Shocking panel session: how Medinsky captivates with grants, while Ayupova has a creative hairdo and goal setting
The Tatarstan Ministry of Culture has chosen a new route
The final panel session of the Tatarstan Ministry of Culture with VIP participant federal Minister Vladimir Medinsky was in Kazan on 1 February. He challenged Innopolis programmers, generously showered Tatarstan with compliments and captivated with grants. However, the panel session stood out from the crowd even without the high-ranking guest: Irada Ayupova who debuted there as new minister surprised with the ministry's new route and her courageous image. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.
Irada Ayupova courageous image and ministry's new route
The Ministry of Culture's panel session is usually treated as a residual as sad as it might sound. But this year, the situation is different – Vladimir Medinsky came, this is why almost all officials of Tatarstan including people who far from culture (regarding professional interests) appeared in the Kamal Theatre.
Irada Ayupova anxiously waited for VIP guests. It was her debut as a culture minister, and she had prepared for it carefully. A new image, which is quite courageous, was the first thing to catch the eye. The minister has had her hair dyed in red and blue (who has ever seen such a thing in Russia, moreover, in Tatarstan famous for a conservative style?). Not completely, though. It remained a mystery if it was an attempt to depict the Russian tricolour or just an accidental decision of the stylist.
Ayupova's creativity in her appearance set the pace for the whole panel session. It was pleasantly different from similar events and the Ministry of Culture's previous panel sessions – no balalaika and dances to the accordion in folk costumes, chack-chack and tired old Quaker huts demonstrating the everyday life of the 19 th century. It seems to be that new route of the ministry – to show that culture is about the youth, that can be fashionable and up-to-date, at the same time, as Irada Ayupova would say later, with a balance between renewal and conservatism, traditional views and creative search.
But first things first.
''You have everything like in the ad'': Medinsky challenges Innopolis programmers
Vladimir Medinsky was shown an exhibition in the foyer first. He was told about an online ticket office, he highly praised it and offered to polish such a federal website. ''You have Innopolis, if you have the most advanced staff like in the ad, I am making you an offer. If your specialists come and arrange a single effective system of sale without destroying the old system, a monument to you can be put not only in Kazan,'' the minister commented on what he saw.
He saw jewellers from the Kazan Arts and Crafts College to work and a project of reconstruction of the Kazan Youth Theatre – he was also impressed and advised to apply for a grant of the Russian Ministry of Culture with it.
Another Russian theatre in Tatarstan – the Kachalov – wasn't laid out on the exhibition, but quick theatre director Aleksandr Slavutsky surrounded Medinsky within seconds while the latter was walking from one stand to another. He brought his theatre family to the minister – he invited his son and wife to the opening of the theatre's museum. ''People, serious federal officials will come here,'' he advertised.
Meanwhile, head of the Tatarstan Presidential Administration Asgat Safarov told about his daughter's project – not to Medinsky but a lady whom he probably hadn't seen for long: ''Have you seen Karenina? You must see it!''
The panel session traditionally began with a video briefly telling about results of the year. But here Ayupova broke stereotypes again. Instead of a dull news piece – a breath-taking short film. The film itself accumulated hundreds of likes in the form of applause.
Compliment from federal minister: ''The whole country should thank you''
Responsible Secretary of the Commission on UNESCO Grigory Ordzhonikidze noted Tatarstan for Bolgar and Sviyazhsk.
''We also cooperate with Constellation and Our Era projects – they are worthy of being spread to not only Russian regions but also other countries. Especially Our Era, which is a strategic project to conserve working young people's art, help to prevent extremism and terrorism,'' Ordzhonikidze said.
Vladimir Medinsky addressed Rustam Minnikhanov as ''respected'' and Mintimer Shaimiev as ''highly esteemed''. He praised Tatarstan for participating in federal projects, many of which were born in the republic.
''I want to say one thing that nobody here knows. In 2012, when I came to Tatarstan for the first time, Mr Minnikhanov took me to a village and showed a small House of Culture from one hand and a rural health post on the other hand – convenient, cosy and cheap. We took this standard project and created a federal programme to co-finance the construction and reconstruction of rural houses of culture. This year, we allocate 4,6bn rubles in it. The idea was born here, in Tatarstan, and the whole country should thank you.''
Cofinancing of cinemas in Chelny and Almetyevsk and 500-million grant
Medinsky told the Russian Ministry of Culture was ready to co-finance the construction of cinema halls, including commercial, if Russian films occupied at least 50% of the repertoire. If earlier the programme covered small cities, now it includes cities with up to 900,000 people. The minister offered Naberezhnye Chelny and Almetyevsk to take part in it.
''I had a look at statistics, two-thirds of cinema-goers bought tickets to Russian films in January, so it's easy to reach 50%,'' he assured.
Medinsky also offered cultural institutions to actively apply for grants awarded in Culture national project. The direct grant for Tatarstan is about 500m rubles.
''I'd like you to participate in these contests and win more given your experience, talents.''
Rustam Minnikhanov paid attention to a landmark – the jubilee of the creation of the TASSR. ''It's not only a series of holidays but also a time to draw conclusions, realise our role in the Russian Federation.''
He noted that public spaces were becoming a favourite place to spend leisure time and it was possible to attract both state and private culture institutions. Minnikhanov urged to introduce new ways of communication with spectators but at the same time ''not to forget about succession, traditions and the necessity to pass knowledge from the older to younger generation together with fashionable novelties''.