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Monthly Newsletter - May 2014

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Cultural Diplomacy in UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014

Learning Russian enhances brain functions

The London Maths Olympiad ”Vertical”

Kolomna Pastila in London

Russian Art Week in London

 

Cultural Diplomacy in UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014

 

By Theodora Clarke

 

Over the past few months Russia has been dominating the headlines. The British press has documented the furore over recent controversial ‘anti-gay propaganda’ laws, the Winter Olympics and now the fraught political situation in the Ukraine. Russia’s foreign policy over Crimea has now over-shadowed the sporting achievements in Sochi. As America and the EU impose sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian individuals, the diplomatic crisis threatens to escalate relations between our two countries.

Yet at moments like these, when political relations are tense, soft power steps up to play an essential role in communication between nations. Culture, science, sport, and education provide strong links between countries, becoming ever more vital when diplomats find it difficult to find common ground. Culture can provide a platform for cooperation and allow important channels of communication to remain open.

The UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 therefore presents a significant opportunity to ameliorate relations. Russia and Britain are famous for their distinct and renowned cultural figures and a rich cultural heritage. Each county has produced world-renowned composers, artists, authors, actors, and designers. The cultural year will build on this tradition, provide a platform for further development and create a legacy for future collaborations.

During 2014 a rich programme of ballet, literature, visual arts, theatre, and cinema is being presented in both countries to celebrate our cultural ties. The Russian programme in the UK will feature an unprecedented number of exhibitions, concerts, festivals and events, culminating in a celebration of Russian space exploration in the form of the Cosmonauts exhibition at the Science Museum in November. The Victoria and Albert Museum will be showcasing Russian avant-garde theatre designs, whilst a major retrospective of the radical artist Kazimir Malevich will be held at Tate Modern. The bi-annual Russian Art Week will also be providing a host of related concerts, talks, exhibitions and, of course, Russian art sales at the major London auction houses in June and November.

Our British exports, organised by the British Council, include performances by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, an exhibition of Wedgwood pottery, and the first major retrospective of the Young British Artists in Russia. One of our most iconic contributions to film will be celebrated in 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style, whilst screenings of Alfred Hitchcock films will take place in Moscow.

With such a wide programme of events, the cultural exchange will reach vast numbers of people, developing awareness, enjoyment, and understanding of the positive elements of our two great cultures. After the closing of the Sochi Paralympic Games, the torch has now passed to culture to maintain international cooperation. Let us hope that the year of culture will help us to build positive relations between individuals and institutions to aid future projects.

Theodora Clarke is Editor of Russian Art and Culture (www.russianartandculture.com ) and organises Russian Art Week (www.russianartweek.co.uk) 30 May- 7 June 2014 in London. For further information on the Year of Russian Culture in the UK read the preview magazine here.

 

Learning Russian enhances brain functions

 

 

It is commonly known that Russian is not only the official language in the Russian Federation, but moreover also one of the official languages in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and furthermore also broadly used in Moldova, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and many more. If you are capable of speaking the language as a business or individual you are enabled to operate on an enormous, significant market.

 

Nevertheless there are more advantages to learning Russian then simply the number of Russian speakers you can reach. According to a variety of studies, one of them being conducted by the University of Lund in Sweden, researchers have found out that learning another language supports the growth of different regions in our brain. Supposedly the growth of those regions depends on the knowledge you have gained in that specific language. If the participants in the research put more effort and work into learning the language the effort would generally result in a higher growth rate of the brain regions stimulated. What does that mean for you? Well, if you put effort into studying Russian for example, your brain will be stimulated and as a result you will find it easier as you go along.

But that is not all: Not only should learning languages support a positive influence on the advancement of the brain, but also slow down development of the Alzheimer illness.  

Isn’t that reason enough to start or to put some extra focus into learning Russian?

 

 

Events

The London Maths Olympiad ”Vertical”

 

 

Application Deadline: 9th of May, 2014

All 9-16 year olds are invited to take part in the first London Maths Olympiad!! If you love math puzzles and brain-teasers, love solving original problems and tasks, that's the competition for you. All participants are to compete within 3 different age groups:

9 – 11; 12 – 14 and 15 – 16 y.o.

 

Contestants will face problems in numeracy, logic, geometry and general acuteness. There will be two rounds of the Competition:

 

1st round (in absentia, via email) will take place on 6-9th May, 2014. All tasks to be distributed and all the responses to be collected by e-mail. Participation in the 1st round is free of charge. The qualified participants will be invited to take part in the 2nd round of the Olympiad which will take place at the Pushkin House in Central London. The date of the 2nd round is preliminary scheduled for the last week of May. The administrative fee for participation in the 2nd round is 10 Pounds. All participants will get certificates, and winners will get diplomas and prizes.

 

For further information:

e- mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,

mobile: 07900550581

Irina Dribinskaya, Olympiad organizer

 

Kolomna Pastila in London

 

 

What is Pastila?

Pastila is a traditional apple delicacy born in the town of Kolomna that has been at the very heart of Russia for nine centuries. Kolomna is a traditional apple place, and Kolomna Pastila is a medieval way of preserving the excess apple crop in a natural way without any flour, fats, starch or conservatives. The healthy treat was loved by the whole of Russia, therefore people call it simply “Russian Pastila”. A selection of several Kolomna Pastila varieties will be available at 7-8 Conduit Street, London.

 

Storytelling and tasting experience

 

When? From 25 April till 5 May, starting from 4 pm

Every day from 4pm stories will be told about each variety, guide you through the process of pastila-making and talk to you about the Russian Caravan, that brought tea to Russia back in 1648. “Tea and Pastila” is a joint project of Kolomna Pastila and Apple Orchards and East India Company.

This historic delicacy - Kolomna Pastila – will enrich the collection of Fine Foods of the East India Company not only with new tastes, but also with new stories about ancient Russian Tea Caravan, genius tea lovers such as Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, traditional tea ceremonies and ordinary life in a small town of Kolomna in Russia.

 

More information on their website

 

Russian Art Week in London

 

Russian Arts Week

(image courtesy of Bonhams and Russian Art Week)

 

When? 30th MAY- 6th JUNE 2014

 

The Russian Art Week is a major new event in the arts calendar in the United Kingdom. The project was set up by the online magazine Russian Art & Culture in cooperation with major auction houses and galleries. During this week there will be a broad variety of performances, exhibitions and auctions held in London. The exhibitions showcases topics reaching from “Russian peoples, customs and traditions trough European eyes” to “City lights”, from modern art to traditional one – it is up to you to find out what you like best!

Take a look at their calendar to make sure you are not missing out on the events offered

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