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Federal tour

A few general words about the Far Eastern art, or about the Far East again forgot

Federal tour
Photo: Goga Shutter /

Leonid Blyakher

Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy
The next economic forum in Vladivostok has ended, traditionally developing recipes for our (Far Easterners) salvation. As usual, benefits are promised to all migrants, it is reported that some of them are already being provided. In a word, everything is quite standard. Even the aesthetic needs of the region's inhabitants have not been forgotten. New branches of museums, galleries and much more have been promised for the already opened branch of the Mariinsky. It's good? Definitely good. But ... there is something that is somewhat confusing. I'll try to share.

My colleague, studying the history of the cities of the Far East in the prewar years, somehow shared a find, or rather, finds. The archives have preserved numerous letters of complaint from residents of the Amur and coastal cities. Letters are different, and complaints are similar: how is it? I live here for many years, I work, I am considered an expert. But the visitor who arrived yesterday, works worse, but gets much more, the apartment is given to him out of turn, in every possible way patronized. Where is justice, citizens ?!

Something similar is happening now. Most of the speeches, plans and programs are aimed at "attracting" the population. But when it comes to talking about those who are "unlucky" and they already live in the region, the proposals of high guests and experts become strange: banning, optimizing, fighting, etc. It may very well be that some hundreds of thousands of people and will come to the Far East. That's just, I'm afraid, go with this approach much more. Approximately the same thing happens with Far Eastern artists, artists, musicians, writers, poets.

The organization of an active touring activity of remarkable metropolitan artists at the expense of the budget proceeds against the background, if not oblivion, then at least a significant decrease in the attention of the authorities to local and Far Eastern talents. So maybe they are not? Is everything that is in the region so "third class" that there is no point in developing it?

Of course it is not. The annual International Jazz Festival in Vladivostok gathers thousands of spectators and dozens of performers; Khabarovsk theaters become winners of prestigious awards, including the Golden Mask (Regional Musical Theater, Youth Theater); the KNaM theater is well known in Europe and can compete with many titled "Western" troupes; musicians, artists and writers from Khabarovsk are gaining fame far beyond its borders, and in the field of literature and art, Governor's and other prizes of the regional and regional levels are regularly awarded. But how many amazingly interesting musical and theatrical groups, soloists, singers, poets and artists in the region are not officially visible! And this is not always the underground, which is not always loved by the authorities. Even the Far Eastern Academic Symphony Orchestra can be called such invisibility, which officials only call the hallmark of the musical culture of the Far East, but in fact, the number of the collective over the past few years has decreased to a possible minimum (obviously not from the good life of the musicians), and it has long been content with touring not closer neighbors - Komsomolsk-on-Amur or the village of Nikolaevka ...

If even in the large cities of the region everything is not all right, then what about the smaller ones? About villages? Is it all about financing? The point is to understand the importance of everything that is local, something that makes its way and survives with great difficulty, often existing only at the expense of the enthusiasm of specific people, whose forces are not unlimited. It takes incredible luck, perseverance and an unprecedented combination of stars in order for something from the field of the Far Eastern artistic culture to be noticed and appreciated by the media, high authorities, and then by the mass consciousness of the inhabitants of the region.

Due to the fact that “one’s own” is initially perceived by one’s own as suitable “only for internal use”, and it becomes necessary not to supplement, but to replace local ones with visitors.

But it doesn't work here either. Graduates of the Khabarovsk Regional College of Arts, the Far Eastern Academy of Music, the Regional Institute of Arts and Culture give concerts in Germany and Korea, Japan and the USA with success. Worldwide. The creativity of the Far Eastern jazzmen is analyzed in encyclopedias on the history of jazz. Far Eastern poets and artists are becoming famous. But all this is not happening here, not at home. In order to become famous at home, you need very little - to leave, to stop being a Far East. You need to come to the Far East on tour according to the same programs for the development of the Far East.

Why? Is it only the usual absence of a prophet in his own country? I think that not only. The problem is that art becomes a hostage to reports. A big (All-Russian, International) event can be reported, it can be demonstrated to high authorities, you can get a thank-you or raise for it, and some money for it will be given at the regional level, and if you're lucky, then at the federal level. But daily work with "local" art promises far fewer bonuses for officials from culture, chiefs from art. We need to "knock out" housing and wages, organize advertising. It is necessary to quarrel and argue, defend and take risks. What for?

It is much easier and cheaper to bring a famous artist, hold 2-3 concerts, call it something beautiful (name festival ...), get praise and move on. You can, of course, say: what have the officials to do with it? They will always work "for the report", "for show." This is the nature of their profession. Art is appreciated by the public. It's like that. Here are just the halls, salary, advertising and a lot of other things today come from them, from officials. In order for the public to go to this name, it is necessary that she at least know about it. With our own efforts, this is possible, at best, at the level of the city - not even the region or region. There are, of course, exceptions, but that is why they are exceptions.

So artists and musicians, writers and artists leave the region. They leave to where they will be appreciated, where they are listened to, watched. Leaving young people who could become the pride of the Far East. Talented teachers leave.

Not so long ago, said goodbye to a man who lived here all his life, in many ways personified for me the best qualities of the Far East. In my almost hysterical question: why ?! He sighed and sadly replied: "My daughter. Everyone says that she has the ability to violin. She wins in competitions. And the teachers left. Here I go after them. "
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