Name: Dmitry Omelchenko
Lives in: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Company: Higher School of Economics
Occupation: Filmmaker, Author and Editor
Loud and Proud. Exploring English Defense League
Documentary by HSE/Omelchenko Director This film, based on almost two years of ethnographic engagement with members of the EDL, tries to understand this dissonance between internal and external interpretations of who the EDL are and what they stand for. 'Not racist, not violent, just no longer silent'. This chant rings out from protestors at the English Defense League (EDL) demonstrations every month. EDL members explain again and again to the researchers that they are 'not racist' and are angered and frustrated by the shouts of 'Nazi scum' that emanate from counter-demonstrators as they march through city streets trying, as they say, 'to get our message across' using the only means they have 'to be heard'. The image of the movement in the media and broad sections of the public, however, remains steadfastly that of a 'far right' party with Islamophobic if not more broadly anti-immigrant and racist views. And EDL members, including their former leader 'Tommy Robinson', admit that people holding such views can be found at demonstrations and at the fringes of the movement.
"Precarious Inflexible Workers in Lisbon, Portugal"
Documentary by HSE/Omelchenko Director Precários Inflexíveis was born as a social movement, with an aim of fighting labour market precariousness. Precarity, especially among youth, has been one major theme of debate in Portugal, and can be defined by the lack or inexistence of employment protection, or even a contract, along with the obligatory low wages. One of their main objectives is to "build a collective identity based on precarity", so that people can begin to be aware of their status as precarious workers who are not alone in this situation. This group is also focused on fighting the Portuguese government's austerity measures, which have exacerbated precarity and sustained mass youth unemployment, with the eventual objective of building a new social order.
Straight Age. Anarchists
Documentary by HSE/Omelchenko Director The film "Straight Age.Anarchists" was created by the team of research center "Region" (Ulyanovsk, Russia), and Center for Youth Studies (St. Petersburg, Russia) for international European project MYPLACE (Memory, Youth, Political Legacy and Civic Engagement). The first part of the film narrates about the anarchist movement in St. Petersburg. Anarchistic consolidations that arise in different parts of Europe tend to become the most radical protest movements both in Russia and in other countries. Tradition of secrecy, cultural isolation and radical forms of activism evokes an atmosphere of suspense around the anarchists. In this film we talk about the anarchists in the first person, showing their everyday life from the inside. The film covers a variety of current forms of modern anarchist scene: from anarchistic organizations to affinity groups and "chaots" and exposes different and sometimes contradictory logics of its participants -- punks and straight edgers, activists and sympathizers, leaders and followers. The film is a continuation of a case study of anarchists, which was conducted in the period from February 2012 up to now. Fieldwork included interviewing, observations and collection of video/photo archive, which includes recordings with punk/hardcore festivals, rehearsals, flats and other important locations and events. The film about anarchists is the first part of a series of films, that tells of youth activity in its various manifestations.
Our former Nashi. Pro-Kremlin movements
Documentary by HSE/Omelchenko Director In this film we talk about the opposite (in political and social sense) to anarchists youth movement manifestations but "Nashi", also covering the whole question of the pro- Kremlin youth associations. The government at certain point realized that if young people are not purposefully engaged in political and social activities, there will definitely be people and forces of other vectors on which it will develop itself, and it is not always practical in terms of holding on to power in the future. Therefore the State began to unite the most active and purposeful youth under several names, promising them a career, knowledge, access to information and access to fame, sometimes though questionable ways in terms of ethics.
New York Film Academy