David Erixon: “New Strelka students are going to be very explosive”

05.10.2012, 08:23
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David Erixon, Programming Director of Strelka Institute, talks about recent changes in Moscow, the human factor and new challenges for students

 

Everything inMoscownow is about change.

I have been going in and out ofMoscowa lot for the past year. There have been two major events. First are the demonstrations before and after the elections. I remember when we started running our studio in the end of October, we talked about a possibility of change inRussia. And most of the Russian students said, it’s not going to happen. And then it happened, just a month later! People have started to realize what can happen around change. And the second thing was the Pussy Riot trial, which brought the eyes of the rest of the world onRussiain a really different way. The question is, can you really get away with a something like that? Exposing the whole story to the world in a very naked way added another layer of complexity to the process of transformation here inMoscow.

Our new students, those thirty-nine new individuals, were picked out specifically as Agents of Change.

They really know what they’re stepping into, so it feels like the group is more deliberate. Previously we felt it was up to the studio directors to make it all wonderful. This year we know it’s up to the students. It’s much scarier, but it’s also much more exciting.

From the beginning Strelka was focused on making sure that the education was good.

This year everyone is much more concerned with the human side of the story and empowering people. If Strelka is a kitchen, then we’re making very creative and visionary chefs, who are going to go out there in the city and mix it all up. They will do a completely new menu. Maybe they will blow up the kitchen or the entire the restaurant. They are going to be very explosive.