CME EVENT: Between Imitation and Improvisation: Reflecting on the controversies of Cultural Policy in the Global East, November 5th

September 24, 2018

Between Imitation and Improvisation: Reflecting on the Controversies of Cultural Policy in the Global East by Elena Trubina


In the book written Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes “The Age of Imitation: How the West Won the Cold War but Lost the Peace” (2019),  it is argued that the "imitation of the West" was voluntarily chosen by East Europeans three decades ago which led to an on-going political backlash. How the transfer of the best practices of culture-led development can be seen in light of this diagnosis? Elena Trubina in her talk attempts to answer this question by looking at the flagship cultural institution designed by the American museum exhibition design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates. The Yeltsin center (opened in 2015) is a first memorial centre for past presidents of the Russian Federation. Its cultural and social role currently is far from what was intended.  


ELENA TRUBINA is a Professor in Social Theory at the Ural Federal University. She has previously been a visiting professor / researcher at the Universities of Berlin, Harvard, Helsinki, Budapest and research institutions of Vienna. She is also a director of the Center for Global Urbanism at her home university ( ). She is a member of editorial boards of the journals “Etnographicheskoe obozrenie”, “Siberian Historical Research” and ‘Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media’. She explores theories of cities, neoliberalism, mega-events and creativity while attempting to theorise with the East as part of the globality.  In the last two years she co-edited the thematic issues on cultural institutions in Russia for “Cultural Studies” and on unfinished Soviet construction projects for “Siberian Historical Research”. She is currently co-editing a special issue of “Eurasian Geography and Economics” titled “The Global East in global urbanism: views from between North and South”.


DATE: November 5th, 2018

TIME: 4-6pm

VENUE: Monash University, Caulfield 3145, Building S, Room 901



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