in her work as the sociology of the body and corporality and the concept of performativity. The play-piercing project, choose as object of the study acts permanently in Saint-Petersburg in the 2015-2016 year.
At the end of the section Margarita Kuleva presented her report "Not the white side of the white cube: the creative routine of the Moscow art centers." Margarita conducted an unusual tour for the participants of conference: slip into the art center in the back way, analyze it through institutional critique, focusing not on the works of art, but on toilets, cloakrooms and a gift shops. Like Michael Asher, the participants tried to remove the wall separating the exhibition white cube and office space. The report was based on data of 25 in-depth interviews with 10 employees of the Moscow art centers and 20 observations of offices and public events of the art centers in 2016. Art centers at night and half an hour before opening were analyzed. The audience tries to recognize popular places of Saint-Petersburg and Moscow, showed from the back entrance.