Redesigning cultural identity in Euro-Arctic Russia | Intellect Skip to content
Arctic Fashion
  • ISSN: 2040-4417
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4425


The starting point for this article is project conducted by the non-governmental organization Arctic Art Institute in Arkhangelsk, Russia, in 2019–21. The project team digitized archives of the crafts factory, Belomorskie Uzory (‘The White Sea patterns’), for the first time and through art-based participatory research revealed the existing challenges of the industry, communicating marginalized knowledge and creating new social choreographies. The case of reviving tacit knowledge and re-creating narratives in the context of the hypercentralized knowledge production of Euro-Arctic Russia is discussed in the article. The rapid modernization of the first half of the twentieth century led to radical changes of everyday life, including the disappearance of tacit knowledge, erosion of memory and cultural identity of northerners. In 1968, during Khrushchev’s ‘ottepel’, a crafts factory Belomorskie Uzory opened in Arkhangelsk with the goal to document and restore decaying crafts and fashion design from Euro-Arctic Russia. In the article, I discuss the case of the factory in light of decolonial and ecofeminist theory with a particular focus on fashion. The project shows that art-based participatory research strategies stimulate dialogical relations between the factory and young fashion designers and artists, leading to the revitalization of communities in the North.


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