20 years under Putin: a timeline

After the successful New York opening, on February 10 the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR) presented a unique photographic portrait exhibit entitled "Russian Visionaries: Into the Light" at the Fotoloft gallery in Moscow. The exhibition will run through February 26.



This exhibit premiered in December of 2011 at the 25CPW gallery in New York City and garnered much interest not only from the American and Russian-speaking public but also from a number of media outlets. The portraits and interviews of Russian visionaries were published in leading U.S. magazines, such as TIME, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, and The New Republic.

As IMR has already reported, the exhibition is conceived as a multimedia art project, which will display portraits of modern Russian thought leaders alongside their predictions for the future of Russia after the 2012 presidential elections.

The original idea to bring together Russian intellectual leaders came from Elena Khodorkovskaya, the former wife of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the most famous current political prisoner in Russia.

The central pieces of the project are the austere black and white photographs taken by Kirill Nikitenko, a famous Moscow photographer. Among the 54 participants, there are prominent Russian writers, actors, journalists, economists, politicians, and human rights activists who are known for their strong, independent views and opposition to the current political regime. They include: Boris Akunin, Alexei Navalny, Leonid Parfyonov, Sergei Parkhomenko, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Boris Strugatsky, Eldar Ryazanov, Mikhail Yefremov, Yuri Shevchuk, Garry Kasparov, Andrei Illarionov, Yevgeni Yasin, Lyudmila Alekseeva, Lev Ponomarev, and many others.

All the participants were also interviewed, and their answer to the following question is presented alongside the portraits: "How do you see the future of Russia after March 2012 if Vladimir Putin remains in power?" The photo exhibit was developed in the summer of 2011, before the unprecedented opposition protests that took place in December and coincided with the duration of the New York show. Specifically for the Moscow premiere, which will happen right before the presidential elections in Russia, many of the visionaries gave new interviews on how their views of the country’s future have changed in recent months.

After Moscow, the exhibition will travel to Berlin and Paris.