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The centre for Contemporary Culture "Smena" was opened near the railway station in 2013 in a brick building which was previously used as a hayloft in the 20th century. It includes a gallery, a lecture hall and a bookstore. The bookstore itself contains over 10 thousand books by independent Russian publishers, many of which are difficult to find in larger chain stores. Since 2017, "Smena" is also home to Divan café, Siyanie - a vinyl store, Qullar - a local design studio showroom, and a shop of paintings by local artists. "Smena" regularly hosts contemporary art exhibitions, festivals, concerts of independent musicians and popular science lectures. One of the most popular events at "Smena" is the book festival that takes place in Kazan twice a year: in winter and in summer. The festival includes a book fair with the participation of dozens of large and small Russian publishing houses and bookselling companies. "Smena" also pays special attention to the festival’s educational program: famous Russian and international art historians, scientists, researchers, writers and publicists attend this event every year to read lectures and host discussions.


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