Smena Center of Contemporary Culture is an independent project established in 2013. It regularly hosts contemporary art exhibitions, lectures by important art and science figures, screenings of programmes of international film festivals, presentations of books and public projects, concerts and major city events creating the focus of the cultural life of Kazan.
Smena is intensively promoting the subject of local history and new ways of representing the knowledge about it. This activity was launched by the Iskra festival in 2016 and later supported by the biannual intellectual literature festival and the Rudnik International Documentary Film Festival. The Center implements this mission by the activity of the independent publishing house of the same name which deals with little-known cultural and historical subjects connected with Kazan, Tatarstan and the Volga region. Books of the Smena publishing house are distinctive in the fact that they establish a balance between the local context and contemporary art practices. Local identity is reflected by means of contemporary art. Prominent and well-known Russian artists are welcomed to work on books. Among them are Irina Korina, Arseniy Zhilyaev, Anton Chernyak, Alexander Sigutin, Sveta Shuvaeva, Pachom, ZIP group, EliKuka and many others.
As part of Cosmoscow, the Smena stand features original illustrations produced by selected artists. The presentation of the Center is further enhanced with has a sound component consisting of audio fragments from the illustrated books.
The publishing programme of Smena supports one of the main ideas of the Center. According to that idea, Kazan is not only an object of research but also a place where new and unexpected meetings are possible. Kazan is perceived as a starter for dialogue between the local community and contemporary artists contributing to the emergence of new experiences and new knowledge about the city and the people living in it.