New Delhi, November 2022.
Participants in sessions that took place as part of the track ‘Social and Cultural Initiatives and Best Non-Profit Projects in Creative Entrepreneurship’ at the ‘Civil Initiatives of the 60th Parallel Regions’ International Humanitarian Forum, which took place in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District city of Kogalym on 21–22 November, discussed the cultural achievements of the northern regions and the use of creative industries for the economic growth of the Arctic regions. The discussions were part of the plan of events of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023, which are being managed by the Roscongress Foundation. The sessions were organized by the Innosocium Foundation, the social platform of the Roscongress Foundation.
“The humanitarian aspect of developing the northern regions is one of the main priorities of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council, and preserving and integrating the cultural heritage of the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North into modern culture is a key component of investing in the human capital of the Arctic. This is why events such as the ‘Civil Initiatives of the 60th Parallel Regions’ and the audio-visual project ‘Soul of Russia. The North’ are so important. I am certain that these events provided the participants with an opportunity to identify new points of growth in the northern regions and take a fresh look at ways to preserve the culture of Arctic ethnic groups,” said Anton Kobyakov, Advisor to the Russian President and Executive Secretary of the Organizing Committee for Russia’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
As part of the forum’s business programme, the Innosocium Foundation held five sessions that were united by the common theme of improving people’s quality of life in the harsh natural and climatic conditions of the northern territories as one of the most important priorities of the government’s policy in the Arctic.
“The forum has enormous practical importance for the regions of the 60th parallel. The development of communications between people who live in these vast northern expanses, and a creative approach in solving urgent social problems will have a positive impact on the development of the economy and politics, education and culture, traditional crafts and modern technologies,” Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic Alexey Chekunkov said.
In addition, experts and opinion leaders from the creative and social sectors held public talks on the theme of ‘Social and Cultural Initiatives and Best Non-Profit Projects in Creative Entrepreneurship’.
“The ‘Civil Initiatives of the 60th Parallel Regions’ Forum is a proven platform for the exchange of experience between representatives of the third sector, business, and the government. Each Russian region that took part in it has its own practices, but I am certain that the baggage that each of us has was replenished with new useful ideas and contacts, which will be manifested tomorrow by strengthening civil society and the socioeconomic development of the regions,” Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District–Yugra Governor Natalya Komarova said.
The ‘Soul of Russia. The North’ audio-visual project included an ethnic show of musical and dance groups featuring performances by Yakut hip-hop performers KitJah and MOSKILA featuring DJ Gudeykon, the Khaytnut Eryg ethno group, the Smola dance group, the Yudi Theatre of Modern Choreography from Tomsk, and Vera Kondratyev and Dance company INSIDE. The audience also viewed the Arctic Mix audio-visual performance with kinetic 3D objects, a laser show, and ethnic music.
The ‘Soul of Russia. The North’ pilot project previously took place at the Eastern Economic Forum in September 2022 in Vladivostok on the stage of the Far East Street exhibition. The project is expected to continue at all major events managed by the Roscongress Foundation, including in 2023 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the Eastern Economic Forum.
“The sustainable development of Russia’s Arctic zone is one of the priorities of the government’s policy. However, the economic plans cannot be implemented without taking into account the cultural, historical, and national characteristics of the regions and an open dialogue with society. The cultural traditions of Indigenous Peoples as bearers of the unique code of the northern territories should be integrated into modern education and culture. We firmly believe that the creative potential of northern ethnic groups has a positive impact on the regional economy,” said NikolayKorchunov, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials and Ambassador-at-Large for Arctic Cooperation of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Russia is the chair of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. One of Russia’s main priorities is to develop human capital in the region, including the Indigenous Peoples of the North. Russia devotes special attention to maintaining the sustainability and viability of the peoples of the North, promoting measures to adapt them to climate change, improving people’s well-being, health, education, and quality of life, and ensuring sustainable socioeconomic development throughout the region. The Russian side has initiated projects to digitalize the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, develop renewable energy sources, create an international Arctic research station that runs on carbon-free energy, and ensure biosecurity in the Arctic. In addition, Russia is preparing draft proposals on the traditional medicine of Indigenous Peoples and the development of creative industries in the Arctic, and is working on an initiative to create Digital Museums of the Arctic.