CO-PRESENCE

Neighborness as transnational co-presence: «Finnishness» in a Russian town
and «Russianness» in a Finnish town

This subproject is focused on transnational neighborness on the city scale. In this case,
neighborness is understood as relatively brief, but constantly recurring co-presence of nonresidents and locals in the public space of the city. Examples of such neighborness are
«Finnish Saint Petersburg» and «Russian Helsinki» — here, to a large extent, non-residents define
the logics of use and meanings of these urban spaces. Such co-presence can take various forms, from the sharing or parallel use of urban spaces to «tourist gentrification». This
re-shaping changes the logic of life and the infrastructure of specific urban places or districts,
creates reasons for claiming «the right to the city» or develops tolerance for
the others in the city environment.

The suggested subproject aims to describe «Finnish Saint Petersburg» and «Russian Helsinki.» Its main goals include identification and description of routes and practices that non-residents use in the abovementioned cities. We are interested in temporary practices of use — touristic,
commercial, entertainment, friendship practices — anything that is not related to long-term
stay. What are the meanings attached to them? How is interaction in these spaces
organized? How controversial (or conflict-free) are they? And also, what are the advantages
and disadvantages of such spaces compared to similar spaces in home cities or other places of
residence? What opportunities do they represent, and what restrictions do they impose?

The second case in this subproject is Imatra and Svetogorsk (to be done in connection to
EVERYDAY OF THE BORDERLANDS)
Working group: Oksana Zaporozhets (HSE, Moscow), Olga Brednikova (CISR).