PEZANIKI: Russian-Norwegian neighbourhood

english with russian translation

The four towns of Pechenga, Zapolyarny, Nikel and Kirkenes sit on opposite sides of the Russian-Norwegian border in an area that until recently was a key front in the Cold War. Today, these towns share a visa-free zone and such good relations that some see them as a single cross-border agglomeration called “Pezaniki”. As part of our Borders season, experts from both side of the frontier will be joining us at Strelka to discuss how geopolitical processes impact the lives of ordinary people, and how international cooperation projects in the area are unfolding.

Confirmed guests include:

Øystein Rø — Architect from architecture office Transborder Studio and co-founder of the architecture and art gallery 0047 in Oslo. Oisten was the head of several projects in the Norwegian Russian border zone, including Pezaniki City, Transborder Kirkenes, The Pomor Zone, and Welcome to Borderland.

Tatiana Bazanova — Head of the department for international relations in the Pechenga border district of Murmansk Region.

Dr. Anatoly Smirnov – diplomat, president of the National Institute for Research of Global Security, and ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation, Russia’s general consul in northern Norway (based in Kirkenes) between 1992 and 1997.

Ekaterina Mikhailova – regionalist, graduate student in management of area development and regionalism at the Higher School of Economics. She is currently working on a thesis entitled “Managing social-economic development of cross-border territorial entities in Russia.” In 2013 she took part in a research internship at the Barents institute in Kirkenes.

Sergei Gonchar – head of the Pechenga district of the Murmansk Region.

Alexander Molodtsov – economist and director of the Centre for Applied Research and Consulting at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation. The centre is currently researching strategies for socio-economic development of the Pechenga region up to 2020.

Denis Shirshov — Researcher, designer, and activist from the city of Zapolyarny, participant in Pezanki City project.