St. Petersburg 2016

The last leg of the series Neighbourhood in Europe – Perspectives for a Common Future, which opened with the debate in Estonia in the autumn of 2015, and included stops in Minsk and Kharkiv, is held in Russia. The debate series’ journey began in Narva, on the border with Russia, and ends in St. Petersburg, Russia’s former capital, where the question is posed what the city’s place in the world is today. More urgently, it also asks what or where Russia’s place is. In Europe? Nina Popova writes that “In her biography (meant as the biography of her generation) Anna Akhmatova took European and Russian events as the starting point, matching and comparing them: «I was born the same year as Charlie Chaplin and Tolstoy’s «The Kreutzer Sonata», the Eiffel Tower and probably Elliot. That summer Paris was celebrating the centenary of the Bastille fall — 1889. […] We did not know in the early 10’s that we lived on the eve of the first European war and the October revolution…». They were able to contemplate their time and measure its depth by matching the Russian and the  European, to ask questions and try to answer them.”

How do intellectuals from different parts of the European continent see today’s current relationship with Russia? How do their Russian colleagues perceive Russia’s position in the European context? The event offers a platform for an open debate on the means and perspectives for a European-Russian neighbourhood. Russian intellectuals will exchange views and opinions with their European colleagues from Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Sweden, Serbia, and the USA, about current opportunities as well as challenges, among them Elena Fainalova, Jacques Rupnik, Michail Ryklin, Marci Shore, Nikolay Solodnikov, and Maria Stepanova.


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