Staff picks

Chto Delat

Chto Delat (What is to be done?) is a collective founded in 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism.

The name of the group derives from a novel by the Russian nineteenth-century writer Nikolai Chernyshevsky, and immediately brings to mind the first socialist worker’s self-organizations in Russia, which Lenin actualized in his own publication, “What is to be done?” (1902). Chto Delat sees itself as an artistic cell and also as a community organizer for a variety of cultural activities intent on politicizing knowledge production. The activity of the collective takes responsibility for a post-socialist condition and the actualization of the forgotten and repressed potentiality of the Soviet past, and often works as a politics of commemoration. 

The collective publishes an English-Russian newspaper focused on the urgent issues of Russian cultural politics, in dialogue with the international context, and in 2013, they initiated the School of Engaged Art in Petersburg. Chto Delat’s artistic activity is realized across a range of media, from video and theater plays, to radio programs and murals, and includes art projects, seminars, and public campaigns.

Film, Music, Feminism, Labor & Work
Russia, Scandinavia, Community, Post-socialism, Socially-Engaged Art
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