The 2016 Dostoevsky Day UK

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To mark the 150th anniversary of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime & Punishment, the inaugural Dostoevsky Day UK (DDUK) presents a programme of activities exploring the life and legacy of the beloved and universal author. The 2016 DDUK is supported by University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies (UCL-SSEES), Barbican Centre, Bloomsbury Theatre and the Likhachev Foundation in Saint Petersburg

The inaugural Dostoevsky Day UK is dedicated to UCL-SSEES late colleagues and friends, Professor Emeritus Isabel de Madariaga and the Poet Cameron Bain / the logo & poster were designed by Zuzana Pinčíková.

The opening event will take place on 11th November 2016 (on Dostoevsky’s birthday) at the UCL Bloomsbury Studio. It will start at 10 am, free-admission. The morning programme of the DDUK consists of a screening of the documentary Fyodor Dostoevsky (2006 Video), from the series Great Russian Writers, by Kultur International Films. This screening will be folllowed by the premiere of a theatrical monologue Raskolnikov, which was especially created for our event, by the English actor Jonathan Curry. The afternoon session will be at UCL-SSEES from 3.00-5 00 pm. It consists of a presentation about materials regarding Dostoevsky in UK libraries, focusing on Crime & Punishment by three main members of COSEELIS (Council for Slavonic and East European Library Services).

In December 2016, to complement the Inaugural Dostoevsky Day UK, Barbican cinema has created a special programme: Dostoevsky in Film, with the following screenings:
Sat 3 Dec 2.00pm Crime & Punishment (15) USSR 1970 Dir. Lev Kulidzhanov 200 min.
Sun 11 Dec 4.00pm The Gambler (PG) USSR 1973 Dir. Alexei Batalov 99 min.
Sun 18 Dec 2.00pm The Brothers Karamazov (15) USSR 1968 Dir. Ivan Pyrev 220 min.

As the curator of the Inaugural Dostoevsky Day UK (DDUK), I feel honoured to have been chosen for the prestigious Likhachev Fellowship in Sant Petersburg, Russia. In 2016, the Likhachev Foundation of St. Petersburg, Russia, announced its ninth open competition for the Fellowships in Russia program. When founded, this was the first Russian program of this kind, supporting cultural visits by foreign intellectuals (and remains the only such program). Participants of the program work on important cultural initiatives, with the ultimate aim of increasing knowledge of and interest in Russian history and culture among non-Russians. The Program has several partners including; Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, CEC ArtsLink. Additionally Fellowship alumni from the years 2008-2015 helped disseminate information about the Program and raise interest. This program is designed for foreign professionals in the field of arts and culture who currently work on creative projects on (or related to) Russian culture or history; such projects are designed to help spread information about Russian culture among a broader foreign audience.

The 2016 Fellows were selected from a pool of over 170 applicants from 50 countries who participated in an open competition. The group of fellows includes 9 professionals from Italy, South Korea, the UK, and the USA. Each fellow had his/her program individually tailored according to the project and professional interests. The organizers of the program are the Likhachev Foundation and the Presidential Center of Boris N. Yeltsin, acting with the support of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg, who organized and provided the main financing for the program, with additional, significant financial support from the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg.

The Likhachev Fellowship is the only one dedicated to the arts and culture in Russia. The name of the Academician D. S. Likhachev (1906-1999) is symbolic for the 20th century Russian culture. A Russian intellectual, survivor of the Soviet Gulag, a great scientist and thinker, a popular figure, he managed to preserve under the totalitarian regime his integrity, honor, and fealty to Russia. In the 90s he became a moral gold standard for many Russians. During his late years D. S. Likhachev conceived the idea of a humanitarian charitable foundation. The idea was implemented after his death. The D. S. Likhachev International Charitable Foundation was founded in St. Petersburg at the end of 2001. The mission for the Foundation had been stated by D. S. Likhachev himself as promotion of the Russian culture, education, humanities as well as affirmation of democratic and humanistic values in the society. The foundation supports both regional and international programs, awards grants, promotes seminars and conferences, publishes books, etc.

I am very grateful for the Fellowship because it allowed me to focus completely on my research while I was in St. Petersburg. By bringing me to this city, by organizing a practical program of activities and providing me with access to experts, centres, and collections on Dostoevsky, the Likhachev Foundation enabled me to immerse myself completely in the world of Dostoevsky’s Saint-Petersburg, to literally walk in his and his literary characters’ footsteps, and gain a proper knowledge and understanding of the historic conditions of Dostoevsky’s creative process, when he wrote Crime and Punishment.

We arrived in St. Petersburg on May 9 for two weeks. We visited (according to each individual projects and schedules) the city’s cultural organizations, archives, libraries, and museums, as well as meet and consult with experts and cultural figures of St. Petersburg. Other winners of the Likhachev Fellowship – from this year and previous years – contributed to the Dostoevsky Day UK by sharing their own experiences and projects. They suggested names and ideas and created a real supportive environment. I could not have asked for more.

Thank you very much indeed to the Likhachev Foundation, to the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre, and especially The F.M.Dostoevsky Literary-Memorial Museum, my main host.I am also grateful to the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House), the National Library of Russia, the librarians of the special collections and the specialists of the Dostoevsky collections in these centres for a truly unique experience.

 

 

 

 

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Vlad Curator

 

 

 

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