Festival of Slavic Cultures Opening

On 1 June the Festival of Slavic Cultures opened for public at the Library for foreign literature. The celebrations will continue for the whole week. It is supported by the Department of national policy and interregional relations of the city of Moscow, ANO Cultural Centre of the Library for Foreign Literature and other our all-times partners.

This year the Festival is devoted to the 15th anniversary of the Forum of Slavic cultures, which unites all Slavic countries and presents culture, science, art, creative heritage as a part of the world’s cultural treasure. The Forum supports international cooperation development, strengthens cultural connections between nations around the world and provides a bright and clear presentation of Slavic history.  Thanks to its efforts various projects have been implemented, such as the publication of ‘100 Slavic novels’ book series and the foundation of ‘The Živa award’ for the best Slavic museum.

It is symbolic that the very first Slavic Cultures Forum’s representation was founded here at the Library for foreign literature. On the opening day of the festival the director of the Forum  Andreja Rihter congratulated the library on the occasion of this great celebration.

The welcome speech was given by Vitaly Suchkov, head of the Department of national policy and interregional relations of the city of Moscow.

‘At present we are proud of the ambience in the capital. We hope that with the help of the Centre of Slavic cultures we’ll be able to continue the national policy strategy we have taken’.

The head of the Library for foreign literature also congratulated the audience on the 15th anniversary of the Forum of Slavic cultures.

‘There are lots of the events and projects initiated by the Forum in its member countries. Of course, we are especially glad to have our library as the Forum’s platform’.

All the other noble guests, too, greeted the audience and wished the Forum and the Centre of Slavic cultures to continue with its productive work and interesting projects. Among them were Branko Rakovec, the ambassador of Slovenia in Russia, Maja Foretić Pećnik, the minister-counsellor of the Embassy of Croatia embassy in Russia, and Alexandra Golubova, director of the Russian-Polish Centre for dialogue and agreement.

All day long on various library venues there were meetings with Slavic writers and culture figures, lectures, concerts, workshops and language classes. Our foreign guests gave a number of talks on literature and culture of their home-countries. Famous Russian writers also attended the event. At the Book Club of the Library Andrey Astvatsaturov and Elena Chizhova presented their new books, ‘Don’t feed or touch the pelicans’ and ‘The city written from memory’ respectively. One of the central events was the discussion between Alexey Yudin (philologist and culturologist) and Olga Slavnikova (writer).

The mini-festival ‘Slavic cultural routes’, which took place at the Centre of Slavic cultures, provided a great opportunity to find out about interesting places in Russia, Slovakia, Serbia, and travel routes of women writers of the 20th century.

Traditional public readings, where everyone could read aloud a passage from a book, were a huge success. This time the participants were reading ‘The Tale of Tsar Saltan’ by Alexander Pushkin, who turned 220 this year. The tale was read in Russian, Slovenian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Croatian, Spanish, Dutch, Macedonian and other languages.

‘The third Festival of Slavic Cultures is focused on three anniversaries: Pushkin turning 220, Gogol turning 210, and Slavic Cultures Forum’s 15th anniversary’ — Yulia Sozina, director of the Centre of Slavic cultures.

The image of a country would certainly not have been complete without its national music. Library’s Atrium was hosting performances of traditional Slavic music. In the evening guests had a chance to enjoy the concert of Sergey Voitenko, a famous Russian musician and the founder of ‘Bayan Mix’project.

The Festival organisers prepared various exciting workshops for children and adults who learnt how to model on a pottery wheel, knit marine knots, weave on an authentic loom.

Those, who for some reason missed the Festival’s opening, still have a chance to experience its wonderful vibe– the Festival will continue for the whole week till June 8th. We will have more interesting guests – writers from Serbia, Poland and Belorussia (Danilo Jokanović, Maciej Jastrzębski and Olga Bazhenova) – and exciting meetings, lectures, concerts.

Translated by Anna Minakova