Cultural diplomacy in 2019:
international festivals, world tours, exhibition exchange, cross-border cooperation projects, the Year of Theater in Russia.
Cultural diplomacy in 2020:
cancellations, postponements, TBA… online!

It is difficult to overestimate the value of culture in an international context. Projects in the field of art unite people and help them find a common language, promote the exchange of knowledge and experience. For many cultural initiatives, even the closed borders is not an obstacle. On the Day of European Cooperation, which is celebrated for the tenth time this year, we tell about the digital residents of the Culture Online web portal who have successfully implemented online cultural projects of international importance.

“Russian-German Music Academy online – for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II”
Winner of the international Culture Online Award 2020
Author: RCCR Projects GmbH

“Russian-German Music Academy online – for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II” — two films and four concert streams – has gained more than 4 million views and has received special attention from political and diplomatic circles of Russia, the United States and Europe. In the empty concert halls of Berlin, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russian and German classical music  was played along with masterpieces related to the theme of World War II by composers from the other countries.

The broadcast was preceded by opening remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, his German colleague Heiko Maas, and the ambassadors of the United States, the European Union, Great Britain, Germany and Russia — a message of peace and unity in a difficult situation. Valery Gergiev, Denis Matsuev, Elizaveta Boyarskaya, Martin Wuttke, Elena Stikhina, Vladimir Varnava and other artists took part in the project.

“Under the pandemic conditions, making films for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II was not an easy task: all concert halls were closed, musicians from all the countries were separated,” says Nikolaus Rexroth, Artistic Director of the international cultural organization RCCR Projects. “It took a huge effort, and what is more important, the desire of both sides – Russian and German – to make such films and streams, to show how important is to remind the whole world at that exact moment that people of art unequivocally stand for peace and must do everything so that the horrors of war never happen again. For this purpose, concert halls were opened in Berlin, Moscow and St. Petersburg in order to record individual musical acts in compliance with all the rules of the pandemic, and a unique film “Together in Difficult Times” was created. We were able thus to create a kind of “bridge” between Russia and Germany. This is an unforgettable and the only event in the world that  united outstanding Russian, German, French, English, American, Israeli and Japanese cultural figures on the Memorial Day of May 8, 2020.”

Cultural Capitals
by Cultural Capitals in cooperation with Europe4youth

The Cultural Capitals international project brings together cultural circles of Poland and Russia. Artists from St. Petersburg and Krakow reveal the individuality of these two cities.

“Not a competition, but an interaction” – that is the concept of the project. Art unites different cultures. It is a universal international language, understandable in every country. Artists share their experience of living in cultural capitals (St. Petersburg and Krakow) within the framework of the project. Meetings, Instagram chats, workshops, and exchange platforms are organized especially for the participants.

The Cultural Capitals project started in July 2021 and will last until the end of December. Visitors will be able to enjoy exhibitions in November 2021: at the Pushkinskaya-10 Art Center (St. Petersburg) and the Forza Center (Krakow).

“I hope young artists and aspiring professionals will appreciate our contribution to the cooperation between Poland and Russia. We have a lot in common, actually. As for me, I am concerned about the disunity of Russia and other European countries. Someone has to take steps. In our case, we solve several problems: we give the opportunities to the young,” says chief project coordinator Kira Sandina.

“Stalingrad in the history of Great Britain, 1942-1945”
By the Stalingrad Battle Charity Fund

307 cities and settlements of Great Britain sent humanitarian aid to Stalingrad during the war. Who? How? Why? The project invites residents of these cities to find an answer to these questions together.

“Stalingrad in the History of Great Britain, 1942-1945” international project continues successful practice of the Stalingrad Battle Fund in implementing projects in the field of public diplomacy.

This practice is distinct for the combination of traditional forms of people’s diplomacy (exhibitions, round tables) and innovative forms of “electronic people’s diplomacy” relevant and effective in today’s conditions. The Internet and social networks create limitless opportunities for direct dialogue with citizens of foreign countries, for their active involvement in joint Internet projects aimed at establishing and developing friendly contacts through civil society.

The project reviews the history of relations between Stalingrad and British society in 1942-1945 as a history of solidarity, friendship and fruitful cooperation between the two nations.

Dmitry Belov, President of the International Stalingrad Battle Charity Fund says about the project: “Ideas of nations about each other are often false, stereotyped and politicized, and intercultural projects allow people to be closer, to understand each other better, despite the differences in language, culture and political system. This allows us to assess each other’s past and present more objectively, to consider the history of our city and country on an international scale and without subjective distortions and falsifications.”