‘Soul of Russia’ Festival to Present Creative Industry Achievements at SPIEF 2023

The ‘Soul of Russia. International Festival of the Peoples of the North’ and the Creative Industries EXPO will take place at the Lenfilm film studio during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on 14–17 June. Visitors will be able to see the achievements of representatives of Russia’s creative industries with an emphasis on regional and ethnic features. The festival’s discussion and cultural programmes are 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.

“A key objective of the festival is to promote and popularize the cultural and historical values, traditions, and creative heritage of the peoples of the Russian North as a basis for the formation of creative industries – an intensively developing and promising sector of the region’s economy,” said Anton Kobyakov, an adviser to the Russian president and executive secretary of the SPIEF Organizing Committee and the Organizing Committee for Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023.

The purpose of the ‘Soul of Russia. International Festival of the Peoples of the North’ project is to enhance the contribution of creative industries to the Russian economy and promote Russia’s national values worldwide as well as the development of the creative sector. The festival visitors will have a chance to view the works of street artists, authors of audio-visual performances, ethnic film directors, and representatives of unique crafts. Particular attention will be paid to Russia’s Arctic regions and the Indigenous peoples of the North: their culture, heritage, and a modern rethinking of the traditional creative industries of the Northern ethnic groups.

“Today, the potential of cultural industries and creative entrepreneurship largely dictates the prospects for the socioeconomic achievements of the regions. We view the ‘Soul of Russia’ project as an important initiative that not only supports the preservation of the historical heritage of the Indigenous peoples of the North, but also contributes to the progressive development of the economy of the northern territories through the creative sector,” Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Arctic Senior Officials Nikolay Korchunov said.

“The Russian North, with its unique nature, cultural heritage, original traditions of Indigenous peoples, and strong-willed people, is a real treasure trove for the development of creative industries. I firmly believe that the festival will become a vivid event that will draw additional attention to the Arctic and help northerners realize their creative potential, exchange experience, and find new friends and like-minded people,” Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic Alexey Chekunkov said.

The upcoming festival will be the fourth as part the ‘Soul of Russia’ project. Similar events were previously held at the Eastern Economic Forum in 2022, the ‘Civil Initiatives of the 60th Parallel Regions’ International Humanitarian Forum, and at the Spirit of Fire film debut festival.

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.


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