ARTS4CITY together with sewing cooperative ‘Shvemy’ supported by Center for German and European Studies and House of Culture of Rosa present Masquerade in the city. The masquerade will happen at Ligovsky prospekt, 50, on March 13.

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Masquerade and Carnival are a strategy to altern everyday life in the city. They have a long tradition. Mikhail Bakhtin described carnival as a source of folk culture, a symbolic way of overturning the social order. Masquerade has multiple implications – artistic, anthropological, and sociological. This is a way to create new images and to transform existing ones. In urban space masquerade acquires additional meanings. Masquerade – is a tactical way to change the existing order of space. Masquerade introduces new personages into city life which outplay mundane characters, embody archetypes and abstract concepts associated with the context, animate everyday life objects. Masquerade brings alternative dramaturgy into the urban space.

To open masquerade for everyone we organize workshops on making masks guided by artist Alena Petite on March 11 and 12th. ‘Shvemy’ cooperative sews the costumes for the personages.

Urban context

Masquerade will take place at 50 Ligovskiy prospekt. This is a major industrial yard near Moscowskij railway station which lives a post-industrial life. In situationist language it could be named an urban unit with ambience of spontaneous “creative quarter” and “urban underside”. The yard is a combination of different styles, economies, sub-cultures, professions, ethnic groups, that form social worlds of office workers, traders, creative youth, club visitors, marginals, intellectuals, migrants. There are many organizational orders in the former warehouse space: shops, offices, rehearsal spots, sport centers, hostels, and even a house of culture. The yard is a complex urban system: it has a lot of paths and directions inside of it and is secured by walls which form its boundaries. Behind its walls one feels presence of the railroad monster that once spawned this yard – the smell of oil, the whistles of locomotives. The side wall is formed by a living monument to consumerism – trade centre “Galereya”.

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The characters and the script

Masquerade and carnival characters will be associated with spirit of the place, the atmosphere, history and everyday life of 50 Ligovsky, as well as with pagan archetypal motifs of carnival. Masquerade script presupposes comic and mystic scenes in different parts of the yard. It also contains elements of quest – performing simple tasks, passing routes. There will not be any demonstrations or marches in the street.

The script is written by Sofiya Akimova and Aleksandra Nenko with participation of ‘Shvemy’ and Alena Petite.

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To form a detailed view of the courtyard and to create site-specific characters of the masquerade, a historical and anthropological research will be held at 50 Ligovsky by ARTS4CITY team.


To participate in the workshops a call is opened on Art for the city and sewing cooperative Shvemy public pages. Number of workshop participants is up to 25 people.

Guests who will not participate in the workshop can also join the carnival. They will receive small carnival accessories as a gift.

Organizers will invite residents of 50 Ligovsky to participate in workshops and to become locations during the masquerade.