>student: Adeola Enigbokan, 32, New York, researcher / teacher / artist

19.12.2011, 15:26
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I decided to come to Strelka after I found out about it through Residency Unlimited, which is a website that collects artists’ residencies. And I found it really interesting, because unlike all the other residencies that were listed there, this one was asking specifically for interdisciplinary work and for people who wanted to work across disciplines: artists, architects, social scientists. Since I am an artist and a social scientist (environmental psychologist, to be particular), I thought it would be perfect for me.

Also I liked the idea of Moscow, because when I was growing up I had a couple of cousins and uncle who lived here, and they are pretty fabulous. I thought, ‘Black Russians! I have to go’. So that’s what happened, I decided to come to Moscow, to find out about this place that I had growing up hearing so much about.

Then I got to actual Moscow. And let me tell you, it was a little different than I had anticipated. First of all, Strelka turned out to be a school – I was shocked. Actually what I do in New York is teach. I teach at universities and in urban studies, media studies and communications and also sociology, urban sociology. So I found myself here at this school that is actually about all of these things. So I found myself somewhere between a student, teacher, researcher, artist. So actually it’s turning out to be a really cross-disciplinary experience. It’s quite an experience, but not the one you anticipated.

How do I find Moscow? I like Moscow, if by like I really mean I’m scared of Moscow. Moscow is really scary to me, but that’s also exciting. It reminds me of New York in a really odd way, like when New York was a little bit scarier. When it was harder to tell what’s around the corner. Everything in Moscow is inaccessible to me, because I don’t speak Russian and I’m foreign. I feel there are these layers of the city that I can’t reach, it’s like a mystery. But around this hard crusty outside of Moscow, I really feel that there’s a soft creamy center. And I’m going to find it.