Bright-Colored World. The 5th Forum of Ancient Cities

The 5th International Forum of Ancient Cities titled The Bright-Colored World took place in Ryazan Region on August 24–27. The national costume was chosen as the main theme of the Forum given the Year of Cultural Heritage of Peoples of Russia. The participants also commemorated important dates celebrated in the region: the 200th anniversary since the start of official archeological excavations in Old Ryazan and the 870th anniversary of the city of Kasimov.

Representatives of more than 200 ancient cities from 22 countries took part in online and offline events of the Forum. Olga Lyubimova, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, greeted the participants and noted that the research, preservation, nad popularization of the rich heritage is the priority for the state and the professional community. “The level of our attention to the issues regarding the preservation of the appearance and the historical spirit of the cities largely affects whether the future generations will follow our example,” she said.

The opening ceremony featured an outstanding performance of the State Academic Russian Folk Choir Named after M. Pyatnitsky. They sang traditional songs from various Russian regions, including the Ryazan, Moscow, Belgorod, and Irkutsk Regions as well as the Altai and Zabaikalye Territories, and performed modern hits. Other participants of the Forum’s cultural program included the Ensemble of Song, Music and Dance Belye Rosy from Belarus and the Udmurt State Theater of Folk Song and Dance Aikai.

On August 25–27, the Traditions at the Brushstroke plein-air event was held for professional and amateur painters as well as the students of Kolibri kid’s artistic studio. On the last day of the event, canvases depicting architectural landmarks of Ryazan and the events of the Bright-Colored World were displayed on Lybedsky Boulevard. During the Forum, the boulevard turned into the Bright-Colored Lybed area where people could buy souvenirs and folk craft items or take part in a master class. For the first time ever and with the support from the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives, the Forum hosted the International Festival of Patchwork Sewed and Worn Once Upon, where guests could admire the works by professional fashion designers from various regions of Russia and Belarus.

The Forum had an equally busy agenda with the Gorky Library as the main venue. On August 25, it hosted the 8th International Conference Ryazan Land: History, Culture, and Society. Kasimov Vector. More than 100 participants of the conference discussed history, archeology, ethnography, pictorial arts, literature, tourism, and regional studies conducted by libraries and museums. The plenary session of the Association of Ancient Cities was held on August 26, with discussions focusing on the national costume and the 200th anniversary since the start of official archeological excavations in Old Ryazan. The next day, the second World Café event took place in the form of a teleconference. During the event, executives and employees of cultural establishments from the Ryazan Region shared the best practices of promoting arts and culture and discussed the opportunities for joint projects with their colleagues from other Russian regions and foreign countries.

Marina Skvortsova