On the synthesis of culture and business: Section "Folk Art and Intangible Cultural Heritage"

Traditions becoming a fashionable trend and a prerequisite of successful business: crafts will be seen as a creative industry, a synthesis of culture and business, and folklore – as a source of new ideas in music at the VIII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum. 

This year section “Folk Art and Intangible Cultural Heritage” will combine a variety of events, issues and academic debates: from the influence of folk music on great composers up to incredible cases of revived original crafts and their successful new life within a modern business model. 

Creative Economy for Conservation of Traditions

The IV Saint Petersburg International Craft Congress taking place on November 14–16, 2019, will be a key event of the section “Folk Art and Intangible Cultural Heritage”. This year the program of the Congress is subdivided into three areas. The first one is to discuss opportunities for development of creative industries, folk arts and crafts in Russia. Participants of the discussion include representatives of Ministriy of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Culture, as well as craftspeople and businessmen who will demonstrate their own projects. On November 15, the First Russian-Japanese Creative Economy Forum will take place in the framework of international cooperation, where creative economy is considered a synthesis of culture and business. It is based on human creativity and intellectual labor. Powerful cultural expansion of Japan is a vivid example of creative industry's efficiency; it allows involving small and medium entrepreneurship into business, and creating solid family businesses to develop local economy, and keep people in their native places. The third area will show a new view of traditions, specifically opportunities for creative business based on traditions to preserve intangible culture.

Alexander Turgaev, Head of the section “Folk Art and Intangible Cultural Heritage”, Rector of St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture, emphasizes: “The main goal of our section is to guarantee continuity of traditional Russian culture and develop cultural innovations. Education in field of culture is a national treasure of our country that allows preserving professional arts at the highest level. It is highly-demanded by the society as a kind of education that combines education, training and personal development. Meeting the needs of citizens in education and spiritual development, as well as preservation and development of the unique education programs we have in place in Russia for musicians, performers, directors, choreographers, artists and culture workers, will be the topics to focus on at the events of our section,” Alexander Turaev said.

Over 350 participants from 6 countries and 38 Russian regions will take part in the IV Saint Petersburg International Craft Congress. Business people who have achieved success in development of fol craft enterprises are among them: Yulia Muzyka, Head of RUSTRENDS Project, and Anton Georgiev who has revived a unique Krestetskaya Strochka factory.

In the framework of the Public Flow workshops, a concert of ethnic music and the opening of “My Young Russia”, the exhibition of folk arts and presentations of special projects, such as “Pro Crafts” and “Cultural workshops for multi-child families to study folk arts and crafts” will be held at the Craft Congress. 

Folklore as an Ancient Worldview

In the framework of the Forum the Russian Institute of Art History will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the folklore sector. Over this time ethnomusicologists, instrument historians and folklorists have formed a scientific base to explore intangible cultural heritage. During their numerous expeditions they have recorded ancient songs and music played with traditional instruments in Russian regions to study them later from the point of ethnomusicology, ethnography, sociology, linguistics and acoustics. Thus, folklore as an ancient layer of culture has become a source of great historical information about peoples of Eurasia. 

Izaliy Zemtsovsky, Professor of the University of Berkeley (USA) who stood at the origins of the folklore sector of the Russian Institute of Art History, a great scientist and teacher in field of music, an outstanding folklorist and one of the first ethnomusicians in Russia, a groundbreaker in theory and methodology of music, will speak at the conference “Traditional Culture: Music, Dance, Theatre, Ritual”. 

The Conference will gather together unique folklore experts from all across the world. Ulrich Morgenstern, Professor of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Austia), will tell about his Russian harmonica researches, and Taira Kerimova, a folklorist from Turkey – about the influence of Turkish folklore on Mozart's music.

Discoveries of the Festival

Folklore means living traditions which is annually demonstrated by the International Folk Song Festival&Contest “Kak Na Rechke Bylo Na Fontanke” (“As It Was on the Fontanka River”). This year the Festival will start on November 11 to last until the end of the VIII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum. Participants will visit a workshop on carol rituals of the Belarusians from Podlaise given by Dorofey Fionik, a Polish ethnographist and historian, and a workshop on Karlovy Vary songs by Lubora Hanka, a Czech folklore consultant of the UNESCO. Alexei Gvozdetsky, an Associate Professor of the St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture, will demonstrate Old Russian sacred songs. Both the Festival and work of the section of the Cultural Forum will be concluded with a premiere. Composer Sergey Slonimsky, People's Artist of the RSFSR, will present a vocal-instrumental scene “A Memory of the Russian Village” performed by a folk vocal ensemble accompanied by a flute, a fagott, a straw-fiddle and a tambourine. Musical forms and patterns used as a basis for this piece were collected by students and teachers of the St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture during their ethnographic expeditions.

Contest auditions will be held in the framework of the Festival, as well as creative meetings and a concert of the Skomorokhi Chamber Orchestra of Folk Instruments dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the ensemble. 

Registration for participants of the Professional Flow of the Forum will be open until October 20 on the website.

Registration to Public Flow events will open on October 1, and last until November 16. Admission to events of the Public Flow is by a free electronic ticket that can be downloaded in your Personal Account after registration on the website.