I make an expedition to the Permian period every day
The head of the project «Discover the Permian period!», The main curator of the Museum of Perm antiquities, head of the department of natural history in the Perm Regional Museum. Graduated from the Faculty of Geography of the Perm State National Research University with a degree in environmental management and from the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences with a degree in Culture Management. Winner of the «Ambassador of the Perm Territory» award.
- The strength and energy for further work give me my home and the understanding that we all at some time will become bones.
- A museum is a data bank, a bank of meanings, it is a story accessible in different ways.
- We love dinosaurs because they are inexplicable, but they are close to us.
- In the most difficult moments, a person turns to the everlasting things: he looks at the stars, at the burning fire, at the skeleton of the mammoth.
I was born in Perm. Mom is associated with culture, dad with nature, and as a result, I am a story at the crossroads of nature and culture.
I have always loved geographic maps: it's so complex and multi-layered story! If we took any map and began to describe it in words, it would be as big as the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. I really like this concentrated encrypted format.
My research advisor of my first study at the university, Georgy Voronov — whom everyone loved not only because he had curly hair, and he was the grandson of Genkel, but also because he was a man of great depth, — recommended me in 2009 to go to Department of Nature history at the Perm Museum of Local History, which at that time was in the process of moving to a new building. Since then this is my first and only place of work.
From the vast hall, where there was nothing but a thick layer of dust and twenty sealed boxes, the Museum of Perm antiquities turned out. Its origin and development is an interdisciplinary team history, and sometimes it is even embarrassing for me that I am its face: a tremendously talented team works here.
It was very fortunate that the formation of the Museum of Perm Antiquities took place on the wave of the Perm Cultural Revolution: this wave immediately brought us to an understanding of the need for a competent design of the future museum space. Modern design is not about decoration, but communication, it is not the color of the walls and the arrangement of dinosaurs on the flat, but the way of telling a story. A story of what a geological time scale is, that man is a small part of the history of the development of the Earth, and before us, there were another 4.5 billion years, etc.
Mankind is now at a point when it must understand that it is responsible not only for the past but also for the future. We are doing a big and important project in the museum called «Welcome to Anthropocene!». In 2016 at the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, the world scientific community for the first time approved that mankind has become a powerful geological force, and its activities will remain in the layers of the Earth, even if it will completely disappear at the same moment as a species.
The Museum of Perm antiquities is a tiny tree that has released branches in different directions and has sprouted into the hearts of many people. We understand this because the very moment we start defusing any part of our activity, a storm of alarmed calls and messages immediately arrives. Apparently, there is some spirit of charm, openness... But in general, the museum is the door to eternity. In 1943, at the height of the war, in our local history museum, the nature department was first of all reinstated: so that people could come and see what does not change, despite all the social upheavals and wars.
When in 2010 the Museum of Perm antiquities was still only a two-month project at the Perm I train station, we realized that we want to form a community of those who will grow together with the museum. Then we came up with the Children's Paleontological Conference. We don't put any filters for works: despite the fact that 95 percent of children who participate in this action will become neither paleontologists, nor scientists, here, in a natural science museum, they will receive a systematic world view that will allow them to be very stable, to understand what time and space are, to be able to talk about phenomena of different scale.
In 2011, I enrolled in the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, which many people know as Shaninka on behalf of its founder Theodore Shanin. At that time, all those who formed the museum map of Russia were either graduates of Shaninka, either worked in it or were ready to come to study in a year or two. This training formed my field of professional competence and allowed to switch the internal scale not only to geological but also to planetary. Then I saw and realized that the museum field all over the world very sensitively responds to the demands of society. The museum is now not only changing but also ready to be one step ahead of the less agile, less plastic institutions. It is essential that the museum still has a resource of authenticity, a resource of collections and a resource of the fact that it actually stores the fleeting memory of humanity.