On 28 April through 2 May 2015 International Publishing Group Limited (IPGL) was hosting in London the third meeting of two-year Partnership called “Culture and Media Production as a Tool for Integration” under the financial support of Grundtvig Programme. This is a two-year partnership of organizations from seven European countries under the support of the EU Lifelong Learning (Lifelong Learning Programme) Grundtvig Fund. The project is designed to help creative Russian-speaking people to meet and exchange knowledge. The partnership aims to present contemporary Russia and to overcome stereotypes through the prism of culture, music and cinema.

Leaders, activists and creative people from different European countries came together to share with each other their knowledge, talent and desire to integrate into the surrounding society through culture.

During the meeting there was a round table discussion involving heads of British organizations integrated into the cultural sphere, as well as representatives of the Embassy of Russian Federation in Great Britain and Mission of Rossotrudnichestvo in the United Kingdom. Representatives of organizations shared their experience of promoting Russian culture and Russian products in the UK market, emerging issues and potential.

Chairman of the Coordination Council of Russian Compatriots in the UK Olga Balakleets, who is also the director of the Ensemble Production, spoke about the role of the Coordinating Council in elevation of Russian culture and its place in cooperation with British organizations and local authorities. Svetlana Adjoubei, director of the Academy “Academia Rossica”, which is the inspirer and the founder of the Russian Film Festival in London, the Festival of Russian literature “SLOVO”, expressed her views on the principles of intercultural activities. Karina Baldry, the partners of the culinary duo “Russian Revels, spoke about her experience of Russian cuisine abroad and the creation of a unique Russian cuisine project called “Dacha” as part of the annual gastronomy fair in London. Margarita Bagrov, the founder of “Urban Events” shared the experience of transferring an existing Russian business into activities abroad. Andrey Kharchenko, representing the magazine “British Style” and organizing tours of top Russia cultural figures, noted the importance of interaction between organizations and the establishment of high-quality Russian product. Anna Tarasova, employee of the travel company BSI UK, presented their vision of tourism market in the UK and its correlation with the current economic situation.

The organizers and leaders have undergone a mutual learning process and shared knowledge on stimulation of creative talent workers in different ages and use of cultural products and media to promote ideas of tolerance and intercultural dialogue.

There was a series of training involving representatives of Russian media in the UK and other European countries where working groups have exchanged experience and expertise in the creation, maintenance and development of Russian media abroad.

The productive dialogue has ended up with the premier of the film “Out” about the life of Russian-speaking migrants in Europe. The film is a collection of short stories by young talented filmmakers and screenwriters from different countries. Viewers have seen 5 stories of people who are united by Russian language culture, past and present. It shows the stories of Russians in Europe and foreigners in Russian-speaking countries. The film reflects the common traits of Russian and European cultures, differences of perception, conflicts and prejudices associated with it. The purpose of the film is to reflect the modern picture of the cultural relationship through the eyes of contemporaries, as well as change some stereotypes, improve the perception of Russian people and reach the mutual understanding between Russian-speaking and European citizens.

Participants of the Partnership were the leading Russian-speaking organizations of Europe such as Union des Russophones de France (France), International Society for youth initiatives “Lorgus Ry” (Finland), Občianske združenie ROSSIJA (Slovakia), the Association “Youth Initiative Group” (Lithuania), Pragmatiki Club (Czech Republic), the Youth Support Centre “Egeo” (Greece) and International Publishing Group Limited (United Kingdom).

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