Why did I decide to create this site
and why I need the help
It has been a long time since the story began. Many years ago, after having settled in Canada, I studied at a Canadian university and started working and actively communicating with different people in this country. That's when I realized that the Canadian perception of Russia, its history, culture and people is pretty simplistic and full of negative stereotypes. Being surprised by strange prejudices towards Russian people and Russia itself, I was eager to do something to oppose those prejudices. This is how this site about Russia, intended for Western reader, came into being.
At first I didn't know what the site would be about. At the beginning there was just an image of the road receding into the distance, the horizon line, merging with the sky, some kind of special, poignant silence ... But the image of an endless road, as a symbol of Russia, already gave some sense of the beginning, the movement ... And then there was an exciting acquaintance with the works of Russian artists. Certainly, many things were familiar since childhood. Lacquer box, standing on a shelf in the closet of our house, bright Khokhloma wooden spoon, and some funny-looking painted toys. All this was familiar and so dear-ordinary objects of everyday life. And it did not at all seem unusual or strange. Then, already an adult, I was lucky enough to possess an enormously beautiful lacquer box. Girls in red sundresses danced a traditional Russian dance, accompanied by a cheerful accordionist and in the distance beautiful country houses with their lights on completed the composition.
The picture on the box was so real and lovely, that it seemed that the music would burst it represents historical events, folklore and literature. And all this is done with remarkable fidelity to tradition, surprising lightness and purity. I finally decided what this into the room and I would sense the smoke of those houses ovens and smell the grass on the edge of the forest. Lacquer box glittered with gold and mother of pearl, sparkling juicy, bright colors, it inspired me to admire it and simply hold it in my hands, and finally I started collecting Russian boxes with miniature painting. This hobby lasted for many years. But even then I did not realize how manifold the world of Russian folk art is, how diversely and profoundly site should be all about. It should be the site about the Russian folk art, its relation to the history and culture of Russia, its special look at the world in which we live.
Today the site exists in three versions. The first French-language version was created in 2004. It was followed by the English version. A few years later, Russian version has also emerged. Since I've started working on the project I vent to Russia many times to visit the places where people, creating these amazing pieces of Russian art, live and work.
For ten years I have maintained and developed this website. I have received thousands of letters from around the world. For the vast majority of writers acquaintance with Russian folk art was a real revelation.
But over time, I began to realize that it is hard to continue and develop the project on my own. Currently there are about 250 traditional folk crafts and trades in Russia. Most of them are literally unknown or almost completely forgotten not only in the West but also in Russia itself. Many are on the verge of extinction. I am sure that the popularization of these folk crafts and trades would contribute to the revival of interest in them.
Therefore I made the decision to address to all who could give support to this project. The author of the site will be grateful for any, including for the non-material help, council and cooperation.
Everything who will decide to help the project, can transfer funds through by PayPal on an e-mail address
Creating versions of the site in world's major languages - Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese - will expand the audience of the project.
So I decided to appeal to anyone who can provide support to the project. Its author would be grateful for any assistance, including non-material one, advice and cooperation.
Anyone willing to help the project, please transfer funds through the international payment system PayPal to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a look at these objects. They contain age-old traditions, the beauty and wisdom of mankind. They keep the memory of the past and they foresee the future. These are real treasures created by generations of talented craftsmen. We must preserve them for the future.