Artyom Silkin, Sviyazhsk museum-reserve: ''We will increase tourist flow up to 600,000 people this year''

Whether the land in Sviyazhsk will be sold to build cottages, who will head the jury of the film festival and when the museum of Gennady Arkhireyev will be opened

Artyom Silkin, Sviyazhsk museum-reserve: ''We will increase tourist flow up to 600,000 people this year'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

Sviyazhsk is becoming a newsmaker in the field of culture: a play based on archival letters of the residents is going to be shown here every weekend, the next Sviyazhsk ARTel and, most importantly, in August the island hosts the first international documentary film festival. About the cultural projects of Sviyazhsk and whether the island-town will be in the UNESCO list, director of the museum–reserve Artyom Silkin tells in the second part of the online conference.

''A director from Switzerland is coming to our city''

Mr Silkin, what was the number of tourists last year and what is forecast for this year?

Since we have a system of counting visitors we have more adequate information. However, we do not have this system in the area of the river station, but it will be built there. The dynamics of the tourist flow — it is a growth by 40-50% each year. Last year we had over 500,000 people, this year we hope that this threshold will be exceeded and we will receive more than 600,000 people.

Last year, the theatrical laboratory Sviyazhsk ARTel was successful. Will it be held this year?

It will. Sviyazhsk ARTel takes place in the second half of July, interesting directors will take part. For the first time there will work a Swiss director Massimo Furlan, who comes to Tatarstan with the support of the Swiss Foundation Pro Helvetia. He's already familiar with Sviyazhsk, he has selected pupils fom Sviyazhsk, the play will be based on their stories. Besides, Kazan artists will work there. He will come in July and work directly on the show. An artist Kseniya Peretrukhina and a director Vsevolod Lisovsky will stage another performance. The theme of this lab — constraints. In the broadest sense of the word. The island of Sviyazhsk is bounded by water, there existed a number of institutions related to constraints, for example, the monastery. All the performances that will be staged, they also will be connected with constraints, the number of spectators will be limited. Most likely, the performances of the laboratory this year will not be transferred to Kazan then due to the fact that they are associated with our landscape. This year with the support of the Committee for tourism and the President of Tatarstan we have been allocated funds for such theatre festival, in its framework in July-August we will show performances every weekend.

Is it new performances?

We want to restore one play, it is the play based on letters stored in our museum. The text at the time was prepared by Yaroslava Pulinovich, staged by Pevel Zobnin, this year there will be a different director, a different interpretation. The text is based on our museum collections, and we are interested in conducting this performance.


''Most likely, the performances of the laboratory this year will not be transferred to Kazan then due to the fact that they are associated with our landscape.'' Photo: vk.com/zhukoffed

''Chairman of the jury will be Marina Razbezhkina''

Could you tell us about the festival the island-town hosts?

The idea of the festival came up spontaneously during a discussion with our partners from the gallery Smena, with a film director Marina Razbezhkina. It has been established a competition commission, which selects the works for this festival, auditions will be held directly in Sviyazhsk in August. For now we expect that it will be outside, in the courtyard of the museum, the jury and everyone who wish will watch. The rewarding will be at the end. Of course, there will be master classes for young filmmakers. The finale of the festival is likely to coincide with the premiere of the opera by Aleksander Manotskov, the roles will be performed by young Kazan soloists. The project is implemented jointly with the Fund Sforzando. They help with musicians and performers. This opera is part of the trilogy conceived by Manotskov. All dates will be known, we have the website of the island.

Where are the participants from who will come to the international festival?

The interest in the festival is huge, the requests are coming from different countries, probably not because of us but because of the authority of Marina Razbezhkina. The geography of participants is very wide, the festival is truly international. We hope that, in addition to the jury, the audience will also come. If the weather in August will not disappoint. And then, we have Innopolis in neighbourhood, cottage settlements, we hope that the audience will come.

Who finances the festival?

The funds are allocated by the president of our republic. Marina Razbezhkina has agreed to be Chairman of the jury.

''The interest in the festival is huge, the requests are coming from different countries, probably not because of us but because of the authority of Marina Razbezhkina.'' Photo: art1.ru

''Waiting for the vote''

What are the chances Sviyazhsk gets in the UNESCO list?

The object itself does not cause problems. There is a certain current political situation, a lot depends on this. We have done the necessary work, the documents prepared are of high quality, it is recognized by international experts. The material we presented have been highly assessed by the specialists. The next stage is the vote.

When will it be resolved?

This year.

The question from our readers, but I would ask it in any case. When will be opened the museum of an artist Gennady Arkhireyev?

Major renovation works in the building, which will house the museum, are coming to an end, we will soon begin the museumification of this house, I think in June-July it opens. Everything is ready.

Are the works owned by the museum?

Yes, they are. We have dozens of works of Gennady Arkhireyev, the most famous, there are drawings, which are also interesting, there are also early ones, it is possible to trace the development of the artist. There are several works on tile. The art of Arkhireyev will be represented almost completely. Plus, we have memotial things, the artist's widow gave them to us. In fact, there will be recreated the apartment. I think everything is quite interesting.

The reproduction of the paining by Gennady Arkhireyev from the album allapri.livejournal.com

Does the museum-reserve operates on the money it earns, or it receives budget money?

We are a state budget institution, this title reveals the sources of funding. The basic salary and utility costs, of course, are allocated from the budget. But the money to pay people a decent salary, of course, we make ourselves.

''The land on the island is limited''

How are your relations with the fund Revival built?

The fund is a major participant in the revival of Sviyazhsk. With its support, we have renovated buildings that now the museum-reserve occupies, created the exposition of our museum, the storage facility has been equipped and so on.

Readers are worried: is there any threat that the land on Sviyazhsk will be sold under cottages?

It is necessary to understand what the cottage means in the readers understanding. If it is a stone house of four walls, they are already in Sviyazhsk. We cannot have new parcels by definition. The island is the territory bounded in all sides by water. It is nowhere to appear for new parcels. There are lands belonging to citizens, and they can sell them, it is their right. If to talk about whether the local population will be replaced, this process has stopped. Earlier, the local inhabitants sold their houses and land because there was no work, no prospects, people were leaving. Now they have jobs, schools, all conditions have been created, what is the point for a local resident to leave? Therefore, there is no a mass of sale of lands on Sviyazhsk. And then, only a very big fan of this place, wealthy one, can build something today in Sviyazhsk. One has to spend a lot of time on agreeing of the project, to spend funds on necessary archaeological works — is it worth it?

We are a state budget institution, this title reveals the sources of the funding. The basic salary and utility costs, of course, are allocated from the budget. But the money to pay people a decent salary, of course, we make ourselves

How many local residents are there today?

About 250 people. About 50% are elderly, the rest are young people.

What new will be offered to tourists this year?

In addition to what we have already said, for tourists who come for a little time, there will work different exhibitions. Soon we open an exhibition of cinematographer Sergey Litovets, he filmed Sviyazhsk quite a lot. In the summer the art gallery opens, it will be a permanent exhibition, there will be presented works from our collection, they have never been exposed in such volume. All Sviyazhsk artists will be presented. Besides, there will be artists not from Sviyazhsk who draw Sviyazhsk. For example, there will the work of a cult artist Aleksey Anikeyenko, it has recently been published in the latest catalogue of the works of this master. It depicts the Sviyazhsk Church of St. Constantine and Helena. It was in a private collection, but we have purchased it.

By Tatyana Mamaeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov. Video: Kamil Ismailov