In the Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival’s podcast Queer Culture, festival organizers and invited guests chat with the people creating Russian queer culture. These are cozy gatherings featuring conversations about queer and LGBT topics in literature, cinema, fine art, and art actionism.
The debut issue of the podcast is dedicated to a significant event in Russian literature — the release of the debut novel Wound by Oksana Vasyakina, the first novel published by a major Russian publisher in which lesbian topics are openly discussed.
We met with the writer and poet Oksana Vasyakina and discussed her book, how it has been received by different communities, the writer’s creative path, and her successes and difficulties on the road to recognition.
😡The ArtPlay Design Center in Moscow has reneged on its agreement to provide a venue for a performance in support of Yulia Tsvetkova.
Over the last month, negotiations had been underway with an ArtPlay staffer about staging a performance as part of the Naked Truth project. The performance’s organizers provided a press release, all the information requested by the venue, and layouts and diagrams of the upcoming performance. The venue agreed to host the event, and the performance was to be held in ArtPlay’s small auditorium on [July] 14. Performances about female physicality had previously been staged at this site, and ArtPlay is known in art circles as one of the most creatively liberal spaces.
However, today, an organizer of the performance was [told that ArtPlay would not host the performance], since, according to the ArtPlay staffer, they “do not hold events with a political bent.”
This is not the first time that a major contemporary art center, well known for its liberal views, has turned down requests by artists to host events in support of Tsvetkova, most often by citing “political” motives and the “dangerousness” of her case.
The Naked Truth project has been in existence for a year. As part of the project, performances in support of Yulia Tsvetkova have been staged by respected and significant male and female artists from Moscow and Petersburg.
Sergei Lavrov said that on the eve of the parliamentary elections in the Russian Federation, new attempts by Western countries to “shake up the situation” and “provoke protest demonstrations” are possible.
“It can be assumed that on the eve of the elections to the State Duma there will be new attempts to undermine, destabilize the situation, provoke protest demonstrations, preferably violent, as the West likes to do. Probably, then a campaign will be launched to not recognize our elections — there are such plans, we are aware of them, but we will focus primarily on the position and opinion of our people, who themselves are able to assess the actions of the authorities and speak out about how they want to further develop their country,” he said.
Russia’s Yandex driverless robots to deliver food at U.S. colleges with GrubHub Reuters
July 6, 2021
Driverless robots will soon deliver food to students on college campuses in the United States after Russian tech giant Yandex (YNDX.O) and online food-ordering company GrubHub (GRUB.VI) agreed a multi-year partnership, Yandex said on Tuesday.
Sometimes described as Russia’s Google, Yandex offers a raft of services, from advertising and search to ride-hailing and food delivery. It began testing autonomous delivery robots in 2019 and already operates at some locations in central Moscow and in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Yandex did not disclose the financial terms of the partnership.
“We are delighted to deploy dozens of our rovers, taking the next step in actively commercializing our self-driving technology in different markets across the globe,” said Dmitry Polishchuk, CEO of Yandex Self-Driving Group.
Yandex’s delivery robots will join GrubHub’s platform, with the service to be made available at select college campuses this autumn. GrubHub partners with more than 250 college campuses across the United States.
“While college campuses are notoriously difficult for cars to navigate, specifically as it relates to food delivery, Yandex robots easily access parts of campuses that vehicles cannot — effectively removing a major hurdle universities face when implementing new technology,” said Brian Madigan, vice president of corporate and campus partners at GrubHub.
The technology behind Yandex’s delivery robots is the same that powers its self-driving cars.