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HSE Nizhny Novgorod to Become Centre for Dialogue between France and Russia

HSE Nizhny Novgorod to Become Centre for Dialogue between France and Russia

The Russian-French Seasons festival is opening in Nizhny Novgorod, and HSE Nizhny Novgorod is one of the event’s organizers. On September 11, the Russian news agency Interfax held a press conference that saw the participation of the individuals behind the idea for the festival:  Valery Zusman, Director of HSE Nizhny Novgorod; Gennady Ryabov, Honorary Consul of the French Republic in Nizhny Novgorod; and Sophie Gindt, Director of the Alliance Française cultural centre in Nizhny Novgorod. Participants of the conference lifted the veil of secrecy and discussed key events that await all Francophiles this year. The programme proved to be very eventful.

Gennady Ryabov said the festival was inspired by the world famous ‘Russian Seasons’ by Sergei Diaghilev. HSE Nizhny Novgorod’s project with Alliance Française Nizhny Novgorod will be no less interesting and meaningful, according to the Honorary Consul. This is above all due to the fact that this festival, as the originators of the idea are hoping, will become a tradition.

The series of events was kicked off by the arrival of cult writer Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, also known as the ‘French Paulo Coelho,’ who opened a unique exhibition of illustrations by Tatiana Samoshkin for his famous novel 'Oscar and the Lady in Pink' at HSE Nizhny Novgorod’s main building. The author’s response exceeded all expectations. Schmitt noted that these pictures accurately reflect the mood of his works. Not only were students and teachers of the HSE invited to meet the writer, but also all admirers of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. Due to his busy schedule, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt was able to talk with his fans for just an hour. The meeting ended in an autograph session, the line for which wrapped around the entire first floor corridor of HSE’s main building.

The next major event of the festival is an international conference on Russia and France in the 17th Century, which will also be held at the HSE Nizhny Novgorod campus. This century was paramount for both countries, considering the schism of the Russian Orthodox Church and several religious wars in Europe. The 17th century will be looked at from various aspects: economic, political, literary, and more. As the Director of HSE Nizhny Novgorod Valery Zusman notes, the festival and, in particular, the conference will take place at the appropriate time. He adds that culture is the politics of dialogue, and the more conflicts in the political environment, the clearer it becomes that the cultural sphere is becoming the saving force for dialogue and discussion.

In addition, Sophie Gindt says Alliance Française is preparing several exhibitions devoted to famous French figures such as Jules Verne and Albert Camus. In November or December, those in Nizhny Novgorod can expect a celebration of young French wine, a sampling of recipes from famous 17th century French chefs, a weeklong French film festival, and much more.

Conference participants emphasized that the list of events would be added to on a regular basis. The festival will go on until the end of this year.

See also:

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proposals for new international laboratories at HSE University have been received from researchers from Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Norway, the USA, Estonia, and Japan.

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