The series of conferences opens with talks by artist and curator from Izhevsk, Elena Kasimova; critic, curator and senior researcher at Perm Art Gallery, Marina Pugina; cultural theorist, art historian and lecturer at Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering, Guzel Faizrakhmanova; and curator and art director at OkNo Gallery in Chelyabinsk, Svetlana Shlyapnikova.
Elena Kasimova (b. 1986, Ustinov, Russia, lived in Hungary from 2002 to 2011) — artist, curator. Lives and works in Izhevsk. She Graduated in Civil Engineering from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in 2011 and completed a course at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia in 2015. She organized the street art festival Izhevsk Intervention, Izhevsk (2013) and co-curated the exhibition Govorit Izhevsk, Izhevsk Museum, URMII Museum of Fine Arts, Izhvesk, Fabrika CCI, Moscow (2016). Since 2016 she has curated the Visual Art section at the Art Residencies space in Izhevsk.
Marina Pugina (b. 1992, Perm, Russia) — curator and critic. Lives and works in Perm. She graduated in Arts and Humanities from the Perm State University in 2015; studied at ArtPolitika School of Contemporary Art, Perm in 2013; and the School of Art Journalism at PRO ARTE, Saint Petersburg in 2014. She has worked at the Contemporary Art Department of Perm State Art Gallery since 2015 and writes on contemporary art, street art, and self-organised initiatives.
Guzel Faizrakhmanova (b. 1974, Kazan, Russia) — art historian, curator. Lives and works in Kazan. She graduated in Set Design from Feshin Art Academy in Kazan in 1993 and in Cultural Studies from Kazan State Academy of Arts and Culture in 2002. She holds a PhD in Art History. Since 2005 she has been a lecturer at Kazan State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering. From 2009 to 2011 she worked at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Nizhny Novgorod and from 2009 to 2014 headed the contemporary art space Club 20/21 at Hermitage Kazan.
Svetlana Shlyapnikova (b. 1971, Kamensk-Uralskiy, Russia) — curator. Lives and works in Chelyabinsk. She graduated in Art History from the Urals State University. In 1998 she became a curator at Chelyabinsk State Museum of Fine Arts and in 2001became the art director at OkNo Gallery in Chelyabinsk. She took part in Arts Leadership Program in New York and San Francisco in 2008 and has completed a Cultural Management course organised by Robert Bosch and Goethe-Institut (Russia, 2010–2015). She has curated over fifty exhibitions and is the author of over seventy articles published in art journals, exhibition catalogues and booklets.