The Story of Prospekt: Chapter One

From left to right: Darina, Natalia, Elena and Ida.
From left to right: Darina, Natalia, Elena and Ida.

It all began two years ago in September 2014. The affectionately-dubbed GCIJ, the Global Communication and International Journalism double master’s had brought us together. St Petersburg hosted the first leg of this eventful adventure. We all had come from different countries and backgrounds, had different ideas and expectations, but we were all curious to explore the Northern Capital in the best possible way – reporting.

A student blog, Now Or Neva, was initially launched but soon the project lost momentum and we lost motivation. But then along came a ginger Australian with a brilliant plan. “Why don’t we make something more than just a student blog?” Richard Ensor proposed and the Prospekt Magazine was born. Now Richard serves as the deputy news editor in The Economist, but back then in Russia he was digging the story of the legendary St Petersburg techno club Tunnel – one of the first stories published on Prospekt Magazine.

The comfortable coaches of Kvartira, a cozy cafe on St Petersburg ‘s Kadestkaya street, soon became our headquarters. Thanks to the efforts of our visual guru and WordPress magician Elena Campos the logo and website of Prospekt were born. We kept in contact with our readers through our social media, managed by energetic Darina Gribova. Ida Reihani, cider and craft beer expert and simultaneously the most strict and on point editor, kept Prospekt’s content free of any possible mistakes. Occasionally, our editor-in-chief Natalia Smolentceva had to use “sticks and carrots” to bring together all those bright minds.

Numerous contributors have helped this small team to shape Prospekt Magazine. We wrote about political protests and homeless people in Russia, St Petersburg’s underground palaces and its music scene, its hidden museums and best spots to go out. In every text we tried to go beyond the surface and tell a short story about Russia and life out there. We took our readers to the biggest Russian flea market and shared the top coffee places in town with them; we tried out their knowledge in numerous quizzes. We explored and showed Russia through its cuisine, literature and movies.

It was a challenging and exciting journey. And we had lots of fun in these two years!

Now it is time to move on. As we have graduated from the master’s program, we now live and work all over the world again. But Prospekt Magazine lives on in St Petersburg. We hand our beloved project over to the new editorial team. You will hear from them very soon!

Thank you for being with us!


Prospekt Magazine team

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1 Comment

  • Hi Darina, Natalia, Ida and Elena,

    What a great farewell article to your readers as your group goes off into the world! Congratulations to everyone on completion of your studies, and thank you for your writings and insights for the last two years.

    Everything your authors wrote became a small part of my life too, being the mum of that red-haired Australian you wrote about. I love history so I knew the grand histories of Russia and Saint Pete’s, but not the small histories and nothing about everyday life and people.

    Prospekt gave me a precious view of where my Richard lived and studied and skated and drummed and pyshki’d, that may be a new word. Thank you everyone! Welcome to the new authors and I look forward to reading a Prospekt built on your superb foundations,

    Every good wish from me,

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