Dust, rubbish, dirt, rumour and intrigue – of these are cities woven. For residents, a rubbish heap of a city is a nightmare, but for archaeologists, sociologists and journalists it is simply fascinating. What is this rubbish and dirt? How did it get there? Why is Moscow so dirty, and does it need a clean up? This discussion covered the notion of filth in all spheres of life – from urbanism to journalism.

Dr. Irina Arzhantseva is an archaeologist and historian. She is senior research fellow at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology at the Russian Academy of Sciences and head of the Eurasian Archaeology Center. Her research interests include geo-archaeology, the early middle ages, and the archaeology of Eurasia, Byzantium, and the North Caucasus.

Boris Zhukov is a biologist, publicist, and award-winning writer of popular science. He won the Living Words prize for popular science writing in Biotechnology. Boris began his writing career at the magazine Itogi before joining the online magazine Yezhenedelny Zhurnal (Weekly Journal). His interests include the ecology of cities, problems of education, and demographics.

Dr Nikolai Gryakalov teaches philosophy at St Petersburg State University. His interests include the historical anthropology of the body, philosophical problems of semiotics, scientific revolution, and media theory.

Tatiana Puzanova is a physical geographer and geochemist. She is a senior research fellow at Moscow State University’s Geography Faculty and scientific secretary to both the Education and Science Ministry’s methodological council on the environment and the Moscow branch of the Russian Geographic Society. Her interests include buried soils, the evolution of buried soils, and oil-polluted landscapes.

The first theme in series of 4 quarters at Strelka.