Nailia Allakhverdieva

Nailia Allakhverdieva (*1978) has been the art director of the Museum of Modern Art PERMM since 2014. She is one of Russia’s leading specialists in the integration of contemporary art with the urban environment and public spaces. She graduated from the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Department of Cultural management and the Ural State University, Department of Art History and Cultural Studies. Naila is a member of the Association of Cultural Managers. In 2013 she was awarded the prize for Best Curator (The Sergei Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Awards) for her exhibition “The Face of the Bride: Contemporary Kazakh Art”. Since 1999 she has been designing and implementing public art projects. In 2009 the Festival of Contemporary Art on concrete walls “Long Stories of Yekaterinburg” was awarded the State Prize in the field of contemporary art innovation. Since 2010 she has been leading Russia’s first integrated public art program at the Museum of Modern Art PERMM. Curated exhibitions (selection):  “Illuminators”/ “Иллюминаторы“ (an international exhibition project in the open spaces of the International terminal of the ” HYPERLINK “” Koltsovo” airport, Yekaterinburg, 2008); “I love P” / “Я люблю П”; “The Face of the Bride: Contemporary Kazakh Art”; “Transition Zone”/”Транзитная зона” (the first exhibition in Russia introducing street art to a museum).


The aim of this public art program was to visualize the culture policy that was actively declared during the so-called ‘cultural revolution of Perm’. The program was implemented in Perm in the period 2010 to 2014 as an initiative of the PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art.

Within the time frame of three years, a large amount of art objects emerged on to urban spaces. The program’s objective was to promote contemporary art. Thanks to the official support and lobbying by the local authorities, the artists were free both in realising their projects and selecting presentation spaces. This was followed by an active and often polarised reaction from city elites and representatives of different regional authorities, resulting in a broader discussion reaching far beyond the region of Perm. The program as such became a phenomenon at a national level, being the first example of the systematic integration of contemporary art into the urban environment.

In my speech, I will analyse the circumstances leading to events of conflict at the periphery of the program’s projects and both the outcome and reactions to the later freezing of the program due to the change of political powers in the region.