Rosa’s House of Culture by Chto Delat in St. Petersburg

Tuesday, 16. February 2016

An initiative by Khanabadosh (Bombay) and Institute for Contemporary Art Research (IFCAR), Zurich University of the Arts

St. Petersburg
Rosa’s House of Culture by Chto Delat

In Russia, statecraft is criminalised by aggressive laws and state structures, which routinely mobilise the neo-liberal agenda. In such an epoch of eroded publicness, Chto Delat’s Rosa’s House of Culture is invested in constructing counterpublics.


Writing on the subject of counterpublics in Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy, 1990, Nancy Fraser states, “The point is that, in stratified societies, subaltern counterpublics have a dual character. On the one hand, they function as spaces of withdrawal and regroupment; on the other, they function as bases and training grounds for agitational activities directed toward wider publics.”


D.K. Rosy aka Rosa’s House of Culture probes the legacy of the Houses of Culture, a widespread state-supported infrastructure for leisure and education in the former Soviet Union. “How can we reimagine this legacy?” ask the collective.


To realise this research and practice, Chto Delat, i.e. Tsaplya Olga Egorova, Nikolay Oleynikov and Dmitry Vilensky, has invited into their space and process, marginalised leftist collectives including initiatives involving grassroot unions of IT and educational workers, self-organised feminist theatre groups, the sewing co-operative Shvemy and the School of Engaged Art, an educational project which the collective initiated in 2013.


Coming together in a show of solidarity during dark times, these collectives shape and defend their identities, interests, and needs by engaging in a range of activities. By encouraging dialogue between these groups, Chto Delat seeks new ways to approach situations of solidarity and engagement, with the aim of understanding prevailing crisis through critical modes of artistic communication.


Also located on the premises is The Zetkin Library, a distinctive collection of books and ephemera related to art and activism.

Address: Rosa’s House of Culture, Ligovsky Prospect 50 - Build. 12 - Space 110, St. Petersburg, Russia

For event updates please visit Chto Delat’s Facebook group here
To view a trailer of Rosa's House of Culture see here

Rosa’s House of Culture by Chto Delat is part of Draft, a yearlong project anchored in nine interdisciplinary collaboratives—Bombay, Cairo, Cape Town, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Shanghai, St. Petersburg and Zurich—which collectively consider how contemporary art can produce, provoke and contribute to critical public debates.


Photos: Chto Delat © 2016