Smena Modern Culture Centre

Yegor Aleyev/ТАSS

What is today a culture centre was built as a hay storage in the early 1900s, and remained a warehouse for decades thereafter. The Smena Centre, which opened on December 7, 2013, marked its opening with a two-day book fair. Indeed, the culture centre started as a bookstore, serving as an outlet for independent publishers. The place still sells some rare books: fiction, poetry, non-fiction, coffee-table books, and serious scientific tomes. The book fair is now an annual event. In addition, Smena constantly holds art exhibitions, running the gamut from Naivisme to art installations, including photography and graphic arts, not to mention lectures, concerts, plays, debates and movie nights, which are also frequent. There is something new on the programme every day, e.g. a group of young authors from Moscow, expounding the idea of "Partisaning," or a group of local scientists giving a talk on quantum physics, drawing hundreds of listeners.