The top-11 news of the first two weeks of december

The latest arts and culture news from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine


New EU programme for culture and creativity was launched in Armenia. The Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme was launched by the European Union to support the cultural and creative sectors’ contribution to sustainable humanitarian, social and economic development in 6 countries of EaP region. "The Programme will reframe the debate on the 21st century concept of culture among state bodies and key cultural players in the region and promote an understanding of the positive impact creative industries can have on employment, small and medium businesses, the role of municipalities and social engagement," said Renate Utzschmid, Programme Manager, EC Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations. The Programme will focus on four main areas including research development of evidence-gathering mechanisms, capacity-building, raising awareness and providing opportunities for international cultural cooperation. The Programme’s activities will be carried out through workshops, intensive training, online learning platforms, study visits and partnership fairs, bringing together public and private actors, government and civil society.

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Yerevan hosted International Film Festival Salento. On 2 December, International Film Festival Salento kicked off in Yerevan. The festival was launched in 2004 to present films of independent filmmakers from around the world. This year the festival was conducted in Armenia for the first time.

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Azerbaijan was elected to UNESCO Committee for preservation of cultural monuments in the area of armed conflicts for 4 years. Baku was supported by 45 states out of 60, Vasif Eyvazzade, Head of international relations department of Azerbaijan’s ministry of culture and tourism, said, reported. According to him, membership in the committee will allow Azerbaijan to raise issues related to preservation of cultural heritage in the occupied territories [Nagorno Karabakh].

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Azerbaijan plans to widen cooperation with China in all fields. In the framework of his state visit to China, Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, met Lou Qinjian, Governor of province Shaanxi, reported. During the meeting, the President underlined Azerbaijan’s intention to widen its relations with China in all fields including culture. The governor in his side noted, that the province is located on the ancient Silk Road, adding that the visit will contribute to cooperation in energy and humanitarian fields.

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Belarus Parliament preliminary adopted Code on Culture. Belarusian MPs passed the first reading of the draft Code on Culture (first document of such kind in the world) on 3 December, reported. The document envisages a comprehensive and systemic regulation of public relations in the cultural sector. First Deputy Culture Minister Irina Driga stated, presenting the bill, that the document is unmatched in the world. In particular, the document legalizes cultural sponsors and art patrons as subjects of the cultural activity. “Thus, charitable activity in the cultural sector gets legislative support,” noted Irina Driga. According to her, the draft law introduces the notion of the public-private partnership in the cultural sector. The bill expands the role of public organizations in the protection of the historical and cultural heritage. Apart from that, the document includes issues related to the cooperation with Belarusians living abroad with a view to preserving their national and cultural identity.

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Minister of culture doesn’t rule out Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alekseevich could receive state award. If there is an initiative from a civil society organization, then why not, said Boris Svetlov, Belarus’ minister of culture, responding to a question whether the only Belarus Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alekseevich could receive a state award. He declined critical remarks that the state authorities have congratulated Alekseevich too modest, adding that he doesn’t consider her works to be Russophobe. At the same time, he refused to comment Alekseevich Nobel speech, calling it to be political rather than culture oriented.

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Georgia’s former minister of culture appealed Constitutional Court to ban broadcasting Russian TV. Nikoloz Rurua, Georgia’s former minister of culture and science, appealed the country’s Constitutional Court demanding it to ban broadcasting of Russian TV channels in Georgia, It’s time to neutralize Russian propaganda disseminated by such channels as NTV, RTR, Zvesda and others, Rurua said. Russian TV channels justify occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well as manipulate Georgian viewers by broadcasting distort information, he added.

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Exhibition on Russian occupation of Georgia is opened in Kyiv. An exhibition “Crawling Border” dedicated to Russian occupation of Georgia was opened in Kyiv with the support of Georgia’s ministry of culture and monument protection. The main idea of the project is to reflect the reality faced by Georgia and other countries like Ukraine due to its geopolitical position, the organizers said.

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EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme launched in Moldova. The European Union-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme unveiled its activities regarding the culture and creativity sectors for the next two years in Chisinau, Moldpres reports. In his greeting message, EU Ambassador to Moldova Pirkka Tapiola stressed the importance of the aforementioned programme for Moldova. "Thanks to this programme, you will participate in actions that will modernise the Moldovan society, in order to turn it creative, sustainable, for a better future of the state," Pirkka Tapiola said. Moldpres

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Moldova and Romania plan to restore 200 old films. 200 old films will be digitalized and presented to the public. The new joint project will be run by filmmakers of Moldova and Romania, RTR Moldova reported. Films will be then handed over to TV channels in these two countries free of charge to promote old films in Romania language. RTR Moldova

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Lawmaker assumed merge of ministries of culture, education and sport. In the context of continued debates about possible reshuffling in the Ukrainian government, Mykola Tomenko, an MP representing Black Petra Poroshenka faction, assumed that the ministry of culture could be merged with the ministries of education and sport. The Prime Minister justifies integration of ministries by budget saving, Tomenko said, adding that as a result we may receive one “poor” minister dealing with humanitarian sector. RBK-Ukraina

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