Azerbaijan prepares an exciting Guest Country program

Representatives of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which received the honorary Guest Country status at the IX Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum, started working on an extensive range of events that seek to demonstrate the wealth of the national culture and art.

At the 2018 Forum, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan signed a joint statement regarding the award of this special status to Azerbaijan in 2020. This status will help further increase cooperation between the two countries and foster further mutual enrichment processes between Russia and Azerbaijan. The statement signed by the two countries underscores the importance of this project in Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation in the sphere of culture which testifies to the friendship between the two cultures. 

Russian and foreign participants of the Forum are in for a busy program prepared by the Republic of Azerbaijan. Speakers from Azerbaijan will take an active part in the business program of the Forum, including the discussions of the Open Lectures Culture 2.0, screening of Azerbaijan films, presentation of the puppet exhibition, a concert of the symphony orchestra in Shostakovich Academic Philharmonia of Saint Petersburg, “Love Legend”ballet by Arif Melikov, Azerbaijani composer, and People’s Artist of the USSR in Mariinsky Theatre and a gala concert of the Folk Dance Ensemble.

Another memorable event will be the opening of the Azerbaijani Hall in the State Hermitage Museum. The new exhibition will present various cultural artifacts from Azerbaijan that are kept in the museum collection. The Russian Museum of Ethnography will also present its own renewed Azerbaijani Hall. 

Of special interest to the culture community is the planned exhibition dedicated to life and work of the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi. The exhibition will present the materials dedicated to the 800th anniversary of the poet, which was celebrated in 1941, on the 42nd day of Leningrad Siege, during the Great Patriotic War. Another planned event is the performance of music by the Azerbaijani composer Faraj Garayev by the Baku Chamber Orchestra.

Among the most anticipated events are a literary recital, participation of Azerbaijani artists in Jazz Across BordersForum & Festival and other projects that will introduce the participants of the Forum, residents and guests of Saint Petersburg to colorful cultural traditions of Azerbaijan.

The Guest Country status will help improve partnership relations between countries, search and find new opportunities for cooperation, cultural exchange and active dialog. Preparing for the Forum, the Guest Country forms its own program, which includes discussions and cultural events with participation of internationally famous activists and experts in culture and arts, as well as creative teams and performers. One of the tasks of the Guest Country at the Forum is to implement the ‘culture for people’principle, introducing the culture of a Guest Country toaudiences through the events of the Public Flow and the festival program. 

In 2020 the special status of the Guest Country was also awarded to the French Republic, where the Russian Seasons international project is taking place this year.

Last year, in 2019, the honorary status of the Guest Country of the VIII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum was granted to the People’s Republic of China. The official delegation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the PRC was headed by Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism of PRC Zhang Xu. The official program presented by the Guest Country included panel discussions and roundtable discussions on education, cinema and cultural exchanges, concerts, performances and an exhibition of contemporary art. 

Please note that the program is subject to change. Follow the news on the website of the Forum at