KAZAN: "My idea was to move away from the typical Russian cafes with their glamorous and pretentious designs, forced courtesy and water pipes (hookah). Our cafe is from recycled materials, my friends helped and we designed it ourselves,’’ said Ildar. A freelance journalist, Ildar opened a co-working cafe because he enjoyed making coffee and wanted a place to work. ‘’I killed two birds with one stone by opening this place. I sometimes work there as a barista, sometimes I am writing articles or editing photos and video.’’ However, regular cafes are more popular than co-working spots. ‘’I understand that local freelancers are seemingly still not ready to work in the same space alongside unfamiliar people.''
ULAN-UDE, EASTERN SIBERIA: Elvira, 16, is a high school student in Ulan-Ude. She said she would like to become a journalist and hopes "to travel and write about people's lives." She said she has never been abroad and would like to visit England.
CHITA, EASTERN SIBERIA: Alyona, 19, works part-time as the receptionist at Chita's only old-school barbershop while attending university. She said she is studying journalism, wants to write about sports, but feels she has little opportunity to do that in a small town. "There are few interesting subjects here to write about, so I would have to leave to Chita to work as a journalist." Alyona said Novosibirsk has more opportunities and that several friends and acquaintances from Chita have moved there. I asked Alyona, who practices the drums and goes to the gym 3 times a week, why she decided to work. She said she needed moneyto fly to Moscow (six hours) to attend a concert by the group Louna, an alternative rock band. She wasn't sure if she would be able to go.
Igor, 28, was walking in the center of Ulyanovsk wearing a winter hat with the portrait of Nestor Makhno, a Ukrainian anarchist who fought the Red and White armies during the Russian Civil War.
A journalist for a local pro-government newspaper, Igor said he also owns a shirt with the portrait of Stepan Razin, a Cossack rebel that fought the Tsarist government.