Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts



Views of the Pushkin.Youth participants on archival evidence of the museum's life during the Great Patriotic War collected by researchers.

For the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, the Pushkin Museum launched the Other War online project about the way the museum survived in the years of the war. Website specially made for the 9th of May consists of two parts: "Facts" and "Views". 17 participants and 4 curators of youth programs, designer, researcher and 3 IT specialists worked on the project.
In the first part, users will be able to take a virtual tour of the main exhibition of the Main Building, moving from present days to the past. Stories of the workers who fought for the preservation of the museum building and its funds are told by archival documents, personal diaries, letters and photographs.
In the second part of the project, participants of the Pushkin.Youth programs share their impressions of the testimonies of the tragic events of the XX century and a personal view of the museum history. Here you can find texts, videos, audio recordings and other materials prepared by youngsters from 15 to 20 years old.


How to come up with an outstanding online cultural project?

We have 16 authors for this project and a good team should come up with an idea together. It is important to keep from trying to implement any concept immediately (even the one that seems quite successful at first sight). Spare no time to speak about what really matters in a chosen topic to every author. Discussing each other's thoughts and scripts suggested helps to find connections that will gradually form a general concept. Such polyphony will later allow each viewer to find something of their own in the final project. You can even work through the modality where pictures, numbers, sounds, texts are the keys to different channels of perception.

What hidden pitfalls should be kept in mind?

It is important to avoid imposing your emotions on each other, nor on the reader or viewer. Treat carefully the stories of the people being told about. Viewer shall be able to easily separate a fact from an author's opinion. The fact shall be presented and "packaged" in such a way that it was easy to understand or to feel; it shall be concise but in no way simplified or left aside. Showy and striking package cannot replace the content, so it is important to keep in mind why we are doing this. And to have an answer to every of these questions: why? why us? why exactly this? why now?

Why do we need projects like yours? what is their value to people?

Such projects are designed to make an abstract and impersonal chronicle more substantive. To do this, you need to try to understand and to feel the numbers, facts, fragments of phrases, and then to invite others to do the same. When we know what is behind a document, a photograph or a quote, their content becomes clearer to us causing a poignant reaction and staying in your memory for a longer time.