William Nickell, Assistant Professor in Slavic Languages and Literatures, was featured in The Washington Post's recent, front page article on Sochi, site of the 2014 Olympic games. Nickell is currently developing Sochi in Six Dimensions, a digital cultural mapping project that will chart Sochi's "transformation from a model Soviet city into an elite resort and Olympic site." According to the article, Sochi was once famed for its sanatoriums, where workers could partake in trade union-sponsored rest cures akin to those enjoyed by the aristocrats. With the Olympics approaching, Sochi is now being turned into a resort town, which Nickell describes as “Russian Dubai, with high-rise residential apartments and an elite resort, more like a contemporary spa than Soviet sanatoria.”
Sochi in Six Dimensions aims to "capture all of these layers, with particular attention to the projection of this new, elite city over the surface of the former egalitarian and proletarian one." Read more about the Sochi mapping project here.