Cooperating on historical, natural and cultural heritage for their preservation and cross-border development.
Regions of Warmia and Masuria in Poland and Kalinigrad Oblast in Russia share a common border and at the same time they are similar when it comes to economic and natural conditions. Remoteness from the main industrial and cultural centres results in their underdevelopment. On the other hand, natural resources create a great potential for development of tourism.
However, due to natural conditions the tourism is seasonal.
What is more universal and could be a base for tourism development is culture – human creativity is independent and never runs out. Culture can also help overcome the border – if not physically, then mentally, by involving people from both sides of the border into joint activities.
The overall objective of the project is preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of the Polish-Russian borderland for its better use as a tourist product. To reach that objective conditions for development of cultural activity and education will be improved at two beneficiaries, by means of joint cultural activities promoting Polish and Russian cultures cultural exchange and cooperation will be strengthen, Polish and Russian local communities will be involved in cultural activities.
The project activities will be targeted at residents of Elk and Sovetsk, with special focus on children and youth who will participate in activities designed to suit their needs and preferences. The partners will also organize activities targeted at general audience, regardless of their age.
The Polish-Russian cooperation will revive the Programme area where an influx of new ideas and new approach to problems is needed. The partners will try to develop joint activities that would become tourist products in future, enhancing cultural tourism and affecting both sides of the border. The project will be a good basis for future cross-border cooperation.
Demonstrate the cross-border impact of the project
The project is an example of undertaking common cross-border challenges. Joint problems need joint solutions and the partners represent regions that are very similar both in terms of their natural conditions and the problems they face. Apart from physical border there is an invisible border between the regions, clichés and fear coming from the past. The physical border will not disappear but the cooperation in the project will make it less visible and important.
The partners are a bit different but already have two common subjects they have a special interest in – culture and young people. Working in a Polish-Russian partnership, using the partner’s experience and ideas will help them put their work in a different perspective. Mixing two cultures while planning and organizing joint cultural activities will help the partners make them much more diverse and interesting, it will be an added value.
The target groups, especially children and youth, will have an opportunity to participate in activities that, due to scarce crossborder cooperation, happen rarely. Meeting people representing a different culture, different point of view, finding out that there are a lot of things that connect, not divide, people on both sides of the border, will help them become more tolerant and open to other cultures.
The Polish-Russian cooperation will revive the Programme area where an influx of new ideas and new approach to problems is needed. The partners will try to develop joint activities that would become tourist products in future, enhancing cultural tourism and affecting both sides of the border.
It would not be possible for each partner to implement the project on their own. Joint activities need cooperation and
engagement of all three partners.
The project will be a good basis for future cooperation – culture develops constantly, is very diverse and has many aspects that are worth looking into. The partners will complement each other in this project but also in future.
Regions of Warmia and Masuria in Poland and Kalinigrad Oblast in Russia are direct neighbours and share a common border. At the same time they are quite similar when it comes to economic and natural conditions – both are slightly underdeveloped due to their remoteness from the main industrial and cultural centres in their countries but on the other hand, thanks to their natural resources, they can try to base their long-term development on tourism. However, tourism based on natural resources is seasonal, especially in relatively cold regions – as are Warmia and Masuria and Kaliningrad Oblast, with a short summer and no mountains that always attract tourists. Culture as an incentive for tourism can be more universal – it is not seasonal and knows no boundaries, it runs freely and its fuel – human creativity – never runs out.
People on both sides of the border do not know much about each other’s cultural life. One of the reasons is the physical border that separates them, also events from the past are source of damaging stereotypes that often affect their relationship.
The best way to overcome them is to work for a common cause.
That is why three partners from both sides of the Polish-Russian border decided to join their forces to revive both regions by means of cultural cooperation targeted mostly (but not only) at younger generation – children and youth. They want to start the process of cultural exchange between two regions and help people from both sides of the border open their minds and learn about the neighbour’s culture, recognize differences and, most of all, similarities. The partners want to try various types of cultural events to engage local communities – presentation of cultural heritage, direct meetings – exchanges, mass openair activities and arts workshops in smaller groups. It will allow to attract people of different ages and interests – willing to participate in culture both passively – as audience, and actively – as amateur artists.
As target groups for the project residents of Elk and Sovetsk were chosen, with special focus on children and youth who will participate in activities designed to suit their needs and preferences. The partners will also organize activities targeted at general audience, regardless of their age (e.g. concert).
One more problem will be addressed by the project – cultural institutions often suffer from lack of finances for development of their material resources – buildings and equipment. Culture is rarely profitable financially so it is easy to justify the lack of investment. However, it is essential for long-term development of the cultural institutions. Within the project investments will be carried out and equipment will be purchased that will be used by people willing to actively participate in culture, interested in creating and personal cultural development.
Better conditions for cultural activity will attract more people and will support development of cultural life in partner towns and regions. It is planned that cooperation initiated with this project will be continued and will also spread to other organizations on both sides of the border. This in turn will create more opportunities for development of cultural products – tourist offer, which will also enhance employment in creative and tourist sectors (e.g. free-time offer providers, restaurants, hotels, etc.). In
long run, the whole communities of Elk and Sovetsk could feel the positive influence of and benefit from cooperation initiated with this project.
- Preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of the Polish-Russian borderland for its better use as a tourist product
- Improving conditions for development of cultural activity and education.
- Strengthening cultural exchange and cooperation between Polish and Russian culture providers
- Increasing cultural activity of local communities in the Polish-Russian borderland and their interaction
Project results – output and result indicators
- Number of cross-border cultural events organised using the Programme support – 4
- Number of improved cultural, historical touristic and natural sites as a direct consequence of programme support – 2
- Number of campaigns and events promoting local culture and/or historical and/or natural heritage including events concerning crafts and/or skills preservation 4
- Number of local organisations and institutions involved in cross-border cultural events organized with the Programme support 3
- Number of participants in cross-border cultural events organized with the Programme support, promoting and/or preserving of local culture, history and/or natural heritage 1120
- Increased number of visitors to the cultural sites from 53030 to 55252
Lead beneficiary: Centre of culture of the city of Elk
Beneficiaries: theatre for young people "Youth" (Tilsit-theatre), "Center of youth initiatives"
Term of implementation: 01.01.2020 г. – 31.12.2021 г.
Total budget of project: 31 539 228,9 RUB (444 115,90 €)
EU and Russian co-financing: 28 379 00 RUB (399 704,31 €) (90%)
The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of State budget institution of culture "Kaliningrad region youth theatre "Мolodyozhnyj" and under no circumstances can be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union, the managing Authority or the Join Technical Secretariat of the Poland-Russia CBC Programme 2014-2020.