3 June 2019
Moscow Urban FEST announces its programme

The biggest urban festival MoscowUrban FEST will take place on 4-7 July 2019 in Zaryadye Park. The organisers have announced more than 100 events which will help you to see the other side of the city. In 2019, the central theme chosen for the Festival is the concept of "Umwelt".

The Festival Programme consists of three thematic clusters: "Feel", "Realize" and "Look alternatively". It includes traditional presentations of stars of urban planning and architecture, yoga on the Soaring Bridge, FITMOST exercisers, movies fr om Beat Films, children's activities, and for the first time a number of plays created and staged by Moscow residents, walks with different "umwelt" (including with a former homeless person), as well as meditative humming in the Zaryadye Dome. 

Let's question the usual way of thinking.

Among the speakers included in the Festival programme is Mazda Adli, an exceptionally famous psychiatrist and author of "Stress and the City". Along with blogger Ilya Varlamov, Prof. Mazda Adli promises to conduct a collective psychotherapy session that will be concluded by a choir singing at the Zaryadye Concert Hall. Participants will be able to buy his book that is being published in Russia for the first time. In addition, the Festival programme includes a presentation of the book by the world famous Dutch architect Reinier de Graaf "Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession", and a presentation by Colin Ellard, a famous psychologist, on the relationship between the architecture of cities and our mood. Richard Sennett, the author of "The Flesh and Stone", will answer the questions of political scientist Ekaterina Shulman during his public interview.

The Level One project has prepared several special Festival events: Petr Mazaev, specialist in medieval history and ecclesiastical history, will tell how the designers of our days can use the experience of ancient cities; Egor Sartakov will recite poetry of the great writers about Moscow monuments and shed light on their multiple layers of meaning; philologist Nikita Petrov will speak about how urban myths arise and analyse the mechanisms of the collective memory of city residents.

What will happen if we begin to notice not only how the city looks, but how it smells, sounds, tastes and feels to the touch?

Anton Sidorov-Dorso will talk about whether sounds can be rough or wet, how letters smell and how urban public spaces can provoke synaesthetic experiences. Wine expert Emmanuel Rosier (Cordobar in Berlin) and Egor Kolosov and Anna Kolosova (founders of Wine Cases subscription service) will discuss the wine culture in Moscow and in other cities of the world.

In addition, the guests of the Festival will have a chance to take an engaging journey together with perfumers of HolyNose and Maria Pirogovskaya, Candidate of Sciences in History, where they will learn what odours prevailed in Moscow in the past and where interesting flavours can be found in the modern city; and Sergey Dmitriev, musician of the band named Terpenie, will teach his workshop participants to make a track consisting only of street sounds. The programme also involves workshops in total darkness led by blind and visually impaired individuals.

The city of animals, the city of rituals, virtuality, subcultures and hidden messages.

A number of walking tours, during which guests will see the streets of the capital through the eyes of a dog handler and his dogs, an artist, a former homeless person (a joint project with the Charity partner "Nochlezhka" aimed at the social rehabilitation of homeless people), an architect and a sound designer will help the participants to explore alternative visions of the city.

Caitlin Doughty, death-positive activist and author of the bestseller "From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find a Good Death" will give an exclusive lecture on funeral traditions of different nations of the world. Steffen P. Walz, specialist in gamification in his lecture "Gamification: City as a Playground" will tell how to rethink our approaches to city planning using the principles of computer games and many other things. Choi Jeong Hwa, the most brilliant artist of South Korea, will give a lecture on wh ere we should look for happiness in the city and will create a flashy installation with the help of the workshop participants.

The Community Stage Theatre together with MoscowUrban FEST will present two stage plays: "Gagarin Would Love This", a poetic jam about outer and inner space, and "Walking the Streets of Moscow", a project of the St. Petersburg "Invisible Theater" which is a journey into the past based on the diaries of Gennady Shpalikov. 

Urban film screenings from Beat Films includes two premieres: Architecture of Infinity, a study of filmmaker Christoph Schaub who investigates history of sacred spaces and their particular magic, and The Real Thing, a French film dedicated to replicas of Venice and Paris in third world countries. The programme also includes a demonstration of "The Wild City" (The Wild Amsterdam) film. This fascinating story "told" by a cat named Fritz reminds viewers that cities are not just for people. The producer of the film will come to the Festival and give a master class on how to produce documentaries. 

On 6 July there will be premiere performances of the Theatre of Muscovites – a special Festival project created along with city residents. Before the beginning of the Festival, a few dozen people under the guidance of experienced theatrical leaders will try their hand as actors and playwrights. Some residents of Moscow will write theatrical pieces based on real events in the city, and others will perform them. The result of the work of the MoscowUrban FEST lab will be presented at the Festival in Zaryadye.

A number of workshops will be conducted by professional rescuers, firefighters and doctors of the Security Space Group, and the founders of the Gorka and Zapovednyi Lug projects will talk about how to build a city with your own hands, build a playground in a courtyard, make a flower bed and even make a district park all on your own.

Festival guests will be privy to intellectual debates on the most pressing urban matters and a number of presentations of speakers during PechaKucha educational parties.

The Festival will conclude with a large-scale open-air concert in Zaryadye Park with the participation of Daniel Brandt, experimental German electronic musician; Melt Your Down, a London band combining elements of North African musical styles, punk and jazz; 1/2 Orchestra ("Half-Nest"), a Moscow-based group that plays music at the junction of jazz, funk and hip-hop and The Soul Surfers, a Russian funk-soul group that managed to conquer the USA and Europe with its music.

Last year MoscowUrban FEST was visited by more than 200,000 people.

Admission to the events of MoscowUrban FEST is free. 
Some events require pre-registration.