A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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30 May 2019

Boris Grebenshchikov: “It’s time to rebuild what we have”

St. Petersburg is generally considered to be the nation’s cultural capital, and this is largely thanks to such figures as Boris Grebenshchikov. The musician and thinker talks about the relationship between artists and the authorities, the influence of Europe on Russia, and the divine origin.

Last year, the 14th Dalai Lama said that the Russian people could become the world’s leading nation. He acknowledged Russia’s huge potential on a geographical level. Would you agree with this? What has prevented Russia from becoming the leader of the world in the past, and what needs to be done for this to happen?
I’m not sure I understand — is it really necessary for the world to have a leading nation? Isn’t this the same as saying the body should have a ‘leading organ’? Wouldn’t this be harmful to the body? The way I see it, the nations of the world should all mind their own business, live in harmony, and trade with each other.

That being said, we have truly enormous potential here in Russia and it’s vital that we capitalize on it. In the nineteenth century, when Russia was part of Europe, we saw masterpiece after masterpiece in Russian literature, painting, and music, and these works are still considered to be great contributions to world culture. We are no less capable today, but education, culture, production, and medicine have been almost completely destroyed in our country. First of all, it’s time to rebuild what we have. And we don’t just have geographical potential — our main asset is our human potential.

Does it upset you when people find meanings in your songs other than the ones that you put into them? Essentially, do you think artists should educate people and show them the way?
I don’t «put meanings in my songs». The truth is found in the structure of the song itself. It’s like a mathematical equation: the listener can ascribe to it whatever individual circumstances he wishes. The song remains true. The song is the confession, the communi¬on with the Creator, and you don’t lie at confession.

A feature in the Snob magazine described you as «still learning how to be human.» What does it mean to be human?
There is a divine origin contained in every person. To be human is to make this origin manifest in your life. There are clear signs. The higher man is in his development, the more visible is this origin, the less he takes and the more he gives. There is nothing for God to take, for he is everything. Every one of us was born and received the gift of life in this miraculous world. We have been given so much and it’s quite honestly time we gave something in return.

After the Tbilisi-80 Festival you lost your job and were expelled from the Komsomol. Do you think the government of today is putting a lot of pressure on artists?
By definition, any government is always endeavouring to create a climate favourable to its survival. Since we have a situation in which government is opposed to culture, where those in government are doing everything in their power to show that any culture is alien to them, the current situation is beneficial only to those who are transparent in their intentions to make money. And thank God for that! The blessing of the government has never helped art. A true artist has no concept of power other than the muse’s instruction.

What impact, if any, is the economic situation having on art?
The economy always has an effect on art, but it’s impossible to predict the results of its influence. Many have tried, and they always came unstuck.

What is your favourite place in St Petersburg? And why?
I’m not telling you. I don’t want to put it in the spotlight (laughs).

Source: SPIEF-2018 Official Magazine

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