Artek starts talking art

Artek is now opening its first spring session – Talking Art.  It is taking place at a time when Russian citizens are choosing their president, so Artek’s dialogue will focus on the most important things: choice and responsibility, and life itself. The center will host a children’s referendum, a TED Talk conference and the Palmira festival, meetings with theater actors, the ArtChoice project, three exhibitions of paintings and a number of other events, which will help children learn more about world-famous works of art and realize their talents. Meanwhile, 2,018 children are trying on their new Artek uniforms, choosing their specialized groups and examining the art studios.

What is a work of art? Why have barbarians destroyed cultural monuments at various times? How is personal choice made, and what choice am I making? These are the key questions of the third session. The new experience that children will gain in the course of the 21-day session will help them find answers to these questions. At the Palmira Art Festival, Artek children will get to know the basic laws of the arts of singing and dancing, and discover their talent for recitation and acting. Street art classes might help children to discover a new Banksy among them, while workshops held by actors from the Nikolai Skorik Moscow Experimental Theatre will help them understand and fall in love with theater.

“I love dancing and singing, so this session’s main theme is close to my heart,” said Viktoria Osychenko from the city of Ust-Dzheguta. “I hope that in Artek, I will be able to try my hand at theater and art, discover new talents. The environment is supporting to this: it is so beautiful around here and everyone welcomes us in such a friendly way.”

Azred-Ali Akbayev from the city of Karachayevsk can talk art, too. Despite having to travel a long way down to Artek, he took a guitar with him to sing during group evenings. He is too shy to sing in front of a big audience, but who knows? Everything is possible in Artek, so, perhaps, we will see the boy from Karachayevo-Circassia singing on the center’s main stage.

“Writer Bertolt Brecht once said that all art forms are in the service of the greatest of all arts: the art of living,” said Natalya Tsarkova, the head of the third session. “And living consciously means being responsible for one’s choice. This choice starts with the smallest of things: which books should I choose to read, which hobby group should I join? In order to discuss these things with children, we will be using new approaches during the third session. One of them, for instance, is network-based educational interaction, where the entire center will be busy doing one common thing. The Art-TED Talk conference will bring together teachers and counselors, methodologists and psychologists. They will tell children about their choice of profession and creative work, and how this choice affected their lives.”

The internet will become a helpful tool in speaking to children about their personal choices. Artek will launch a new social network project, ArtChoice: Names in Art. During the course of this project, children will learn the names of famous ballerinas, writers, poets and artists, and get to choose which they like the most: Galina Ulanova or Anna Pavlova, Sergei Yesenin or Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ivan Shishkin or Kazimir Malevich?

This session’s theme is based on Yury Levitansky’s poem, Every Man Chooses for Himself. This poem’s profound idea is that we make our choice and respect other people’s choices, Tsarkova said. “If we want to build a modern, interesting and progressive world, we have to teach our children how to do this.”