Thursday 16 November 2017 to Saturday 18 November 2017
Saint Petersburg

This year’s VI International Cultural Forum will be held from 16 to 18 November in St Petersburg. The annual event draws thousands of experts from all over the world and features an extensive business programme, public events and networking opportunities in all cultural organisations of the city.

The business programme, held at the Russian Museum of Ethnography, features many international speakers. The British Council invites you to attend events with UK professionals working in inclusion, creative economy and cultural leadership. 



Russian Museum of Ethnography (Marble Hall Engineering St., 4/1)

Panel discussion ‘Window to culture: the role of information in the development of an inclusive environment’

Russian and international industry experts will discuss practical strategies to promote an inclusive environment for the full participation of people with disabilities in society, including participation in cultural life. What are effective mechanisms for distributing information about opportunities? What needs to change in working culture and communications to make this environment accessible for people with disabilities and foster their participation and inclusion? To what extent can the state, media and society help?

The panel discussion is organised by the British Council, the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation, Con-nection Deafblind Support Foundation and TASS Russian News Agency.


Tim Webb MBE (Co-founder, Artistic Director and CEO, Oily Cart)
Vera Armagh (Italian audio description specialist)
Maria Krasnikova (Director, Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation)
Dmitry Polikanov (President, Con-nection Deafblind Support Foundation)
Anton Getman (General Director, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre)
Elena Blagieva (Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation / Prorector, Russian State Specialized Academy of Arts)
Lyudmila Borzyak (Programme’s Author and Presenter, Radio of Russia)
Sergey Vanshin (Founder of audio description in Russia  / General Director, Reakomp Institute)
Diana Gurtskaya (Singer / Honoured Artist of Russia / Member, Public Chamber of the Russian Federation / Chair, Commission for Family, Children and Maternity Support)
Ekaterina Efimova (Head of Editorial Board for Society and Culture, TASS Russian News Agency)
Тamara Zolotseva (Assistant to the Chairman, All Russian Society of Disabled People)
Svetlana Chupsheva (General Director, Agency for Strategic Initiatives).


St Petersburg, 191186, the Hermitage General Staff Building, 6/8, Dvortsovaya Square

Round table on international cultural relations in the current political climate 


Michael Bird (Director Russia, British Council)
Marek Havlicek (Director, Czech Centre Moscow)
Olga Strada (Director, Italian Institute Moscow)
Dariusz Klehovsky (Director, Polish Cultural Centre)
Pavel Vasev (Bulgarian Cultural Institute, Moscow)
Olivier Guillaume (Director, French Institute, Russia).

Chair: Mikhail Shvydkoy (Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation)

St Petersburg, Pionerskaya Pl., 1, The A.A. Bryantsev Youth Theatre

Entrance is free

Inclusive theatre in the UK: public talk with Tim Webb

In this talk, Tim Webb, Oily Cart’s Co-founder, Artistic Director and CEO, will share 36 years of experience running an inclusive theatre company with a public audience. Tim Webb will discuss how he makes theatre engaging for young people with complex learning disabilities and share creative learning techniques and methods that have been developed by his team. As well as sharing best practice from the UK, Alexandrina Ionova from Upsala-Circus will join Tim to discuss inclusive projects from Russia. Finally, the talk will explore the future of sensory theatre in the UK and beyond. Theatre professionals across the industry, students and professionals working on inclusive cultural projects are invited to attend this event.


Russian Museum of Ethnography (Marble Hall, Engineering St., 4/1)

Entrance is free

 Open Lectures «Culture 2.0» - Panel discussion ‘Creative entrepreneurship: business models and growth areas’ 

The creative industries span both cultural and business sectors. This discussion will look at how organisations within the creative industries can create sustainable business models while honouring creative visions. What are the distinct business models within the creative industries? What are the relevant markets? How can young creative entrepreneurs obtain necessary skills and knowledge they need to set up a new business? What is the impact of culture on the development of creative projects? What are the external and internal barriers for creative entrepreneurs and how can we overcome them?


Julia Rybakova (Director, Department of Tourism, Yaroslavl Region)
Sean Prime (Associate, NESTA / Director, MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths, University of London)
Mieke Renders (Managing Director, Trans Europe Halles)
Askar Ramazanov (сo-founder of creative residence "Chekhov #APi", ID Telegraph)
Denis Shchukin (Director Calvert Forum).

17.00 and 20.00
Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre (Fontanka river embankment, 65)


Russian premiere of 'In Touch'

In Touch captures the stories of communication between deafblind, sighted and hearing people. Evgeniy Mironov, Artistic Director of the Theatre of Nations devised the inaugural production, titled Touch-ables. The production premiered at Theatre of Nations in Moscow as part of Territoria Festival in 2015 and has since been shown more than 30 times. Since its inception, the production has involved a cast of outstanding Russian actors including Evgeniy Mironov, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Chulpan Khamatova and Alisa Freindlikh.

In 2017, a new version of 'In Touch' will be presented at the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre. This is a special, international version of the play featuring a cast of deafblind actors from Russia, France and the UK. The international premiere of the production was held earlier this year at the National Theatre in London. The Russian premiere at the Bolshoi Drama Theatre will run with the support of UNESCO. The project is organised by the Centre for Creative Initiatives INCLUSION and supported by Con-nection Deafblind Support Foundation, the British Council, Sberbank of Russia and the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation.

The performance will be held in Russian, English, French and Russian and English sign languages, accompanied with subtitles and audio-description.

Playwright: Marina Krapivina
Directors: Ruslan Malikov
Associate Director: Jenny Sealey MBE (Artistic Director, Graeae)
Production designer: Ekaterina Dzhagarova
Choreographers: Alexandra Rudik and Evgeny Kulagin
Composer: Annea Pashinskaya
Sound designer: Mikhail Myasoedov
Producer: Victoria Violo-Avdeeva
Producer: Ingeborga Dapkunaite

UK speakers

Tim Webb MBE is the Co-founder, Artistic Director and CEO of Oily Cart. The company, which began work in 1981, specialises in work for very young children and for young people with complex learning disabilities including autistic spectrum disorders as well as the deafblind. The Oily Cart's current programme includes a three year project investigating kinaesthetic performance in hydro pools, on trampolines, and in suspended seating as well as the creation of multi-sensory and interactive performance work in specially created ‘wonderlands’ for children from six months to two years and from two to six years. His work is distinguished for its multi-sensory, close-up and interactive methods.

In 2017, Tim worked as a consultant with Con-nection Deafblind Support Foundation on Russia’s first ever multi-sensory show titled Four Winds. Next year, his production titled The Light Show will spend three weeks at New York’s Lincoln Centre as part of the world’s first festival of theatre for young audiences on the autistic spectrum.

Siân Prime is the Deputy Director for Goldsmiths’ Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE). She is the Director for the MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship and has worked with Adrian De La Court to develop Synapse, a service available to all students (and staff) at Goldsmiths, and develops entrepreneurial thinking and potential. She also teaches on the following programmes: MA Social Entrepreneurship, MSc Digital Entrepreneurship, MSc Management of Innovation and MA Prospects of Innovation courses, the MA Fashion and MA Design & Innovation. Prime is also a co-investigator of new digital business models and online audience development approaches with Coney and the Department of Computing, and has just accepted a contract from Routledge to write a book on cultural and creative projects and sustainability.