The first Cultural Capital arts festival to take place in Irkutsk


On June 5-7, the first Cultural Capital arts festival will be held in Irkutsk to mark the City Day. The festival will provide new opportunities for cooperation between two cities, Irkutsk and St. Petersburg, serving as a cultural bridge between them, and will make it possible to demonstrate achievements in various spheres of contemporary Russian culture: music, literature, visual arts and cinema.

The Cultural Capital festival has been organized by the Baikal XL festival center in Irkutsk, the Edelweiss learning center, the Nevsky 24 art gallery in St. Petersburg with support from the administration of Irkutsk and EuroSibEnergo, the largest private power company. Key objectives of the festival include enabling ongoing cultural exchange, promoting St. Petersburg’s sophisticated culture in eastern regions of the country, maintaining the status of Irkutsk as a unique historic center of Russian culture in Siberia and the Far East. The festival is also aimed at creating a favorable environment for developing creative initiatives of all generations, facilitating professional communication, establishing partnerships and launching joint art projects.

The program of the first Cultural Capital festival includes unique projects which have never before been presented in Irkutsk, such as an exhibition of paintings by a famous art group Mitki; retrospective screenings of the best works entered for competition in Erarta Motion Pictures, an international festival of short films about painting; exhibitions, installations and workshops by the most prominent representatives of the St. Petersburg school of lomography and video art. The Cardboardia community will organize a three-day street performance in the Main Square of the Modny Kvartal shopping mall (a partner of the festival), in which the guests of the festival may participate. Citizens will take part in creating the Cardboard City, a space filled with creative energy that is central to a real cultural capital. The musical part of the festival will include a performance by the Horn Orchestra of Russia and a concert featuring Surganova i Orkestr and Torba-na-Kruche, rock groups from St. Petersburg.

Anatoly Boroznenko, head of the Baikal XL festival center in Irkutsk: The Cultural Capital festival has been designed primarily as a festival of ideas, where cultural and social events serve as a sort of proposals for developing a contemporary city. Most events are aimed at using the city space in a creative, efficient and environmentally friendly manner and finding opportunities for participation in the life of the city. This is a festival that views the city as a single creative space. When selecting participants of the first festival, we sought to draw up a program that would include highly original and impressive art projects from the northern capital that do not yet have a considerable footprint in Siberia. Thus, the festival is supposed to serve as a platform not only for displays, but also for learning and exchanging expertise and ideas. In the future, Irkutsk, in its turn, will also present its unique culture in St. Petersburg.

Vyacheslav Solomin, acting CEO of OJSC EuroSibEnergo: We are happy to take part in this unique project, as one of its key ideas is to shift the focus of cultural development from the west to the east of Russia, which is entirely consistent with the direction of EuroSibEnergo’s development. It is in Eastern Siberia that the Group’s economic and talent potential is concentrated; therefore, we seek to promote comprehensive development of the region. A festival of modern creative ideas will make it possible not only to demonstrate the achievements of Irkutsk and St. Petersburg in various spheres of contemporary Russian art, but also to arrange ongoing cultural exchange, create an environment for professional communication, establishing partnerships and launching joint art projects. This is crucial both for the image of Irkutsk as a unique historic center of cultural life in Siberia and for the status of Russia’s cultural capital enjoyed by St. Petersburg. Undoubtedly, this is a kind of festivals that should become ongoing cultural forums serving to preserve the country’s heritage. I am glad that this bridge linking two cultural capitals has been built.

Press service of the Cultural Capital festival

May 15, 2014
View printable page