Cultural Administrators as Creative Workers: the Case of Public and Non- governmental Cultural Institutions in St. Petersburg
Despite the increasing number of studies devoted to creative professionals, there are still many topics, which remain understudied. Among these topics there is interconnection of professional labor and cultural institutions of which labor conditions are framed. Furthermore, while much research has been devoted to the UK, other regions or global concerns have gained little attention. This article concerns creative professionals in post-Soviet Russia. It offers an overview of the field of cultural institutions in St. Petersburg in relation with the cultural administration and the professionals working for it. In particular, this study points out to the public sector in the Russian cultural production and new non-state institutions founded by young entrepreneurs and activists, which have constantly to struggle for recognition and support of the city’s administration. Based on fieldwork conducted in St. Petersburg in 2012-2014, the empirical study includes 26 in-depth interviews with cultural managers, employees of art-centers, lofts, creative spaces, museums, theatres. The research items here highlighted are concerned with the peculiarities of the institutional environment arisen in Russia as regards the creative labor in public and non-governmental cultural institutions. It is discussed whether the post-socialism system presents a ‘luckier’ medium for a ‘good’ creative job than that of advanced capitalism.