Bringing Stories to Life during the 30th anniversary of the Kenozero National Park, Russia

The selected Russian creative practitioners come to the Kenozero National Park to become participants in an art expedition and to study the heritage of the protected region, to gain inspiration to interpret their stories into products.

In the year of its 30th anniversary, Kenozero National Park announced a grant competition "Bringing Stories to Life" for artisans, artists, and designers whose work is connected with the Russian North. The contest was held as part of the international Northword Storytagging project. For inspiration, the masters were invited to read an online collection of stories about Kenozero National Park, choose one story, and come up with an idea of a product based on it. In total, 20 applications were received for the competition from the northern Russian regions. This is not only clothing and accessories but also interior items, souvenirs, and other products. The jury, which consisted of Russian experts and project partners from Scotland, Finland, and Northern Ireland, selected seven winners. The winners of the contest "Bringing Stories to Life" became participants of an art expedition and came to the Kenozero National Park to study the heritage of the protected region, to fulfill with inspiration and interpret it in their products. During the trip, the masters got acquainted with the museum's funds of the national park, visited the main attractions of the territory, and announced future collections related to Kenozero. By the end of the year, the project participants will present their products in Arkhangelsk. In addition, collections reflecting the heritage of the Kenozero region will be placed on the international marketplace and will have access to the European market. "This unusual project is aimed at a new understanding and reading of Heritage-through Stories (or "storytelling") and bringing Stories to life through artistic interpretation. It is very inspiring that our partners in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Finland, and Sweden are currently doing the same work. We really hope that our masters will be able to meet together with their European colleagues to exchange experiences and share their love for the North. After all, it is the heritage of the Nordic countries that we are preserving and promoting together!", said Alexandra Yakovleva, project coordinator. Another important event dedicated to the anniversary of the Park took place on August 22 in Vershinino at the museum "In the Beginning was the Word". A photo exhibition "On the eve of the birth of the Kenozero National Park" by Moscow photographers Vladimir Filonov and Sergey Nikolaev was opened for guests of the Park and local residents of the Kenozero area. Vladimir and Sergey traveled around the Kenozero area 30 years ago, and in the genre of reportage, documentaries took photos of the people and villages of Kenozero. In the year of the 30th anniversary of the Park, this is an incredibly valuable story about what this protected area was like on the eve of giving it a special status. At the opening of the exhibition, the participants of the Russian scientific and Practical conference "Kenozero Readings 2021" and local residents became guests of honor. It is very important that among them were those people who were captured by Moscow photographers 30 years ago.