ŽIVA Award 2019 during the Forum

On November, 13 the State Museum of Political History of Russia hosted the ceremony entitled "Živa after Živa", attended by members of the delegation of the Forum of Slavic Cultures (FSC) and professionals of the museum industry.

The event summarized the results of the Živa International Museum Award 2019 and winning museum received their prizes.

The ceremony was attended by Andrea Richter (Slovenia), Director of the Forum of Slavic Cultures, Pavel Douša (Czech Republic), member of the judge panel of Živa Award 2019, Evgeny Artemov, General Director of the State Museum of Political History of Russia, and representatives of other museums that won the Živa Award 2019.

In 2019, 25 museums from 11 countries competed for the title of the best Slavic museum. The Živa Award 2019 in the nomination for "Best Slavic Museum" went to the State Museum of Political History of Russia. The award for the "Best Slavic Heritage Site" went to the Brest Hero Fortress Memorial Complex (City of Brest, Belarus). Special prizes were awarded to: for leadership — Matica Srpska Gallery (Novi Sad, Serbia), for attention to visitors and openness — The International Center of Graphic Art (Ljubljana, Slovenia), for creativity —the  Museum of the Polish Song in Opole (Opole, Poland), for storytelling — the Museum of War-Time Childhood (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), for effective use of resources — The Museum of Decorative Art (Prague, Czech Republic). The judge panel also presented an honorary award to the Tsaritsyno State Museum and Reserve (Moscow, Russia).

"I am happy to be in Saint Petersburg on this wonderful event that we hold on Day Zero of the Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum. This year the Forum of Slavic Cultures participates in the Forum with the "Special Program" status to celebrate its 15th anniversary," said Andrea Richter. "In 2019 we present theŽiva Award for the sixth time. Our prize is very important because before 2016 not a single museum of the Slavic world, which is home to 300 million people, ever received a prize in Western Europe. TheŽiva Award has been initially created as a special prize for the best Slavic museum, with the goal of stimulating engagement of Slavic museums and cultures.

ŽIVA Awardis the most recent European award in the museum area and the only award of this kind in the south-east part of Europe. It was established in 2012 on the initiative of the expert project team comprised of representatives of the member states of the Forum of Slavic Cultures. The Award is focused on revealing, encouraging, awarding and promoting museum projects, experiments and practices within the specific cultural and geographical context of Slavic countries, as well as on strengthening cooperation among the institutions involved in preservation of the cultural heritage.

"The Živa Award is the central channel for communication between museums in Europe. Members of the judge panel visit nominated museums twice a year. Our visits are never a secret: museum management and staff know well when they have judges coming, and so they have time to prepare and share their ideas with us. I think this is very important because this process facilitates a relationship between countries and creates additional cultural ties," Pavel Douša said.

Evgeny Artemov, Director of the State Museum of Political History of Russia, spoke about the importance of international cooperation in the museum sphere.

"Our team thinks it is very important to expand our contacts with colleagues from Slavic countries in accordance with the principles as defined by the Forum of Slavic Cultures. These principles are reflected in the simple motto: "Culture makes people closer." Within the framework of this Forum we are ready to talk about joint projects of the next year. Museum workers, like no other people understand how important it is to preserve the memories of how our forefathers lived, what they dreamed of, what defined the moods of many generations in our countries. It is us, museum workers and workers of culture, who play an active part in preserving and developing the unified Slavic community of nations. We do it better than politicians. Our joint projects and intercultural contacts help us strengthen our friendship and popularize the heritage of Slavic peoples. I think today the Forum of Slavic Cultures does a very good job bringing our Slavic nations together," Evgeny Artemov said.

In 2019 the Forum of Slavic Cultures received an honorary status of the "Special Program" at the Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum. The new status is aimed at the broadest and most vivid representation of a country or an organization at the Forum through discussion events and the Cultural Program. The FSC Special Program includes roundtable discussions with participation of directors of leading museums and representatives of largest publishing houses of Slavic countries, film screenings and public readings of the best contemporary Slavic novels.