• Metamorphoses of My Satka

Another season of the architectural festival had come to an end in Satka. Both foreign experts and volunteers who care about the city’s look took part in the festival. They joined their forces and added some interesting facilities to the city over the past few months.

Large-scale changes began this year since May 21. Providers of My Satka Festival invited architects, designers and street artists from Russia, Italy and Switzerland. A lot had to be done this season: putting to rights the things that were created a year ago and implementing fresh ideas. Festival curator Egor Larichev does not conceal: participants ventured to tackle more large-scale projects, and it was a right decision.

Now, all or almost all festival participants have photos with sphinxes. The wooden figures on the festival sites symbolize coming changes which will affect the city environment of Satka.

A concrete dolmen appeared on the city pond embankment: Swiss designer Dimitri Bähler, with the help of volunteers, decorated the wall with dolomite and magnesite mosaic. The wall subsequently transformed into an unusual public transport stop. Mosaic technique was also used in another stop of the city. Its sketch was offered by Moscow artist Maria Volokhonskaya.

Then man-size vases were installed on the embankment. The authors – Swiss designers Adrienne Rovero and Christoff Fuad – designed the vases to resemble blast furnaces. Due to CEO of the botanic garden of the Chelyabinsk State University Vera Merker, the giant flower pots received “inhabitants” – trees which are highly adaptive to the Ural climate.

So-called Ruina – an abandoned place near Magnezit Cultural Center left after demolished residential house – became another festival site. Moscow architect Igor Aparin from Kontora bureau tackled the Ruina. Wooden pallets, wire mesh and large-fraction rock – and the site becomes a place for mass city events. The Ruina can be easily transformed depending on the format of events. Neighbour’s Fair and the photo exhibition of the Swiss architect and photographer An-Lor Le Sha were already held here. The Ruina also hosted the Fantasy street art exhibition. To surprise of the audience, works of fifty modern artists were exhibited open air.

This year, My Satka Festival was coordinated by Sobranie Cultural Initiative Supporting & Preservation Fund, the municipal government, Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Moscow. However, an event of such level would be impossible without contribution of dozens of volunteers and their teachers. Together, they proved that everyone can change ambient space for the better. That means than My Satka Festival will certainly return in 2018.