Whilst in Moscow, I was keen to learn and explore in depth what it is like for a Russian student studying media in Moscow. To compare, contrast and ultimately to gain an insight of teaching methods and skills they intend to learn during their degree process.
On the 29th April, I was fortunate to meet with 2nd year student, Lena. I had the pleasure to be given a tour around her beautiful faculty that included 2 computer suites, television studio, lecture theatres, printing rooms and language rooms for the students to broaden their bilingual talent, and in most cases, over three different languages: key for modern businesses within the media.
I was intrigued by what was available for the students here at the Faculty of Journalism, other than the spectacular museum-like rooms filled with technology Mac suites. Lena informed me that during second year, similar to Coventry University, the students are able to narrow down their subject into what they want to study such as TV/ Sound & Music or PC Web Design. Despite these technology driven courses, the students were unable to loan out equipment, which made me much more grateful for the ‘Media Loan Shop’ that we have based in Ellen Terry.
I asked if, seeing as her Faculty was so closely located to Red Square, being so close to a tourist filled area puts her off working in this beautiful location and if she gets fed up with the tourist attraction.
“I don’t think I could ever get tired of the attraction of Red Square and St Basil’s. We often use this space as an area to study, revise or to do group work. Even just to relax and let time pass by until our next lecture…”
If only the Hub in Coventry had its very own Red Square to relax in!
I explained to Lena about the work that I do for Source Media, (Radio and TV) and she was confused to why I would be involved in the Radio, as to her amusement, in Russia the Radio is mainly listened to by the older generation. However, a similar aspect to Coventry University’s Source, Lomonosov have a student newspaper that I was given – even though I will struggle to read, which Lena thought was very humorous as well.
Being actively involved in Coventry University’s Ladies 1st Hockey Team, I was interested to know if their University was enthusiastic on sport or even competition, such as our event ‘Varsity’ against Warwick. Lena explained that the most popular sports her friends and coursemates were involved in were only volleyball and archery. Sport was not seen as competitive as it is in Coventry and around the Midlands.
Finally, the trip to Moscow would not have been possible if it was not for IEMS financially backing the placement. I was interested to know if Lena had anything like this similar or if she was able to go on a placement. Sadly, there is not much financial backing available however the students are able to go on placement opportunities similar to the ARASMAS/ LEONARDO course here at Coventry University. Lena was excited to inform me that she is planning to go on a 1 month placement to Spain after graduating and is currently learning Spanish already in order to prepare for this opportunity.
On my second day in Moscow, 30th April, I had organised to meet with 3rd year student Ksyenia, also studying at the Faculty of Journalism. I wanted to gain an insight of what it is like to be a 3rd year student, especially as my final year at Coventry is approaching very quickly!
Ksyenia took me on a beautiful tour around the city, as we strolled down the boulevard, we began to discuss Russian film and television. I asked what was her favourite Russian programme, at this Ksyenia gave me a surprised look and said quickly,
“If I am to watch a programme it will only be from America or England… I enjoy watching BBC Documentaries, far more informative and engaging than any from Russia!”.
It was clearly apparent that she did not approve of Russian media, even songs and bands she described as poor and preferred American artists. I suggested was this simply because of the Westernised influence and she replied,‘…Yes but also because we do not have good enough music for the young generation here..’
As we continued to walked up to Moscow’s finest and popular Cinema, Ksyenia informed me that this is where film opening nights are presented and filled with celebrities, who only show their face to these events and keep themselves to themselves. Unlike London’s fan filled square’s when a new film is released!
I wanted to know more about why Russian films were not as engaging as American or British. Ksyenia explained that a new comedy was recently released but it just was not funny. Actors that were used even included Snoop Dog, who should have attracted the younger generation, but instead made them turn their noses up at it.
As we carried on walking, now towards the Bolshoi Theatre, we entered a part of Moscow’s richest area. Instantly the women here seemed to be untouchable, celebrity-like. I wanted to know why they have put so much effort, as to me they seemed to be over the top with materialistic clothes and pristine hair and makeup. Ksyenia honestly confirmed that,
‘…The men here in Russia are no longer perceived to be as ‘handsome’ as they once were. Women are now competing with each other for the most appropriate and successful male. Its sad really.’
This intrigued me. I wish to explore this area in more detail and have now altered my Moscow Project. I am going to research further into Neo liberalism Feminism and the works of Vallery Steel in order to write a detailed report on my findings in Russia.
(Hand in date for our Moscow Projects- 20th May)
Kino Pravada – Film Truth.