The Russia Project of the Open Society Foundations strives to promote and strengthen public life and civil society in the Russian Federation. Through a network of partners, the project supports innovative independent initiatives that fall under two primary priorities: expanding public space in Russia and spotlighting Russian voices in global debates.
The Russia Project seeks to expand public space in Russia by increasing opportunities for public voice, in a variety of venues and formats. We support platforms ranging from ongoing spaces for public debate to innovative uses of digital media to film festivals that promote participatory discussion. Our goal is to foster broad discussions on underserved themes, such as historical memory or the complex relationship between Russia and Poland. Particular attention is given to the regions, as well as to the revival of the university as a public space in civic life. The project also funds the development of online platforms for stimulating public engagement and providing access to information not otherwise available in mainstream media. These include analytical news websites, video debates on contemporary topics, and public archives on the Soviet past.
In addition, the Russia Project helps civil society actors achieve a more effective public role for their activities. It supports the use of innovative approaches to reach new constituencies through, for example, digital media, strategic communications, social marketing, and documentary film. We also fund programs that contribute to the professionalization of the third sector as a whole.
Our priority is also to identify meaningful global contexts for Russian intellectuals, activists, and practitioners to increase their international impact. Working with partners in Russia and abroad, the project funds programming that can deepen international collaboration and inspire Russian participation on global issues. This includes various convenings, workshops and conferences, exchanges of scholars and researchers, short-term internships, and the creation of international cultural and academic networks.