“Gorod inache” (from Russian – “The City otherwise”) is a research media-project about modern Irkutsk. Our authors are the people of different age, occupation and background. Most of them do not have any experience in social research, yet are able to wonder and keenly observe the city. We reckon that this genuine curiosity and willingness to work are sufficient for carrying out their own research with the help of the project team. The outcomes of this work are displayed on the website in two languages.

Would you like to become a contributor to the project or share an idea for collaboration?  Please contact us:


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Our goals

1. Creating a platform for research publications on modern Irkutsk and an opportunity of team-based research

2. Revealing, shaping and developing the interest in the current life of the city – both among the city dwellers and those willing to learn about it from outside

3. Forming a project community willing to get to know Irkutsk better and ready to work on new collaborative projects

Basic principles


Irkutsk is traditionally seen as a historic city, which is why great attention is paid to its past. We consider this attention even somewhat excessive, because the view turned to the past and referring to the former splendour of the merchant city and the imperial capital of Siberia gets in the way of modern Irkutsk being noticed and understood.  This is why we focus on the city today and its daily life. The value of history is not denied, however, we are more interested in the role of history in the city, not the city in history.

Emphasis on the city

Speaking about Irkutsk, the project chooses to keep silent about Baikal. The lake located sixty kilometres away from the city has become its main landmark but the curse of the resource at the same time. Irkutsk has become overshadowed by the lake. We would like to fix that and fish the city out of the famous lake to show its self-sufficiency, beauty and fascination – not only to those who visit it but also those who live in it. Naturally, Baikal may be of interest for us in case it allows to tell more about the city.

An understanding strategy

We are trying to get away from straightforward assessment, from pointing out what is good or bad, and do not set a goal of immediately re-forming everything. It Is essential for us to understand how the city is structured, the way it is changing, the way people live in Irkutsk and how they feel about it, how they communicate and how a person masters space and time in the city. Our strategy is understanding. It is exactly the understanding that can result in real communication and mindful changes, useful for the city.

Team effort

“Gorod inache” is not an individual but a team statement. Obviously, each material has an author, but they get help from the project team, other contributors and experts – specialists in different areas, people of different generations, living in different places.  Developing each topic works according to the principle of collective lab: friendly participants interested in the results discuss, ask questions and suggest their ways of solving the task. Such format allows to learn from each other, and diversity of the views brings freshness and depth. Finally, work at “Gorod inache” is a constant creation and expansion of the contributors team, joint search for new ideas and their realization

Exploratory approach

The main section of the project is “Research”. Speaking about research we do not mean academic papers (although such papers will appear on the website in time). We raher mean the so called “stalker” approach – interest, attentive look, willingness to get a deeper insight. In the framework of the project research is experiencing the city through defining a topic, posing a research question and searching for the answers. Sometimes the author is ready to offer conclusions, sometimes they end up with a new vision and new questions. We do not imagine “Gorod inache” without art exploration either, since such endeavor is capable of capturing what has not been articulated yet or cannot be given the wording  in essence.

Attention to a human being

There is too much of big politics, big ideology, big conflicts and pompous events in the world. Daily life of a human being, i.e. our life, can hardly be seen behind all these giants. And this is exactly what appeals and matters to us – people’s habits, their view of the world, way of life, dreams, relationships with the city and each other. To us, attention of one human being to another is a chance to understand one another, get along and learn to live in unity.   The same principle – attention to a human being – applies to our work on materials for the website. Experience and knowledge received by our authors and experts (and us along with them) are as essential a part of the project as the publications on the website.

Autumn seminar — 2016

Experimental project “Gorod inache” came up as the result of collaboration of an international team. An independent group “Gorod inache” including social researcher Mikhail Rozhanskiy, journalist Elena Korkina and sociologist Irina Koryukhina were working on the project on Irkutsk part. A non-governmental organization Froh! (Sebastian Pranz, Klaus Neuberg, Fabian Weiss) specializing in adult education and media projects represented the European part. In summer we created the conceptual foundation of the project, followed by a two-week workshop in the autumn of 2016 when we developed a current version of the website.  The first participants of “Gorod inache” have been selected on a competetive basis. Eventually 17 contributors were working on their small projects.

Irkutsk authors had three and a half months for that, Europeans had two weeks. Content created by the first formed the “Research” section, while the latter contributed to the “Impressions”. Apart from working on their own projects, the authors were getting onto the creation of the website and attending workshops and lectures devoted to managing video, photo selection, digital layout and basic methods of research. By the 20th of December all nineteen works will be published, as the first stage of the project will be completed. Still, “Gorod inache” is not finished at that: we are now working on the new research, and in 2017 we will go real through exhibitions, excursions, lectures and research schools. Check for updates and explore Irkutsk with us.


Froh! e.V
Journalismus ist gesellschaftliches Engagement. Der gemeinnützige
Verein Froh! e.V hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, gesellschaftliche
Gestaltungsprozesse anzustoßen und entwickelt journalistische
Formate, die Diskurse über Werte eröffnen.Presse

Eingetragener Verein beim Amtsgericht Köln
Vereinsnummer: VR 18316
Steuernummer: 217/5955/1960

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