Friday, 24 February 2012

A Russian Week in Moffat?

As a result of the continuing visit of Dr Ekaterina Genieva OBE to Moffat this week, plans are now afoot to broaden the appeal of our Moffat Book Events international conference in Moffat 14-17 Sept 2012, examining the legacy and lessons of murdered inspirational Russian leader Alexander Men, into something like 'Russian Week' in Moffat, with films, taster Russian lessons, a Russian Tea Party a display of my collection of Russian art and artefacts and the sale of selected Russian artworks and artefacts at outlets in the town. Links between Russia and Scotland go far back, Scottish writers such as R L Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott are not only held in high esteem but actually read in Russia; Robert Burns* is celebrated - even to the extent of almost being considered one of Russia's honorary national poets -, and interest between the two nations continues to be very much alive - witness the show of hands yesterday at Moffat Academy when our Russian visitor asked a modern language class whether any of the students would be interested in learning the language. Dr Genieva's last day here will be spent in visiting the Moffat Bookshop, the library, a working lunch with minister Adam Dillon,chairman of Moffat Book Events, and talks this afternoon with Adrian Turpin, director of the Wigtown Book Festival and Carolyn Yates our D&G Literature Development officer. *An amusing incident occurred in Moffat yesterday: as Dr Genieva was walking past the Black Bull, a passerby asked her 'who was this guy Robert Burns'. Dr Genieva knows her onions, and gave him a short lecture about the great man and his works. the passerby thanked her, and went on his way unaware that his informant was herself a Russian visitor to the town!

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