Manege Central Exhibition Hall with the support of the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow within the international UK – Russia Creative Bridge programme 2021-2022 announces its launch of NEW NOW, an international online platform for the exchange of ideas about and interpretations of reality and for research on the present moment. NEW NOW is a forum for dialogue, generating new meanings, and rethinking our relationship with ourselves in a changing world. The programme is a response to the most vivid ideological transformations and challenges of modernity and aid in the creation of our common future.

“The future is already here — it is just not evenly distributed.”

William Gibson, Interview with William Gibson and David Brin. NPR. 1999

“The answer lies not in restricting human endeavors, but in evolving new alternatives, new possibilities, new dimensions, new options, and new avenues for creative uses of human beings based on the recognition of the multiple and unusual talents to manifest in the diversity of the human race.” 

Edward Twitchell Hall, Beyond Culture, 1976

We live in an era of significant socio-cultural changes, the transformation of generally accepted norms and ethical standards, and new challenges and threats. The world we are used to is becoming part of the past, and at such a pace that understanding what specifically is changing – and more importantly, how we feel about it – is getting harder and harder. The NEW NOW platform is dedicated to helping people make sense of what is going on in today’s world by calling on the experience and knowledge of leading modern thinkers. 

Today, one of the most important roles undertaken by cultural institutions is to work with the public perception of the surrounding reality and culture. NEW NOW, initiated by St. Petersburg’s Manege, will introduce a worldwide audience to the cultural context of modernity, with an accent on its contradictions. Our goal is not to find direct answers to difficult questions. Together with the invited speakers – cultural theorists, anthropologists, art curators, and expert practitioners in various spheres – we will attempt to understand what is occurring on the international stage and describe the transformation of the world that is currently underway, right before our eyes. 

The NEW NOW 2021/22 programme includes eight thematic modules. Each module contains a moderated discussion accessible via live streaming with a recording posted afterwards, as well as a list of additional materials selected by the programme curator and the speakers themselves for full, self-led immersion into each of the themes. 

Among the themes for the 2021-2022 season are corporeality and problems of identity, reality and post-truth, technology and the limits of freedom, the environmental situation and neo-mythologism, and transhumanism and mental health.   

Discussion participants:

  • philosopher and writer Frederico Campagna,
  • publisher and feminist scholar Sarah Shin,
  • curator Lucia Pietroiusti,
  • writer and media activist Franco "Bifo" Berardi,
  • philosopher and interdisciplinary scholar Timothy Morton,
  • philosopher and writer Reza Negarestani,
  • researcher in the sphere of environmental justice and decolonization Suzanne Dhaliwal,
  • public figure and activist Kumi Naidoo.

All meetings will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation into Russian. Live streams of the discussions and additional materials will be available on the NEW NOW website

NEW NOW initiator and curator: 

  • Anna Kirikova (Manege)

The events are part of the international UK – Russia Creative Bridge programme 2021-2022 supported by the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow.

Neomythologies and the Disintegration of Reality. The first discussion of the NEW NOW programme

Neomythologies and the Disintegration of Reality

18 September 2021, 8 p.m. UTC +3 

A conversation between Frederico Campagna, Reza Negarestani and Sarah Shin; moderated by Alexander Vileykis

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Mental Health: the Third Unconscious. The second discussion of the NEW NOW programme

Mental Health: the Third Unconscious

14 October 2021, 8 p.m. UTC +3

A conversation between Franco “Bifo” Berardi and Havi Carel; moderated by Alexander Vileykis. 

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