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India & Russia Russia with Ajay Kamalakaran

Enrico Garff

Robert Owen Emmanuel Cherki Hipstory Radio Taiffa Indialucia

SOCULTURES MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2018


SoCultures November 2018

Editorial Welcome to November! November is here! That auspicious time of the year, when the weather starts to cool and fallen leaves look like works of art in mellowed delicate sunshine. There is a festive glow before the arrival of Christmas, Diwali, and New Year...and it has begun to brighten up smiles on the faces of children, flowers like Orchids, Pansies, Roses, Lilies and the surroundings... November is also the time of pale sunlight, sweaters, coats, snow, warm socks and thick soups. There are many important days which fall in this month – World Kindness Day (Nov 13), America Recycles Day (Nov 15), to World Peace Day (Nov 17) and many more. And SoCultures feels that all days are beautiful and it’s also the time of the year when we can add more beauty to these quickly passing by times. SoCultures Magazine November 2018 and its featured stories wish to add more meaning, creativity and inspirations to the beautiful days. The Christmas cakes and Diwali savouries waft the familiar earthy, salty, sweet aromas all around. The intermingling outlandish aromas of cinnamon, freshly baked apple pie cake or coffee are delicious and full of warmth. SoCultures has ample “Food for thought” to relish in this November issue. The stories from Russia, Mexico, America, and France are sure to fill in the reading hours with smiles, thoughts and insights and we recommend reading with a hot cuppa of coffee  and our story on Russian breads in “Breads! Slices! Story!” Russia is a country with rich past and great culture and this month issue has the Cover Story on Russia. We invite you to take a metro ride and praise the opulent décor of its metro stations in “Opulent and Palatial”, know more about the grandeur of Russian heritage in theaters, in a story titled “Russian Theater.” Experience the real Russia in “Russia Beyond the News”, a detailed interview with Ajay Kamalakaran, the celebrated, globetrotter author and journalist, who shares his views and experiences of Russia. 2


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There is an eclectic mix of supercharged interviews with the dynamic personalities from the world over. SoCultures is more assured that the different people, places and cultures make an interesting read. All the stories are presenting varied perspectives, views, attitudes and cultural landscape. The detailed and insightful interviews with the legendary artist Enrico Garff, Founder of Radio Taiffa, Ponxo Taiffa, , Indialucia band, ace photographer Emmanuel Cherki, and Body Painting artist Robert Owen are insightful and interesting.

Make the world a better place!!! With this belief, SoCultures watches with glittering eyes the whole world with you and it assures us to believe in its magic.

SoCultures

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Contents

Editor: Rakhee Kaushik

Email: soculturesstory@gmail.com

Website & magazine Design

Amit

Marketing

Rachit K.

Advertizing

Sagarika and Shrey

For any inquiries, please visit soculturesstory@gmail.com, socultures9@gmail.com Founder SoCultures Media & Events

Rakhee Kaushik

While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information published in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.

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Contents Cover story

russia

Russian breads are as varied as our lives... Bread! Slice! Story! Pg Explore Russia with Ajay Kamalakaran Russia Beyond News Pg7 The most loved travel route in Russia…The Golden Ring Pg67 The museums present history so magically Majestic Museum Pg58 Russia and India continue their glorious friendship Russia in India Pg…50. Theaters, stories and methods of acting...Russian Theater Pg 45… These Russian metro stations are simply breathtaking Opulent n Palatial Pg 22

Culture Curators

Read stories of people from around the globe who continue to inspire us… Enrico Garff shares his artistic sensibilities and some beautiful memories The world of Garff Pg73 5


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Contents These photographs about mundane life create complete stories …..Captures! Pg 107 The fusion of cultures and music with Indialucia Fusion Music Pg100 Why the music needs no language, tells Ponxo Taifa about his music venture..Music of Universe Pg84 Robert Owen explores artistic inspirations in paints, nature, photographs, real models…Body Painting Art Pg91 Cultural innovations These leaders are cool and love fashion Hipstory Pg118 Cultural ManageMent Encouraging new as well as old talents, Sala Dante from Spain shows us HOW…Sala Dante Pg128 Culture Café SoCultures had a chit-chat over a cup of coffee with the people from around the world to discuss cultures, and the so much more that matter in the world… Culture Café Pg134

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India & Russia RUSSIA BEyONd ThE NEwS! wITh AjAy KAMALAKARAN

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India & Russia RUSSIA BEyONd ThE NEwS! wITh AjAy KAMALAKARAN

SoCultures is curious to know about Russia. Russia! As a country beyond the headlines! How is it to live in this beautiful country and feel the breeze wandering around, eat Borodinsky bread at a bakery in Moscow or read a book in a library? And to know Russia as real as it is, beyond the regular headlines…. We ask several questions to Ajay Kamalakaran about almost everything in Russia. He is an international journalist and writer based in Mumbai, India. He is the author of two books about Russia. He was also RBTH’s Consulting Editor for Asia. His first work of fiction 'Globetrotting for Love and Other Stories from Sakhalin Island' was published by Times Group Books in 2017. Ajay speaks fluent Russian, French and Italian, and a few other European and Indian languages. You have lived in both the countries – India and Russia. Can you tell us what are the most vibrant and interesting factors in their respective cultures? Any similarities? While India’s ethnic and linguistic diversity is well known around the world, many people are surprised to find out that Russia has one hundred and sixty different ethnic groups. Ethnic Russians form eighty one per cent of the country’s one hundred and forty five million-strong population, but the sheer diversity among the remaining nineteen per cent of the population can be mind-boggling. This is reflected in the country’s architecture, cuisine, art and crafts, and even to an extent in its musical traditions. Like India, Russia has also absorbed foreign influences and made them her own. The Russian cultural space is essentially Eurasian, combing the best elements of East and West. The same country that has produced the great classical music

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India & Russia composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky also has some of the largest and most stunning Buddhist monasteries in the world. Russia and India also have great literary traditions and the countries have produced literary icons who now belong to all of humanity, such as Alexander Pushkin and Rabindranath Tagore. Tell us your day-today life in Russia. What do you remember as sweet memories? I have lived in Russia over various periods of time, enjoying life both in the Asian end of the country, as well as in Moscow. Living in a small town like Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the Sakhalin region (north of Japan) was a great opportunity to explore the great outdoors. The city is surrounded by temperate forests and has a large central park that borders a deeply-wooded mountain range. Winters provide a wonderful opportunity to go cross-country skiing, ice skating, and fishing on lakes, rivers and the sea, where the top levels are frozen. Temperatures regularly drop to below minus 20 degrees Celsius, but the buildings are warm. Thanks to centralized heating! Each capital city in Russia has a thriving cultural season in the colder months, with drama theatres and classical music concert venues, as well as some contemporary

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India & Russia forms of entertainment. I would regularly go for such events in the autumn and winters. Moscow is as busy as Mumbai with people always running to get somewhere and the hustle and bustle of life being visible everywhere, but the quality of life in the Russian capital can be significantly better than in most major global cities. It has one of the world’s cleanest and safest (and visually appealing) metro systems. There are also great museums that have the works of Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Manet and other great artists. Not to forget the Bolshoi Theater - stages opera and the ballet! Despite being a big and busy city, Moscow has large and expansive parks that are open to the public. It’s impossible to get bored in the city and I make sure that I enjoy every moment when I am in the city. I particularly enjoy being in Russia in late-June when the sun sets very late in most parts of the country. In cities like St. Petersburg, there is a phenomenon called the White Nights when there are more than twenty hours of daylight. It almost feels like the sun never sets on those days. I treasure such long days and enjoy staying up and enjoying the endless daylight. Few experiences can compare with spending long summer evenings in the northern Russia. Do you think the intellectual-cultural dialogues can be a big catalyst to end the conflicts in the world? I am all for a world without major travel barriers. The more people interact with those from different cultures, the better it is for the world as a whole. Hatred is rooted in the fear of the unknown. If more people travel, cultural barriers and misunderstandings will fade away. Unfortunately we can’t wish away conflicts since there are powerful interests that ensure that the world is in a state of confrontation. Certain countries will always stay in a state of confrontation thanks to these vested interests. People to people interaction can help reduce, hate, fear and ignorance, but the rich and powerful arms lobby will always do what it can to aggravate global tensions. 12


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India & Russia How can we make our young generations more culturally sensitized?

First of all, we in India, have to show greater respect for other cultures and points of view. It’s India’s traditional openness towards new ideas and our ability to absorb the best of what the world has to offer that led to the growth of great ancient civilizations here. India is growing more and more insular every single day. It’s high time that we thought more global. Let school children learn foreign languages from primary school, expose them to exchange students from other countries, help them cultivate a deep interest in both India and the rest of the world. Bring in foreign teachers and encourage our children and youth to learn what the world has to offer. What really inspired you to start a never-ending voyage to understand the Russian soul?

I was partly raised in the United States and knew very little about Russian culture. As a child, I always equated Russia with communism and after the USSR collapsed I didn’t know what to think of Russia. It was only when I met a highly cultured and spiritually evolved Russian diplomat at the Russian Consulate in Mumbai in 2001 that I began to develop a deep interest in Russian culture. This diplomat, who could speak flawless Hindi and very good Tamil, introduced me to the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Nikolai Berdyaev. I can never express enough gratitude to this diplomat for the journey that he set me on. Seventeen later, I am still on this voyage of discovery.

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India & Russia We would like to know more about your book “Globetrotting for Love and Other Stories from Sakhalin Island.� Globetrotting for Love and Other Stories from Sakhalin Island is an essentially a fictionalized account of life in the Russian Far Eastern island of Sakhalin. The short stories are set in the last decade when the island was in the midst of an oil and gas boom. oom. Sakhalin was isolated from the rest of the world for more than three centuries. During the Soviet period, no foreigners were allowed to visit the island. In the late 1990s foreign companies were invited to exploit its oil and gas reserves and this led d to a large number of foreigners moving to the island, and creating the most interesting period in the history of the island. I look at the impact of an oil and gas boom on a place that had previously suffered economically on account of the collapse of the he Soviet Union. Then there is the question of the cultural clash that takes place when many foreigners interact with erstwhile isolated Russians for the first time. The book is essentially a humorous look at Sakhalin of the 2000s. Those who lived on the island at that time had a good laugh reading the book. Others found it to be a fascinating window into one of the most unknown places in the world.

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India & Russia Do you think that Nivkh people of Russia’s Sakhalin Island are slowing moving away from their language and traditions? Indigenous peoples worldwide are moving away from their traditions. There is always pressure from within in indigenous communities to embrace modernity and live like the “rest of the world.” The Nivkh, number less than five thousand, but are still trying to preserve their traditions. I wish luck for this challenging and daunting task in a rapidly globalizing world.

A Nivkh village in the early-20th century By Unknown - photoarchive REM, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8784864

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Anton Chekhov museum in Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky, Russia (It is the house where he stayed in Sakhalin during 1890 By Unknown - photoarchive REM, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8784864

Central part of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. 2009By Btibbets at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 17


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India & Russia You ou have written an article on Russian pianist Aleksandr Scriabin, the famous messiah of experimental music music. Scriabin is the only famous western classical music composer who wanted to stage a concert in India. He actually worked on a major composition for India and wanted to stage an extravagant sound and light performance on the banks of the Ganges. He died in 1915, with his great dream unfulfilled unfulfilled. Russian countryside, nature nature-rich rich villages, rivers, green fields are simply incredible. The twilight in Khabarovsk, Amur river, the dawn of a new day on the Peter the Great Bay, near Vladivostok ar aree things you have described in your writings‌please share your beautiful moments spent there The Russian Far East is one the most sparsely populated places on earth. The region has almost twice the landmass as India, but with a population of just six million on people. Since the nature is so pure in this part of the world, the landscapes are breathtaking to say the least.

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India & Russia The Amur River is known for its biodiversity, and the mountains and the valley surrounding it are home to the world’s largest tigers, as an endangered species of leopards. The area is at its best in the autumn when the leaves change color. The forests and landscapes are a visual treat with foliage that is red, yellow, green, orange and brown. I love the warm and glorious autumn days with their blue skies and cool breeze. It’s a great feeling to just bask in the sun on a cool day and enjoy a good picnic in the forest. As for the Peter the Great Bay, near Vladivostok…it’s an ideal venue for yacht races. I took part in one such race in 2017 and while it can be a bit scary for those who are not used to spending a few days at sea, the experience itself was wonderful. You develop a great amount of respect for the ocean when you take on the elements and compete to win a yacht race. It’s also a great opportunity to meet people from all walks of life.

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India & Russia How do you find modern Russia? Modern Russia is like a giant that has woken up from a deep slumber. After waking up, the giant realized that it was left behind by the advances of the rest of the world and decided to play catch up. Russia is one of the cleanest, safest and beautiful countries in the worl world. d. It’s cities have been completely restored to their old glory, the infrastructure and technology are among the most advanced in the world, the education system is fast approaching the high standards set by the Soviet Union and people are witnessing the kkind ind of living standards and prosperity that seemed unimaginable two decades ago.

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Take a ride in the Russian metros and witness the magnificent architecture of its metro stations. There are beautiful places in Russia .many of them will attract you for their sheer grandeur and amazing beauty but metros of Moscow are opulent, palatial and classy. They have this amazing and incredible architecture which chronicles the history and cultures. Once there, one might feel if they have come to a museum or a palace or an art gallery ...yes, it’s indeed so spectacular. It’s the city’s beating heart…a life line! These metro stations are stunning from inside and outside views. People are introduced to the vibrant, space warping geometric forms, artistic figures, intricate designs, sparkling stars, vast sky...all looking more beautiful with the rhythms of arriving and leaving metro trains. Mayakovskaya Station https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66369784

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1. Mayakovskaya southern vestibule https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1251583

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Komsomolskaya station Chandelier and mosaics upstairs from the platform https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66369818

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India & Russia Every day on a busy day when it’s the peak hour in Moscow, crowds of people pour out into the streets reaching stations in hurry, waiting for their destination trains, entering and leaving the station. Looking at their watches…adjusting to the demands of a busy life... The scene at the metro station is buzzing with all the hustle – bustle…with people of all looks and personalities in colourful fashions and colours can be seen hurriedly walking around. Oh! It’s really an interesting scene at any station —some sipping tea, some reading newspapers, some chatting, some looking worried and some pacing up and down the platform and when the train stamps in, there is huge noise and commotion everywhere. But there is something more to the Russian metro stations apart from this regular scene at a metro station; it’s the stunning art, murals and breathtaking beautiful architecture all around you. And it’s indeed worth talking about.

Metro, Murals and Marvels It’s huge! The Moscow Metro transportation system has earned its incredible status of one of the busiest, beautiful and efficient systems in the world. Sometimes, on weekdays, the number goes up to nine million. There are whooping number of stations - approximately two hundred stations and more than three hundred sixty kilometers of tracks. The great story is that forty four of these stations are cultural monuments. Moscow metro stations’ architecture has almost recreated the history, cultures and heritage of Russia. The visions of the 1930s, the years that stood between the changing times…actually these stations have frozen time. It has elevated subjects like the importance of particular districts and development directions over the years.

Started with Stalin? So the words of appreciations can go on and on..Cause it’s difficult to put in the words the grandiose and magnificence of the arts works and intricate carvings, rhythm and symmetry of designs…but then how did it all start? 26


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India & Russia The planning and ideas about Moscow Metro dates back to the Russian Empire. The construction started in 1931 and when the stations were opened for the public to use on a historic day, it was 1935! The first line of the Moscow Metro was eleven meters long. Lazar Kaganovich! The man behind the Moscow Metro project! He was a very prominent Bolshevik Soviet politician, once a very towering personality in Kremlin politics, and very close to Stalin. He was a staunch Stalinist, his vision to create metro stations was not only super dynamic transportation system but also which will showcase the vision of history and development, cities, cultures all from 1930s to the later times.. He also saw transportation and the organization of war industries during World War II.

Let’s take a ride Mayakovskaya station: Stalinist architecture It’s full of aviation based murals and a perfect example of pre world war II Stalinist architecture. The design elements covey the Futurism and personality of famous Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovskya who apart from being a poet and playwright also become a leader of Russian Futurist movement. The walls are streaking with murals that have Soviet aircrafts as beautiful designs. All around it’s the celebration of sky and the aviation and it’s no less than the mysticism of a star-lit sky or a light blue bright sky with white fluffy patches of clouds scattered all over. It was opened in 1938 and had a spectacular treat for the visitors. A total of thirty four oval niches featuring ceiling mosaics by A. Deineka embellish the walls. And no wonder the beauty of this station has earned it a reputation of one of the beautiful museums in the world. It’s a delight for all the creative, cultural enthusiasts - photographers, artists, sculptors all. The statuesque pillars decked up with steel and pink rhodonites, these massive structures served other roles

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well - air raid shelter during the World War II, anti aircraft command post. There is also a bust of poet Soviet exponent Vladimir Mayakovsky. The Mayakovskya station project also won a Grand Prix at the world’s Fair in New York.

Komsomolskaya station Escalators to interchange tunnel By Mikhail (Vokabre) Shcherbakov from Moscow, Russia https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23659288

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Komsomolskaya (Circle Line) metro station in Moscow By A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons ¡ WikiPhotoSpace) - Own work, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66369728

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India & Russia Komsomolskaya Station: Komsomolskaya station is prominently adorned with dramatic ceilings, cartouches and mosaics of famous military commanders. The theme of the design is the great Russian fight for freedom. The victory over Nazi Germany is dedicated to the southern section of the station, and the theme of post war labour is dedicated to northern segment. It’s said that lead designer Alexey Shchusev designed it as an illustration of a historical speech by Joseph Stalin given on November 7, 1941. After his death, there are eight large ceiling mosaics designed by Pavel Korin who said his inspiration came from great Stalin speech at the Moscow Parade in 1941 This station was constructed to act as a type of “gateway” to Moscow because it is located under the three busiest Moscow railway terminals. Show the grandeur and the pathos of the victory in forms of Russian Baroque," said Vassiliev, pointing to Komsomolskaya station. Today, the station is adorned with eight mosaic panels, designed in the style of ancient temple architecture. They depict famous Russian warriors, commanders, and the leader of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, whose bust is situated at the end of the platform, under an arch covered with gilt floral designs, portrayed giving a speech in Red Square.

Novokuznetskaya Station It’s the pride of central area of Moscow. It was opened on 24th November 1943. It’s located next to “Novokuznetskaya” street which explains the reason behind the name of the station. The architects I Taranov and N Bykova have used Sculptures, bronze casting, smelt mosaic, subtle light lamps which give a unique reflective subtle lighting to the design theme. There are extraordinaire arts, seven octagonal ceiling mosaics by V. Frolov on the theme of wartime history, works of the artists N V Tomsky, A F Zelensky, S. M. Rabinovich, N M Shtamm meticulously describing warriors

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Novokuznetskaya Metro Station By Ludvig14 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

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India & Russia of the Russian Red army in combat with their arts, the Russian war heroes like Mikhail Kutuzov, Alexander Nevskty are also paid tribute in the pink and white marble pylons decorated with cast bronze portraits. The grandeur of ornamentation of the architecture is dedicated to the brave Soviet fighter men.

Avtozavodskaya Station Opened in 1943, the station got its name Avtozavodskaya only in 1956 and its theme has memories and association with the events of the Great Patriotic War in pinkish widening columns. The architect Alexey Dushkin has used tall pillars and walls done in graceful pinkish Oraktuoy marble.

By Ludvig14 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/ index.php?curid=66157697 32


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METRO STATIONS IN ST. PETERSBURG Avtovo It’s a wonder in artistic beauty. All graceful..the grand columns, marble interior, the ceiling of the station is supported by 46 columns, 30 are made of marble and rest of glass People who come to the end of the platform are greeted with a large mosaic mural of a woman holding a child.

Narvskaya It celebrates the different lines of work, occupations, from the Soviet Union. Celebrating and honoring the skills and hard works of doctors, builders, farmers, sailors and many others through stunning haut-reliefs. The station got its name from the Narva Triumphal Gate; it was built to pay tribute to the Russian victory over Napoleon in 1812. Its located outside the station.

Pushkinskaya The whole world knows about legendary poet Alexander Pushkin, who has penned several poems like “Friendship”, “The Drowned Man” etc. This station is named after him and one can see a glorious, outstanding sculpture of Pushkin with flowers laid beneath it.

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Avtovo station Pavilion

Avtovo station https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22706655 34


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India & Russia Design Legacy The magnificent metros its architecture, the murals, paintings, sculptures the spectacular details fulfill its many purposes: commuting people to their destinations and treat them to a visual history of art and architecture.

Pushkinskaya metro station in Saint Petersburg, Russia . By A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons ¡ WikiPhotoSpace) - Own work, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71558339

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BREAdS! SLICES! STORy!

Breads from Kurmaeva By Alshatov2017 [CC BY-SA SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Comm

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India & Russia Borodinsky! Darnitskiy! Rye! Nareznoy Baton! These are the names of Russian breads. These warm, tasty loafs made with grains, flours, nuts and raisins are not only tempting but also a part of the rich history, traditions of the Russian cuisine. There is an old Russian proverb, “Bread is the staff of life.” And it’s indeed true for a Russian household to have a variety of breads on their dining tables. It’s part of the traditions, history, cultures and in a way and also of climate..Earlier in old days, Russians used to bake warm loafs in their stoves at home especially to beat the cold climate. The golden brown, crusty or white breads with divine aromas of cheese, flours, sesame seeds, garlic, and rosemary are actually complete meals. (White rye-type bread) ,

https://commons.wikimedia.org/ w/index.php?curid=597244

They unusually would have breads and loafs as accompaniments with warm soups, traditional drinks like Kvass.or beers. A sacred and a must have on the Russian dining table, these breads and their aromas transport them to the happier times when the whole process of cooking these hearty loafs with a varieties offering from honey coated to cheese filled sometimes cooked on a large rock over an open fire, or in the home stove or wrapped professionally in the canvass packaging in a supermarket…these breads are delicious.

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India & Russia Let’s talk of these different types of breads from Russia as varied as life itself Darnitskiy: It’s also called ‘the black bread’, finds its roots in Leningrad and yes, it’s really historical as it was created in 1930. In Russia, it is called the “Black Bread” though not every time, the colour comes out exactly the black. So, this hearty bread with black brown crumbs with homely and heavenly aroma is pr prepared epared with rye and wheat flour. Usually the yeast is not used but Zakvaska (a fermentation starter)! And it’s popular for not only being healthy and affordable but also because it’s low calorie properties. The bread on the table is not only meant to be ju just st food but a symbol of family values and prosperity. It’s also popular as it’s easy to grow Rye in harsh cold climate of Russia.

Stolichniy: A real classic treat, this sour sour-dough dough rye bread is divine in taste without using any yeast. The bread top is usual usually ly crunchy but at the same time supple, frail…and even more soft and delicate with vibrant colours of baked flours in side, only one loaf of this bread is sufficient to fill the appetite and senses. This delicious bread is often served to the friends, well wishers, and family. It’s the bread for bonding! Finnish ruisreikäleipä is a kind of Finnish bread (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

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Nareznoy Baton or Bulka So, if you happen to be visiting a Russian bakery shop and you spot written “Khleb” in glittering neon lights, which in Russian means bread, don’t be surprise d if you are not able to resist yourself. Well the Nareznoy bread stand out as it has the distinct looks. Nazernoy has found its name from “Narezat” which means - to slice… A fairly chewy, and at times decorated with large notches, it’s a white bread. Its top crusts and edges are called Gorbushki. The very end of the loaf bursting with flavours, bursting with aromas, this bread is mostly used to make delicious Russian sandwiches topped with butter called, Buterbrod. Russians keep themselves warm in harsh winters eating hot soups like Shchi and Borscht, now these breads are natural add ons.

Kalachi It’s so much part of life in Russia. It’s indeed a favourite of all, making the dining tables look more tempting with buttery -brown colours overshadowing. This is one of the bakery products eaten in the mundane meals as well as a super delicacy too. The villagers would buy Kalach returning from their works or ordinary town people would enjoy the family gatherings with super delicious Kalach to also be served in Porcelain crockery on impeccably decorated magnificent huge dining tables of the Tsars. In fact, Kalachi was considered a very prestigious gift to be offered to high dignitaries and patriarchs. In olden days, it would be given to the servants going on a leave as a coin to be spent on a Kalach. This bread is ancient, traditional with rich history. For some it’s not the bread but it’s a bun.

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A merchants's wife is drinking tea, 1923. A kalach in the form of a kettle bell is depicted as was common in central and northern parts (Boris Kustodiev [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Kalach Bread By Лобачев Владимир [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/bysa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

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India & Russia Gingerbread It’s stunning and simply heavenly! A loaf worth trying for! And mind it; it’s not only bread it’s a very creative way to make life easier. In fact the Tula Gingerbread is been proposed by the Russian government to be included in the UNESCO intangible heritage list. Its recipes are varied and different from families to families and are kept a secretly guarded passed down to the sons and heirs…decades after decades. It was included in the family meals as a learning resource for young ones. Children would learn alphabets and letters before eating it. It would also act as a match maker in weddings. The groom not sure of being accepted would send loaf of gingerbread to the brides. If she accepts the bread, it would be considered her approval of the proposal. There is giant monument in Tula and the writing on it says, “The Tula gingerbread has been famous since 1685.”

Borodinsky

1. Boroninsky By Saboteur [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons 42


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Quite a treat!!! This bread has got a very interesting past some say they are not aware of its origins, some point out the relevance to the battle of Borodino where a brave general Tuchkov was killed and his wife built a monastery on the death field of his martyred husband. This monastery started manufacturing the Borodinsky bread...still its origins are shrouded in mystery but not its charismatic sour aroma! And this glorious square rye loaf has a typical look which comes after long fermentation of the dough. Usually its crust is topped with coriander. There are hundreds of varieties of breads...all sweetened with beet sugar molasses, flavoured and infused with spices, salt, coriander, caraway seeds, barley malt syrup. They have stood the test of times in Russia and have won a special place in the hearts of its people.

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Russia is an outstanding name in the world of classical music, drama, ballet and theater‌ It has a very rich and incredible history behind its journey. And it continues to impact the world cultures with its glory. When we explore the Russian world of theater, its roots find some relevance with the pagan shows, which are full of dramatic recitations of fables, tales, proverbs, singing , dancing usually performed by the Skomorokhi ( minstrel entertainers in Kievan and Muscovite Russia and they performed for public and Tsar alike). Though exact details are not known but it is said to be during the 1644 during the Michael I of Russia that the theaters begun. It was during 1672, which saw the opening of the first theater and it was during the court of Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich. In the 19th century, Moscow and St. Petersburg became the center of theatrical life. The 1824 saw the popularity of the beginning of Maly (small theater) and Bolshoi (big theater) in around year 1825. Sergei Diaghilev’s ballet company captured the minds and hearts of the world which also left incredible mark in Europe. It later came to be known as the Ballets Russes. This helped making Russian culture become popular with the English ballet dancers getting familiarized and adopting Russian pseudonyms.

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India & Russia

Stanislavski and Knipper (centre) in A Month in the Country (1909), the earliest recorded instance of the analysis of action in discrete "bitshttps://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51136124

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India & Russia There was a burst of the theatrical activities and new styles at the turn of the 20 th century. These were the times when the vibrant and ingenious radical changes were added to the rather conventional functioning of Russian ballet. And the Alexandrinsky Theater created magic with it. No wonder it exists now for more than two hundred sixty years. It earlier looked up to the European traditional models but later embarked upon and established its own full expressions. Its Russian school of theater!!! The Alexandrinsky Theater introduced very famous names in theater personalities and produced some memorable theatrical products associated with dramatists Nikolai Gogol, Russian playwright Alexander Ostrovsky, and a very famous story writer Aton Chekhov.

SOME DISTINCT NAMES IN THE RUSSIAN THEATER

The plays of Anton Chekhov Chekhov’s plays brought immense depth of psychological aspects in the first quarter of the century.

. By Osip Braz - [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=258685

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India & Russia His plays urged the viewers to relate more with the characters of the drama. His plays like “The seagull”, “Heartbreak House”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard” are memorable years after years. They have been staged many many times all over the world and been appreciated and adored by the likes of Tennessee Williams, Bernard Shaw...

Chekhov with Leo Tolstoy at Yalta, 1900 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w /index.php?curid=1969331

Stanislavsky's theory of theater His theory of theater and the strict ways to coach actors are admired by all. He advised his actors to “live the role”. He encouraged the actors to evaluate and study the character, nature and identity of the heroes, realize the similarities of their own inclinations, behaviors and identity and find the synergies and bring them on in front of the spectators.

Vsevolod Meyerhold and a special kind of theater He introduced “Grotesque” and "Biomechanics" terms in the world of theatre. His methodology of acting and theater involves cumbersome and complex physical movements, vibrant settings, a combination of dance and circus.

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India & Russia Biomechanics refers to the physical development of the role - which encouraged actors mastering the gestures inherent to the their characters.

Members of Stanislavski's First Studio in 1915, a pedagogical institution in which elements of the system were first developed and taught. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3183081 s://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3183081

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The spectacular concert by “Kalinka”, the National Children’s Dance Ensemble from Moscow, Russia, overwhelmed the people of Delhi at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi on October 29, 2018.

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The “Days of Russian Cinema in India” was opened at a colourful ceremony at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi on October 12, 2018


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The Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in Trivandrum organised a seminar on the influence of Tolstoy on world literature and, his role in moulding Gandhi's' perspective to social work. The function was held on September 9, 2018

The photo documentary exhibition dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Kursk in New Delhi On July 5, 2018 52


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The annual concert by the students of the School of Russian Classical Ballet RCSC) was held on April 28, 2017, it was dedicated to the memory of the great Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya.

First Russia-India Youth Parliament “Vision for Future� dedicated to 70th Year of diplomatic relations between India & Russia was held on the from 6th to 8th of March, 2018 in New Delhi. 53


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With the launching of the new organization entitled “IndiaRussia Foundation�, instituted by the Unity International Foundation, Russian-Indian relations would certainly receive an inspiring boost

H.H.Mr Nikolay Rishatovich KUDASHEV Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India

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DRUZHBA�, a year-long Festival to mark the 70th anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Russia and India, began in Trivandrum on January 10, 2017

The unique scientific feat of Valentina Tereshkova, the first Soviet woman in space, was remembered at a function at the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi on June 19, 2018

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Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Mr Modi shaking hands on an official visit to India on October 4-5.2018. https://newstime.win/russian-president-vladimir-putin-to-visit-india-nextmonth/

A collection of works by Russian authors in Hindi translation, as well as a textbook on Russian grammar, were released at the Russian Embassy in New Delhi on July 26. The event was graced with the presence of translators, writers, public figures, diplomats, compatriots living in India, as well as students from Delhi universities studying Russia and the Russian language

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Russian Ambassador to India H.E. Mr Nikolay R. Kudashev met with Indian students from Amity International School, who are to participate in the international conference “Young Researches in Natural Sciences” devoted to the topic of “Sustainable city development, an ecological approach” in Magnitogorsk on April 25-30

Russian Ambassador to India H.E. Mr Nikolay R. Kudashev met with Indian students from Amity International School, who are to participate in the international conference “Young Researches in Natural Sciences” devoted to the topic of “Sustainable city development, an ecological approach” in Magnitogorsk on April 25-30

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These museums in Russia are cultural gems‌ gems The he iconic, unbelievably beautiful, cultural gems gems, these Russian museums are worth visiting. Art is loved every everywhere where in this beautiful country called Russia. Rus These magnificent museums are the most sought after cultural destinations in the t word. Preserving and describing the cultural evolution in the most artistic and creative displays. The artifacts, documents, sculptures all presented ted in the museums, in the most innovative way. They are indeed the delights to the eyes of the visitors..

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The Hermitage Museum complex. From left to right: Hermitage Theatre – Old Hermitage – Small Hermitage – Winter Palace (the "New Hermitage" is situated behind the Old Hermitage).

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By Leonard G. - Image taken June 2003 and contributed by Leonard G.., CC SA 1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1689940

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India & Russia Kremlin Armoury: Kremlin Armoury is one of the most famous museums in the world and it is ancient too. It opened its door some two hundred years back in the year 1851 and is located in the Moscow Kremlin. It a sparkling gem in the crown of the Moscow museums, a gateway to experience the Russian royal and military life. Most of the displays here are the ones which belonged to the Russian Tsars. Way back, it was in charge of producing, purchasing, storing weapons, jewellery and various household articles of the tsars. And before one starts appreciating the masterpieces kept inside the museums, it is impossible to miss and not appreciate the intricate designs on the façade’s columns too.. The articles, which are at the museum, come from some rare collections of the Russian, Western European and Eastern applied arts spanning the period from 5 th to 20th century. The ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible and other regal thrones, the helmet of Yaroslav II, gold and silver tableware, etc are some of the highlights.

State Hermitage Museum The sheer grandeur of this museum has earned it a top slot among the top ten of the world most visited art museum. The area of the museum is so vast that it’s considered the second largest museum in the world. The Neva River flowing by, the building’s beauty is adorned with the brilliant baroque, pleasant looking skyblue and white, ornamental architecture. Also known as the White Palace, this dreamy structure has richly decorated iconic columns, parapets of the building are decorated with statues and vases…and it is spread in almost six buildings and four hundred rooms. The museum displays exquisite and the culturally rich collection and boasts to have the artworks by Raphael, Rambrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso, sculpture by Michelanglo, ancient armour and weapons…many many more.

Erarta Museum The Erarta (Era and Arta or Era of Art) came into existence in the year 2010 with a purpose to make exquisite contemporary art accessible to as many as possible. 61


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The Pavilion Hall of Hermitage museum (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

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India & Russia The building of the museum is neoclassical Stalinist building with approximately three thousand works are on display. Erarta also creates its own creative independent projects designed to encourage emotions of the visitors, where they feel and see the paintings as the characters.. The museum has objectives to promote the creative instincts of the visitors with organizing the concerts, screenings, lectures ctures and live performances‌

The Rubens Room. Hermitage museum By Nagyman - Flickr.com - image description page, CC BY-SA BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1284668

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Vincenzo Petrocelli, Hermitage Museum, Portrait of Young Duke N.B. Yusupov.jpg

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Moscow Museum of Modern Art This is the first state museum in Russia it has exclusive collection on the art of the 20th and 21st century. It enjoys the grandeur status of highly dynamic and vibrant center of cultural activities. Zutrab Tsereteli, a painter, sculptor, architect is also the President of the Russian Academy of Arts. He brought his private collection for the public display which comprised more than two thousand works by some legendary and masters artists from the 20 th century like Kazimir Malevich, Marc Chagall, Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, Aristarkh Lentulov, Vladimir Tatlin, Pavel Filonov, Wassily Kandinsky, Alexander Archipenko, Niko Pirosmani, Ilya Kabakov, Anatoly Zverev, Vladimir Yakovlev, Vladimir Nemukhin, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid. What’s interesting is that the collection continues to grow through acquisitions and donations. The one main building among the three main buildings is situated in Petrovka Street which has the pride of displaying permanent collection. This building is in the former 18th century mansion house of merchant Gubin , an imposing marvel of the neoclassical architecture by Matvey Kazako, who was known for his expertise in neoclassical architecture.

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Erarta Museum By Peterburg23 - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12061834

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Golden Ring of Russia has so much to offer to its visitors and remains most favorite travel route for the domestic as well as foreign tourists… A circular route created during Soviet era which takes you on a tour of picturesque history, heritage, ancient onion-domed churches, gingerbread cottages and picturesque churches, gold domes and untouched green, nature-rich countryside, come and explore the most loved tourist route not far from Moscow…called GOLDEN RING.

Why the name Golden Ring? It’s easy to understand when you take a brief look at the map of this famous tourist itinerary that encompasses the oldest, historic and cultural heritage sites from central part of European Russia that looks like a breathtakingly beautiful large golden circle. The Golden Ring, connecting all the cities in a big large circle, holds a distinct place because it takes you through the hearts of present city life and Russian history, its people and it’s so enchanting and absorbing. As though there are no fixed names of cities that come under the Golden Ring, still traditionally eight names are definitely associated with this famous route- Sergiyev Posad, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Rostov Veliky, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, and Vladimir.

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Korostl river

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1011501


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India & Russia There is another story which goes like in the year 1967, an art historian and journalist Yuri Bychkov thought of writing a series of travel articles and decided to visit Vladimir Oblast...and as he travelled further his route looked like a Golden Ring. And d later he published his works under the name “The Golden Ring.”

What’s so rich about these places? Yaroslavl A remarkable century old historic city with churches, museums, monastery and the Volga! A riverside! There is a place called Strelka at the river junctions, where river Volga meets Kotorosl river. The historic part of the city is located at this confluence. A walk along the Volga is a cult cultural ural experience in itself. There are many two-lane lane highways roads that connect Yaroslavl to Moscow and beyond and also there are areas where one finds coniferous forests around Yaroslavl. Yaroslavl is full of beautiful places like churches, universities, institutions, museums, like Transfiguration monastery founded in the 11th century, and a museum now, the Governor’s house museum, old citadels, Yaroslavl paintings and so much more..

Dormition cathedral https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21405155

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India & Russia Vladimir It’s surrounded by the river loop so that during spring, it’s not flooded. The graceful monumental cathedrals - “The Church of the Intercession on the Nerl”, “The White Stone Cathedral” are some of the ancient landmarks of Vladimir… The most famous landmarks of them is the Golden Gate, which leads one into the old town. “The Museum of Crystal and Lacquer Miniatures” displays some traditional art works and souvenirs. And yes, people love to gorge on Russian crepes, Blini and other delicacies from the museum café called Blinnaya Izba. But people also love to see the “Gingerbread Museum”, where the café is located.

Views along the upper Volga River, between Yaroslavl, Vladimir, and Kostroma https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1714325

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Kostroma: By Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin Prokudin-Gorskiihttps://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23787 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23787

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Sergiyev Posad https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/i https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21424792

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Sergiyev Posad It has the privilege to have one of the largest monasteries in the universe dating back to the 14th century. Its name is “The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius!” And when you feel tired walking around Larva’s huge buildings, head straight to a nearby restaurant which serves Russian food made from monetary produces. There are amazing treats available, one must try but the local specialties are homemade bread, pastries and kvass..

Kostroma It also had a glorious history; a home to the Romanov Dynasty that ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917…the Ipatyevsky monastery with its 16th century architecture also has unique wall paintings telling ancient stories with colours and arts. There are cathedrals with its medieval frescos. The Resurrection Church (1652) represents 17th century Russian art and it’s superb. Though exact times of foundation of Kostroma are not known but it’s said to be nine hundred years old. Kostroma is a major jewellery center of Russia. For centuries, a home to craftsmen from all over Russia especially of lacquer painting, painted enamel and many others. Want to get a feel of mundane life? Take a dive in the traditions and routine lives of the ancient Rus at Shchurovo Gorodishche Museum in the city of Suzdal. . The most daring of the visitors can even have a whack in farm work. It’s difficult to put together each and every detail about all the places of the Golden Ring…but one thing is sure that the Golden Ring has charms and beauty of long standing Russian culture and history as well as the natural character of a country life.

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Culture Curators Italy Enrico Garff

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Culture Curators Italy Enrico Garff

Enrico Garff born on 26th November 1939, is an Italian portrait painter and artist. His works include oils, watercolors, acrylics, gouaches and paintings on silk. The beautiful images of humans, horses and mythology find their expressions in his art. His art works are displayed iin n several world exhibitions and also in the home s of art lovers, museums, Government organizations, galleries wining him laurels and awards. A true ‘figlio d’arte, his father, Emilio Boffi, was an opera singer and mother, Gertrud Garff, had studied lyric lyrical al singing and belonged to a family of poets, musicians and artists.

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Culture Curators Italy Enrico Garff His paintings have won the hearts of commoners and critics alike, they seem to converse directly to the senses, establishing a material and spiritual connect. They have an ethereal air around them with intelligence encouraging the unrestrained, analytical thinking. Many a prominent personalities had some precious words to say about Garff paintings. “Looking at his paintings, one can sense a tension vibrating between Nature and human figure, which I dare to call, “Mythical.” Lassi Nummi is one of the beloved Finnish poets of his times, “His art is invigorating like a strong pure wind and at the same time it is mild and full of aesthetically educational finesse.” By Sophie Sievers. “As you know, I have a little time with Enrico…but he is a great painter.” By Mary Mandelin – Dixon. SoCultures is ecstatic and honoured to publish this piece where Enrico Garff ponders over his thoughts, memories, views, and life journey as an artist, family person and pens down in these beautiful words.

My first playground My first play-ground mate was a tree. I grew up in a rather lonely childhood surrounded by nature in my mother's private garden secluded from the mayhem of the world. My deep connection with nature, combined with the loneliness stimulated my fantasy to build up an imaginary world. The vacuum of a human relationship filled by my growing creativity triggered to fulfill the emptiness with colours, stories, imaginary beings and fantasy shapes.

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Culture Curators Italy Enrico Garff Drawing artistic sensibilities An arid soil was my foundation for a fertile imagination where I developed my artistic perception like a "third eye" shedding light into the darkness. I started early just after overcoming the age of a toddler drawing horses, pirates, Zorro and a other marvels. I grew up mainly surrounded by female figures: by the record my m mother, other, my cousins, and nine aunts. My father who was unanimously recognized mastering an outstanding singing voice vanished quite suddenly out of my life. His artistic sensibility ibility is something I although inherited. I can still recall waking up in the morning at the echo of his soothing and harmonious voice sounding in my mind like a warm embrace while ile singing a beautiful Neapolit Neapolitan an tune named la "La Montagna" (the Mountain). However excelling in a different artistic field, I can feel how he transmitted his musical pathos into the touch of my brush through his DNA, influencing my way of painting with the ancient Italic classical heritage, heritage still running in my veins.

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Culture Curators Italy Enrico Garff At that time, when I still hadn't developed much awareness of my skills and knowledge of what I was doing, the first recognition of my dawning talent came from a Lady deemed to be an art connoisseur by the pictorial circles of the time. I remember how she claimed to notice already plenty of action and dynamos embedded in my early stage drawing and painting attempts.

Appreciating art In my nineteenth year, I learnt to appreciate the French impressionists and then the renaissance masters, especially Masaccio. Driven by passion and total devotion to shape and colours my pictorial ability took a remarkable leap towards a constant growing inspiration. I didn't paint to chase fame, accolades nor money, left alone one exception when at the age of 14; I remember that a compelling thought popped up from nowhere: I didn't want to end up my life anonymously or die without leaving a legacy to the world. Surely I yearned to be remembered for having delivered during my existence something of substantial value to humanity.

Creating a legacy In the late 80s, I started a classical Greek-inspired cycle, portraying scenarios with sculptures in a wide range of styles, including Classical, Hellenistic, Minoic and Cycladic art. The inspiration gained from the full immersion in those historical eras was overwhelmingly corroborating: the statues appeared to take life under my brush while the mystical atmosphere of those eras captured my soul in rapture.

The liberation of thoughts I never lacked the inspiration, to be honest, but during that period the creative flow was so powerful that I perceived it as an uncontrolled flow of energy streaming down to the painting. In conjunction with that blessed inspirational connection, I

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Culture Curators Italy Enrico Garff was practicing a spiritual discipline regarding the "liberation of the thought". A meditational technique based on disciplining the clarity of thinking. The discipline stands in between the Hindustan Yoga and western logic and reason. The encounter with Lassi Nummi and Riita Harjunen wasn't by chance. They were both on the same wavelength and on a similar spiritual pathway.

Humanity A common purpose united us regarding inner freedom, liberty and independent thinking. In Marcus Aurelius eyes, I could see the tragic of the ancient world, the incapability of the human being, trapped into subjectivity to reach a higher consciousness and develop a more objective insight. The objectivity of a crystal clear reason controlling the overemotional wave. Today his message is more than ever of the actual importance: the survival of our civilization based on evidence, reason, and liberty is heavily compromised.

My artworks: My favourite artworks have secret meaning and logic: the meeting point between earth and heaven. "Five persons walk in the night", "The future is coming towards us", "Sintesi", "La Domenica delle Palme", are my most representative paintings forming the backbone of my core artistic values. I won't pretend to reach the heart of every person on earth. I hope my contribution to the art will add an objective standard of beauty and aesthetics reflecting the necessity of objectivity in the modern world, to counterbalance the fallacy of relativism and subjectivity of the postmodern world vision. Predictions on the trajectory of the art market are Hard to make but coherently to my previous statements, I wish that the art market

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Culture Curators Italy Enrico Garff Inflated by subjective evaluations due to the subjectivism of relativism that hijacked the art will get back to common sense.

East & West I think that western culture and Indian culture have much in common. A continuous exchange of values has been enriching each other through centuries. West and east still need each other if they want to continue to thrive.

SoCultures is thankful to the great words of Enrico Garfff.

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Culture Curators Mexico Ponxo Taifa

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Music! Its indeed the soul of life. And when it’s about the global music…the music in different languages, instruments, intonations, rhythms…it is just music! No barriers of languages and cultural contexts.. Absolutely the blissful melodies, beats, emotions and voices that connect you to your heart and soul connect. It’s so

Meet Ponxo Taifa Angeles who is an Expert Panelist at Transglobal World Music Chart (TWMC) and Director at Radio Taiffa….. healing! So spiritual!

He introduces himself as, percussionist), photographer, cultural journalist, short story writer, survivor of the war and drugs, the crusade against hunger, six devaluations of the Mexican peso and much more.

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Culture Curators Mexico Ponxo Taifa Radio Taiffa is the Radio project that appreciates the cultures of other latitudes through its music. It plays various musical styles that allow us to know and appreciate cultures – from ancient to modern cultures. In their sound library, one can find music from Rock, Jazz, Blues, Tango, Fado, Flamenco, Celtic, Gipsy, Afrobeat etc. With the support of many Record Labels, independent producers and the artists RADIO TAIFFA is creating a global audience for the global music. SoCultures talks with Ponxo Taifa about music and his global radio ventures. Do you think that it is important to think of our lives, purposes and works in the global context? What is role of cultures there? Cultures are social features that distinguish us and give an identity in a global framework,. The most rooted cultures not only propose but recompose this socioeconomic dynamics that allows us not only to be part of a consumer industry, but with the new trends and digital tools available easily, spread our cultures, traditions, roots and customs. It seems very interesting to me as most of the music we listen to, have kept alive their oral and musical traditions with a history of not less than

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Culture Curators Mexico Ponxo Taifa hundred years. Although Rock (more recently) allows us to fuse all styles as well as imbibe their ideologies of each region, literality! The inherited music with its roots intact, becomes part of the daily life of many societies in the world and reaches more audiences, generating a musical community without borders. Tell us about your venture of Online Radio? The concept! How it’s executed and what is its impact? I have the opportunity to see different Online Radio websites and although many of us have different styles and designs, the main thing is that we seek to expand, communicate, entertain... the content is what differentiates us or makes us similar. Radio Taiffa has no more pretensions than playing the music that does not have access or is very scarce in traditional radios, we bet for the intelligent public that does not conform to sticky melodies and prefabricated artistic designs. In addition to the musical programming, we offer is a faithful reflection of our own tastes. Who all are your resources? The music comes to us through specialized agencies, the labels and the artists themselves as well, we are a part of the critics panel of Transglobal World Music Chart since January 2016, where it gave us worldwide visibility as well as networking groups. We also have programming from different countries of the world and it is very interesting how sometimes without agreeing with all

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Culture Curators Mexico Ponxo Taifa presenters, we got to schedule the same albums in the same week. This way, the dissemination of the albums is reinforced from our station. I have perceived that we all receive the benefits ---- the musicians, labels, agencies, announcers, and our own station. Because although the pop industry pervades us commercially, the inclusion from our different cities keeps us united under this concept -- Online Radio Station! What are the statistics of global music industry? How it’s expanding its reach? I think it is on the rise, the world music has opened up many channels of information and dissemination of it, generate groups of diffusers, festivals, new labels, reinforce existing ones and position this as a more reinforced industry. I suppose that the musicians, agencies and labels must receive good income, because they generate more albums every time. The artists if they are not composing are on tour, the agencies always working, so I guess their income is in movement, that part I do not know because the Radio Taiffa service is free. How does it expand? Well, with the union and inclusion of all platforms, online stations, traditional radio, print and digital media, with audio or video programs for dissemination and move it around the world. How do you observe the music trends in differ cultures? Give us some examples with interesting stories? There is always a preference for the local music of each region but there is always opening for new currents or fusions that allow to expand each rhythm, I have listened to music from France or Spain where they resume the tropical music of America, the salsa or the Colombian Cumbia, the fusions of Arabic music with flamenco, Tango with Balkan rhythms or with electronic music, this also makes the different cultures continue to amalgamate musically. 88


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Culture Curators Mexico Ponxo Taifa My country has adapted very well the Rock n 'Roll of the USA with lyrics that reflect the moments of daily life in Mexico. The Mexican Rock was flagging with a social force for a large part of the young people coming from different cities and following a mix of other styles. Name a few of music icons who are able to make impact worldwide? I think Paco de Lucia! But it also seems to me that Peter Gabriel when he left Genesis began to make more interesting music, but many a local musicians ended up being great pop artists. NiĂąa Pastori, Lila Downs, Chavela Vargas, Cigala, Ravi Shankar, Buena Vista Social Club, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Piazzolla, etc. What it takes to create soulful music for a musician/singer/ artist? Many artists comment that they create music from their experiences or even adapt traditional music from their countries or take inspiration from others to make new versions. Well, I think it simple like for writers to write first, they have to read. Similarly to play first, the new musician has to listen a lot of music. Name a few Indian music artists who are listened and loved by the world audiences? Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar seem to me to be the most loved and listened widely. Recently I listened to Anandi Bhattacharya and the flamenco fusion of Indialucia, I loved both albums Share your own experiences of working with music artists of different languages and cultures? It has been amazing, musicians from Sweden, Italy, France, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, USA ... I think that through the distance we have achieved a

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Culture Curators Mexico Ponxo Taifa a friendship, I am very pleased when I share the podcast of my program, they listen it and share even if they are not included in that broadcast. Radio Taiffa has always given me moments of immense joy and satisfaction. Meeting people, their art, to have their music in my music library, talking a little and achieving coincidences across the seas has been a fabulous experience, there is no money/ treasure that could buy these meetings, there are no borders that stop us, That's how I met this magazine too. Please write about you and your venture story. Radio Taiffa was founded in 2014, as a world music radio program. In 2015 created the Online station RADIO TAIFFA (The Music of the World). Ponxo Taifa is a producer, announcer, programmer and director of it.

My best wishes to India from Mexico.

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An artist finds inspiration from everywhere. Robert Owen, who is an engineer by schooling and trade, but also pursues his artistic interests and does so with aplomb! His art involves nature, paints, photographs and real models, mix of performance art, different painting techniques of pieces in each set, loads of imagination. “I’ve mastered a technique that utilizes engineering technology with art and I can now build a multi multi-layer ayer piece of art.” Says, Says Owen. He has also introduced Body Paint Art… let’s chat with the creative Owen about his life, muses, art, trees, sea sea. He is an artist and a Writer/Photographer/Artist at Iconique Magazine.

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Culture Curators USA Robert Owen What is that you find fascinating with different cultures? Each culture views the world differently based upon their heritage. These varying looks at life allow other cultures to see their own life differently. Every culture can learn something new from another culture, values, heritage, lifestyle, music and art. How can we create a more beautiful world with cultures? We can create a more beautiful world through embracing our differences, and making efforts to understand other cultures. Like, what is important to their world and respecting their traditions. Beauty has a universal theme, each culture views beauty differently, but taking the time to understand and at times assimilate varying pieces of other cultures into your own will open up new ideas of what beauty and values are shared in our world. What are the major sources of inspiration for you? Nature allows me to create a positive mindset for the art that I create through flowers, foliage, impressionist nature scenes and such. Since every person has a natural beauty, I strive to incorporate their soul and being into each piece and bring to life the true soul of the art. Art has many forms! What makes you to explore the options as a mixed media artist? I started off my artistic journey in photography but soon realized that the market for photography in galleries was limited. I researched and envisioned art installations that were a mix of performance art, different painting techniques of pieces in each set, then started mixing those creations with photography. 92


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Culture Curators USA Robert Owen My technique utilizes engineering technology with art and produces a multilayer piece of art that combines a variety of artistic skills. The characters in striking especially the background‌what execution?

your works are very way they are set in the goes behind the

I decide on a concept, models that fit the being created. I feel its own soul and that by a character that has emotional skills to fill I believe we are able meaning and soulful

I research specific personality of the art that each creation has needs to be portrayed the physical and that role. In doing so, to truly pass on the feeling of each piece.

Paining and photography, how do you combine then effortlessly? Once I find something that piques my interest I begin to procure pieces for the 3D installation set. I select a performance model that fits the subject matter, I purchase wardrobe specifically for the model and project. The process then moves to painting the individual items in the set, piece by piece, backdrops, furniture, props and clothing. We select the venue, build the set, set up the lighting to suit the pieces need, take a few images of the set without the,

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Culture Curators USA Robert Owen performance model in the set to make sure I am happy with the look, lighting, line of sight, composition and content. At that time, I start to paint the model using brushes and body paint. We take several hundred to thousands of images from each set, from different angles and positions of the model, different hairstyles and painting touch ups throughout the shoot. The next phase is of reviewing images on large screen computers to find the exact look then the final ones are sent to our printer and once we receive those pieces back, we either add more acrylic paint to the painted and photographed image or send them straight to framing. Then these are placed in designated galleries or exhibits around the country for sale. What is Body Painting art? Body Paint Art utilizes performance art models in conjunction with painted sets, wardrobe, props and photography to create unique and inspiring pieces of artistic expression. The color palette, lighting, model , expressions, the vision of the artist, brush strokes and capturing photograph images, are all parts of the process. Subtle and uninspiring on its own, but once put together, the entire process play like a world class symphony orchestrated to perfection. Who are your favourite artists? Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Dan Gagen, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jackson Pollack and many more.

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Painting the models I let the brush follow the body lines of each contour, accenting each person’s individual character, colours flowing with shape, light and shadow dancing on each pore, crevice, muscle and sinew. These few images are then lightly cleaned up for color, contrast, saturation, hue and such to build the final image. These images are then printed on flexible PVC or aluminum with a UV stabilized ink that allows me to paint more features onto the images with acrylic until I have created the artistic vision that had been trapped in my mind. How much time it takes to finish these projects? Some pieces take as little as five hours and others will take upward of hundred hours. It truly depends on the complexity of the project. Are you interested in incorporating others mediums/ different types of paints etc? What will be the natural progression? Yes, I hope to expand these creations with light painting added to my Body Paint Art installation pieces. I want to push the boundaries of using light to paint in 3D and see how I can incorporate that medium into my current skill set of artist

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Culture Curators USA Robert Owen I also plan to incorporate more abstract painting onto my photographed images of the Body Paint Art. How it makes life so fun? The joy I receive by creating this art comes in so many fashions, first, the amazing people whole new level of peace and joy to my life. Second, I am always trying to get better at my art and I love that challenge. Last, the thought that something, I’ve been a part of creating. will reside in someone’s home and hopefully be passed down for generations gives me the sense that possibly part of me will live forever. Please share your favourite and beautiful memories in your journey of life. The birth of my son, Robby! That feeling of being connected to someone that is a part of myself, nurturing that life, watching him grow, learn has been mesmerizing and truly the most beautiful and rewarding part of my journey through this life. Ada Olszewska and I are expecting another beautiful newborn creation next year and I know that experience will be just as rewarding if not more. I’ve been blessed to be able to experience life to the fullest in so many ways, bring mechanical visions to life for utilitarian purposes, and bring artistic visions to life for ethereal purposes. And I wouldn’t go back and change anything in my life.

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Art by Robert Owen

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Culture Curators Spain Indialucia Music is a dream for and Polish renown flamenco guitarist Miguel Czachowski Czachowsk who believes strongly that world is full of melodious music… it’s true that when Bono had said, Music can change the world because it can change people. He talks about Indialucia…

Indialucia is a project that started to exist back in 1999 in Nagpur, where I came to study Indian classical music. I and my sitar teacher Avaneendra Sheolikar started learning together. Soon after after, we prepared the first few tracks with my percussionist friend from Spain - Pierluca Pineroli and his tabla guru Sandesh Popatkar. This is the beginning of our career. A few years later later, we released our first album where ere we played tog together Flamenco music and Indian classical and Qawwali as one form of music. The word “Indialucia” has two meanings. meaning It’s the fusion of two words "India" and "Andalucia" - two lands where the music from is. 101


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Culture Curators Spain Indialucia And the second one is that the word "Indialucia" we can translate as "India enlightened" that is more of the spiritual meaning. flaMenCo Flamenco is the music of southern part of Spain from Andalucia. It was born by the end of XVIII century and was created mainly by Gypsies (their origin is from India). It's music of simple people who by playing Flamenco music wanted to find relief from their hard life. So in this historical context, it started to be the very emotional type of music. Cultures I think the most beautiful element in travelling the world is to explore other cultures. By culture, I mean the way of life, the art, the music, the food, and the traditions. Anywhere I travel, I always want to know about the place I visit. The history, the language, the cuisine, the architecture and of course music, there is so much to explore. I am a musician so naturally, I focus mainly on music, but as being an architect I also like to feel the cities, buildings and art. And as a food lover, I like to explore and experiment with new tastes. So far the best food of the planet is Indian, and I am a very big fan of all the Indian vegetarian dishes. global Context I am very much concerned about our environment and sustainability. We are all part of this world and only it depends on us what will happen to our planet in the next decades. Nowadays people think more about economic growth than spiritual. We should stop for a while and think why we are here and where we all go to. By playing music I believe I can ignite people's hearts and somehow contribute to their spiritual life. 102


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Culture Curators Spain Indialucia global MusiC industry, its reaCh, the beauty of fusion MusiC‌ Global music and especially the World Music is nowadays growing very fast. There is a huge market for this kind of music almost everywhere. All over the world, we have festivals. Indian music has a very strong position, and so is Flamenco music too. And we are the only band that plays those two genres combined. Wherever we play, we always have standing ovations and cheered by full house.

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. Muzyczna Owczarnia in beautiful mountains.

Indialucia With Anandita Basu, Miguel Czachowski, Kiureli Sammallahti, Julia Davidko, Avaneendra Sheolikarand Kamal Sabri

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Concert in Warsaw

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Culture Curators Spain Indialucia a few of My favourite MusiC iCons Creating an iMpaCt worldwide Oh! There are many..There will be the group “Shakti� formed by John McLaughlin, L. Shankar, Vikku Vinayakram and Zakir Hussain. They are the examples of fantastic fusion and collaboration between the cultures. Another source of inspiration I could name, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Niladri Kumar and many others. My MusiCal journey I started playing guitar at the age of 12. As a flamenco guitar player, I am a selftaught guitarist. I formed my own flamenco group in 1992, but the career took a turn, when I started to play with the Indian musicians. Together, we started to travel the world. So far we have visited thirty countries and five continents with our music. Message for My indian friends and MusiC lovers I am glad to be part of Indian culture by playing with all the Indian artists I had the privilege to. I am happy that I visited India twelve times and I got addicted to Indian masalas (spices). I am very happy that Indian audience accepted the flamenco fire we added to fantastic Indian music. dhanyavaad hindustan! naMaste!

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Culture Curators France Emmanuel Cherki

These black and white photographs capture all the vibrant colours, varied moods and dramatic scenes with acute and sharp CAPTURES. Let’s ask the ace photographer how he does it all… Emmanuel Cherki is a renowned award winning photographer; he is also a journalist with AFP press agency since twenty years. He studied philosophy at the University of Aix-Marseille in the south of France. He is excited about the interesting works and assignments, he could take up as a journalist, and it led him to work in the "Culture" department of the agency. It gave him so much exposure and interaction with so many creative people. He was always passionate about the photography; He integrated the "photo" service of Agence France Presse for several months. He captures some very “out of the world’ pictures...all breathtakingly beautiful, presenting a cutting edge sharp narrative and tell a story which is so relevant with our lives. SoCultures pursues the talented photographer and journalist to reveal the process and secrets of his brilliant captures.

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(All the photographs are clicked by Emmanuel Cherki)

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Culture Curators France Emmanuel Cherki What is your vision around your work? The central idea is that the city is at the heart of human activity. It is the place of exchange but also of solitude. The absurd meets every street corner, day, night. In the midst of the calculated regulations of a rational architecture is sometimes born a situation which contradicts this organization

What is the creation process for you? The process is essentially to look for "non-coincidence" between the real and the idea that we have. The photo is the sign of this deregulation. Each person's hot object is able to create this "non-coincidence". The beauty of a face, the shape of a building, an attitude can take us out of the real world.

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Culture Curators France Emmanuel Cherki How do you get your best works? What are your inspirations? I do not know what the best pictures are. Sometimes I am amazed by what others see when showing them my work. Some pictures that I considered less successful were much appreciated. Conversely, some that seemed interesting to me did not find echoes. Another "non-coincidence�..... Your photographs are mostly in the shades of black and whites. Why do you find these colours so fascinating? Well! No doubt that they are amazing captures.

There is a terrible dilemma between black and white and colours. B/W is a way of insisting on things or people, it requires attention. It gives a thoughtful image, out of immediacy. Colour reflects the movement of the world. It gives the movement, not that of the street or the event, but that of the thought of a "before" and an "after". Your captures are around different aspects- architecture, street, minimalism, portraits, sea, offbeat etc.. How is it different to capture these images technically? The colour is fascinating in itself. When you look at a colour it makes you think, imagine objects of the same colour and even feelings of the same colours. It disturbs the image because it is image itself. There is no "refuge" in the black and white; the obstacle is the meaning of the image under t 112


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Culture Curators France Emmanuel Cherki Who is your favourite pictures from your collection and why? Also name a few from your award winning photographs as well It is very important to try all photography styles. I absolutely do not want to lock myself into a genre. I receive awards in all categories and it is very important for me. All the categories are part of a photographic process that I like to borrow. What are the differences between black/white and colourful pictures; you kind of capture your own beliefs, attitude for life in them? The photo testifies to my vagabond spirit. I like this idea of being a gypsy in the world. By making photos I do not try to freeze events but rather offer crossroads for those who live them. It an alert to what seems to me to be a non-coincidence between the idea and the image that interests me. For that you have to roam here and elsewhere. Being a stranger everywhere, be amazed all the time. In this sense, Koudelka's work is essential for me. In his life, as in these images, he is travelling. Your idea of cultures and also your vision of appreciating each other’s cultures to create global inclusivity. I would like to add what should have been the beginning of my reflection. The photo cannot stop the "living", cannot freeze it. The photo does not say anything about what's going on, happened or will happen. It is a bifurcation, it opens other possibilities. It does not offer solutions but poses questions and problems --Aesthetic, moral, political and social! It is a revealing accident of a "not everything goes without saying�....

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(All the photographs are clicked by Emmanuel Cherki)

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Cultural Innovations Israel Amit Shimoni

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Cultural Innovations Israel Amit Shimoni Hipstory through its vibrant colourful pop arts wishes to re-imagine the great leaders of modern history and place them in different times and culture era. A cultural innovation! Hipstory is the brainchild of Amit Shimoni, who is from Tel Aviv, Israel. He is a professional illustrator who was raised in the Mediterranean country. 122


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Cultural Innovations Israel Amit Shimoni Shimoni brings sense of adventure and boundless creativity in his namesake art series “HIPSTORY” - world's greatest leaders of modern history recreated and conceptualized as nowadays hipsters. His journey began in 2014 and throughout this period of time he has received over two hundred media coverage worldwide including leading magazines and several television Shows like The Guardian, Stern published from Germany, Wired magazine, Vice magazine, Forbes, Entertainment weekly etc Shimoni has also worked with top brands around the world including the New York Times, the New York Observer and lately with the Norwegian leading political party. Shimoni was also selected for the most promising people 30 under 30 -Israeli list of Forbes Today he operates his design studio “Amit Shimoni Illustration”, which collaborates with corporations from all around the world. SoCultures in conversations with the artist himself, Amit Shimoni... He lives with his wife Noga and their adorable dog Adam in Tel Aviv.. We urge the innovative artist to draw a lively picture of his life, works, inspirations, projects and future life for our readers in the interview..

Lets head straight to the artist and ask about his incredible works...who are you, Amit Shimoni? “I always loved art; I used to draw on my bedroom walls as a teenager. During my military services when I was hardly nineteen or twenty, I started painting abstract art expressing my emotions of that chapter. After my military service, while backpacking Northern India for a few months, I finally acknowledged the purpose of my life and it was creating an affordable art.

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Cultural Innovations Israel Amit Shimoni

What inspired you to create Hipstory series? Once I had an assignment to create communication through a preferred art. That's when Hipstory was born. I was looking for a way to connect generation Y to history's finest leaders. Googling, searching like any random teenager, for pictures of hundred years old world leaders, all I could find were black & white, faded, old pictures of leaders. Then the idea to “Hipsterize” them struck me This reality frustrated the me deeply and brought to life this art series Hipstory – my way to connect the Y generations with political and cultural visionaries of our past and giving them a new way of expression in modern times.

What is a “Hipster”? Define it please! "Hipster" is not a specific fashion way of dressing or acting like most people would say. How I see it, it reflects the imbalance the Y generation is experiencingwhile everybody around is trying hard to be more unique, in reality, it seems everybody is more and more of the same.

What does Hipstory wish to covey? What it talks about? Let me clear what Hipstory doesn’t want to talk about. It doesn't talk about politics, it talks about generation Y. I often find myself wondering how different my generation, Y generation, is from the generation of these great leaders of modern history. How different their belief system, the way they thought and what motivated them, compared to our more self-centred generation which is in a constant chase after fashion, style and trends as a way of self-expression while steering away from the big ideologies and meanings of life. I wanted HIPSTORY to re-imagine these great leaders and place them in a different time and culture - ours. I wanted to create a sort of mirror- a mirror that on the one hand is supposed to make one smile, but on the other, to make them also think. 126


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Cultural Innovations Israel Amit Shimoni

What is the creative process for each new character? "For every character I try putting my own interpretation, but I'm always leaving a place where the viewers get their own interpretation, their own story. During my thinking process, I study each character as a leader and as a person for at least a few days. I try bringing a new twist to the smallest details that define the character. For example, on Obama’s picture, you can find the words "Hope" and "Change" which are slogans anyone can immediately realize. But I also try painting details that are less notable and less recognized by most viewers, like the tattoo on Obama’s right shoulder which represents a scene from the book Moby – Dick, which is Obama's favorite reading book. It will be interesting to see how pop icons such as Marilyn Monroe or Michael Jackson will fit in with this respectable bunch in my next series titled - Hipstory II. It will be presented on the internet and social media and printed on items like Smartphone cases and coasters. Amit sums up, “I think that art belongs on one's phone or coffee table just as it belongs in a museum

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CULTURE MANAGEMENT

As SoCultures aspires to connect the world with cultural stories and collaborations, it’s extremely interesting and inspiring to see the initiatives like Producciones Dante SL. Now Sala Dante is about doing cultural management in a new and innovative ways. Let’s get the world more clued in about how Sala Dante is doing it — What is Producciones Dante SL? What is the vision and inspiration ,about starting this unique project? This project was born from the need of young artists to show their progress on stage. The theatres of Palma de Mallorca are rarely open for inexperienced artists, or amateur groups, so they have to go to spaces outside the city to obtain this experience. The Dante Room, as a private company, is always open to anyone who wants to show what they know to the public What is your assumption about the cultures? How it is a major catalyst to connect the world as SoCultures strongly believes in it. Today, thanks to globalization and the media, any artist is able to find sources of inspiration in all cultures, leading to unexpected merger of creative ideas, projects, new creations based on traditions and cultures that ultimately help the culture remain alive in the hearts of art and society. What is CULTURAL MANAGEMENT? Cultural management is that professional work of those who put culture and society in alliance, in rhythmic balance and do not do so as critics or as educators, but rather through cultural programming and cultural projects. A cultural manager fulfills the functions that many times an artist does not know how to perform, especially that of showing art to the public. 128


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Great atmosphere in the complete total of Lolo Cervera & Norbert Fimpel

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Culture ManageMent Armand Abraham! He is the founder partner of Sala Dante. How he envisioned about bringing in change in the area of cultural management? Armand thought that the city lacked a space of free access for all artists. His training as a professional pianist led him to look for his own performances, and all the times the theaters closed the doors on him, those were as an inspiration to him. All artists have the right to teach what they know, not only those who are already known nationally. Surely it is not the most lucrative way, but it is something necessary in our country.

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Culture ManageMent You means Albert Serra, Artistic Director, have initiated viable programs to run the organization; can we know more about that? Of course! My first musical training was at the Principal Theater of Palma, where I also formed part of their choirs, participating in the opera seasons until 2008. I studied the Higher Degree of Musical Composition at the Superior Conservatory of the Balearic Islands with the composer Josep Prohens, receiving the "Extraordinary End-of-Degree Award". Now I am currently the co-director of MAX Musical Theater together with Sandra Gaspar, a musical theater academy that develops its activity inside Sala Dante. How do you offer the most conducive and inspiring atmosphere to the promoters and artists? Through economic conditions that favour both parties. We are aware that the artists who start can not pay certain amounts of money for the theater rental, so we offer the possibility of acting at zero cost, earning only through percentages of the ticket revenue. What is MAX Teatro Musical School? It is the first training center specialized in Musical Theater in Mallorca. Our school aims to provide comprehensive training of the three fundamental disciplines (singing, dance and theater) with the possibility of performing stage practices and participate in professional shows. . What makes you different from other cultural organizations? The immediate access to our space at the zero cost and the way and the speed of cultural management. The Message to the world ‌ Do not let the culture die! Lastly, please add your inputs to add value to the concept of cultural management To assure the future of art and culture is safe, it is essential to help young artists, and provide a good environment for their performances so that they can gain 131


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The musical “the hairspray show ", based on the famous “Hairspray “of Broadway, in Sala Dante!

"The House of Bernarda Alba", in musical adaptation at Sala Dante

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experience and ensure the next generations of artists. Many times this is not possible from government institutions sometimes. So, we believe that initiatives like ours are the good options.

Piano Concert with the award-winning Hugo Button at Sala Dante

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Welcome to the Culture Café! Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, flower freedom in life, and also coffee! Well also… of course! Conversations too! For lots of issues of the world can be solved over a cup of coffee. SoCultures had a chit-chat over a cup of coffee with the people from around the world to discuss cultures, and so much more that matters under the sky in the world. Let’s brainstorm issues, philosophies and views with the people from around the world.

balogun olalekan Country: Ibadan, Nigeria He has studied science and technology and is an Executive Director at Photographer.  Let’s discuss the cultures? What is your definition? I think that culture is a way of life. It’s our lives...  Do you think in today’s globally connected scenario, cultures can be main agent to bring in the positivity and peace? Oh yes, the technology is doing wonders. It’s connecting the world. It’s easier to stay connected in these times. I feel that culture can 134


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Culture Café be an agent to spread peace and positivity..Hmmm...Unfortunately not all cultures promote that.  The biggest culture shock you ever lived? The biggest culture shock, I have received when I realize that the certain cultures deny the widow the rights to own her husband’s properties.  Tell us about your favourite film, book or art anything which fascinates you from your culture? What fascinates me most about my culture is, the traditional dresses worn by our women and men. Oh yes, I love my native language too.

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siyabonga sikosana Country: Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal (He is an acclaimed artist, and studied at Durban University of Technology.)

 

 Let’s discuss the cultures? What is your definition? Culture is something that I find in my roots, the way I live! Even the way I think! I dance! It’s there in my art! It’s like Ubuntu! It’s the “HUMANITY” in everything. Do you think in today’s globally connected scenario, cultures can be main agent to bring in the positivity and peace? Culture is important for growth. If we stay away from our culture, it would mean that we can’t go forward and that we have lost our identity, it means that we are living in a nation which is not developing. For me, culture is Ubuntu! I like the positive values of the cultures. The biggest culture shock you ever lived? I don’t know which culture has given me the shock but I can definitely say, if it is about killing innocent people, abusing or doing bad to people that will be really shocking to me. Tell us about your favourite film, book or art anything which fascinates you from your culture? The book I love to read is time and again, “Long Walk to Freedom” , a book about life of Nelson Mandela. Humanity is to forgive and building afuture for nation. Film, “Battle of Isandlwana” this film taught me that one must die, if he has to die, moving forward but not running away no matter what

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Culture Café

ogbu anuriChukwuka Country: Owerri IMP State, Nigeria (An artist who is constantly experimenting and innovating with the brushes and colours)  Let’s discuss the cultures? What is your definition? Culture is dynamic, it changes, so as people change too because it people's way of life. It varies from generation to generation.  Do you think in today’s globally connected scenario, cultures can be main agent to bring in the positivity and peace? Yes! When viewed in these perspectives (CULTURE), it is an open-ended and unclear definition which is not specific to any experience, activities, ideas, which is present in the society for the creation of art. My views 1. Culture is been dynamic in nature. 2. It also enters in a marriage.

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Culture Café 3. One can borrow other people's culture which can bring positively changes in them, in their lives.  The biggest culture shock you ever lived? A woman is handed over to her late husband’s brother for marriage forcefully. It’s really something very disgusting in any culture.  Tell us about your favourite film, book or art anything which fascinates you from your culture? “The Joys of Motherhood” by Buchi Emecheta! It’s a novel published in 1979.

A painting by Ogbu Anurichukwuka

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Culture CafĂŠ

eva Maria friese Country: Lacchiarella Lacchiarella, Italy, y, An extremely talented artist.

Let’s discuss the cultures? What is your definition? Culture or cultures takes place when a group of humans are evolving volving by striving for survival, for progress, for producing things, clothes, food and art. And also its in the developing the thoughts and technologies in spite of what is offered by the nature, people, resources and territories. Irrespective of the differences of one group of culture to another, the cultural solitarily always encourages intelligence, positivity and security, also helps in 140


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Culture Café

solving conflicts. To develope and grow a high quality of culture, it needs good education of each individual person. If that isn't possible for everyone then it should be taken care by the others, the society, the government and anyone who is able to help. The cultural education can be spread not only with material products but above all with love.  Do you think in today’s globally connected scenario, cultures can be main agent to bring in the positivity and peace? It's a mystery for me how much negative power can grow in humans by one's own choice to destroy and kill other human beings. I feel that in most of the cases it’s also due to the political and sociological problems. It's not a supernatural power. It can be achieved by learning from each other, integrating thoughts, technologies and also religions of other cultures for expanding horizons and improve problematic situations. It's wonderful and stunning how people are different but also much similar to each other and how much beauty exists around the world. In our technological present it's not difficult to interchange the most important and intelligently ideas for creating a better world and so a harmonious globally culture. It needs more education of loving and respecting each other.  The biggest culture shock you ever lived? When I had been in The Holy Land, in Israel and Palestine I had gone through a really cultural shock. Especially in Gerusalemme (Jerusalem) a holy, treasured but also fought over place by three great monotheistic religions and rebuilt again and again over the years. There, every stone has a story to tell of events that it had seen… words and voices it had heard. But the inhabitants of this much-contested old ---- Muslim, Christian Armenian, Jewish live so happily and raising their families with much love. I compare it with many parallel universes which exist without interacting and barely respecting each other. But I’m sure that there are intelligent people

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Culture Café who make difference by loving and accepting the others. But these three great cultures in the Holy Land have one thing in common, that they respect the great culture of tourists and pilgrims.  Tell us about your favourite film, book or art anything which fascinates you from your culture? One night I had a dream of a person I didn’t know before. A boy led me through countryside to an old house with a room with many children, a long old wooden table and many chairs. We all had to sit down and then entered a man who looked at me and began to teach the children. The day after, on television, they were telling the story of this man. I thought, ‘Oh look there, I saw him in my dream last night’. The TV was showing old photographs of this old house, the room with the wooden table and many children and this man teaching them. This person was Don Lorenzo Milani, a catholic priest who lived during the war and fought for the rights of the poor children who had no possibility to go to school and had to work hard in the fields. He was an intellectual person and so he founded a school of himself teaching poor children in this old house in the countryside of Barbiana, Italy. But he had a lot of difficulties. Months later I found a book which talks about his youth and his choice to become a catholic priest. But there was a period of his live the television did not talk about it. The title of the book is, ‘Lorenzo Milani, l’artistachetrovòDio’ which means Lorenzo Milani, the artist who found God written by Valentina Alberici. He was an artist, a painter like me. He taught the children painting. He studied art in the “Accademia di Belle Arti” of Brera in Milan, where I live actually. What a surprise! He or God wanted to tell me this in my dream. I bought the book. But no one talks about him like an artist. Neither is he known as a saint. Perhaps one day people will call him that. But for me he is a saint now

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