Проект реализуется с использованием гранта Президента Российской Федерации, предоставленного Фондом Президентских грантов, по направлению – развитие общественной дипломатии и поддержка соотечественников за рубежом
ROUND TABLE DEDICATED TO THE LAUNCH OF THE PROJECT
01.07.2021
Video recording
ROUND TABLE "STALINGRAD - COVENTRY: THE HISTORY OF TWINNING AND MODERNITY"
29.10.2021
Natalia Oreshkina took part in the international round table "Stalingrad - Coventry: The History of Twinning and Modernity", where she presented the project "Volgograd - Coventry Digital Tablecloth - 80 Years of Mutual Support", implemented by NGO "Leaders of Change" together with "Twin Studios Project" using the grant of the President of the Russian Federation, provided by the Presidential Grants Fund.
The participants learned about the project not only from Natalia's speech, but also received badges and magnets, mugs with the logo of the project, in which the QR code leading to the project website, where the actual information about events, team, goals and objectives is contained, is encrypted.
Among the participants of the round table were:
1. Alexander Bunin - Head of the Foundation "The Battle of Stalingrad".
2. Dmitry Belov - President of Foundation "The Battle of Stalingrad".
3. Yuri Starovatykh: Chairman of the Board of the Volgograd Regional Branch of the International Public Foundation "Russian Peace Foundation", Honorary Citizen of Volgograd.
4. Bezborodova Olga - Founder of International Friendship Club in Volgograd.
5. Councillor Abdul Salam Khan – Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council, Chairman of the UK Twin Cities Foundation, President of the Coventry Win to Win Peace Award.
6. Ludmila Larkina - Chair of the Coordination Council of Russian Compatriots in the UK and Northern Ireland
8. Martin Kimber - Representative of the Cheltenham-Sochi Friendship Association, Sochi International Russian-British Film Festival and Film Awards (SIFFA), Honorary President of the United Kingdom Twin Towns & Sister Cities Foundation.
9. Natalia Davydova - Russian Sister of Lady Godiva, NGO "Sisters of Lady Godiva", UK Queen's Award for NGOs.
10. Anna Sophia Clarke - Participant of the «Digital Tablecloth Volgograd - Coventry: 80 Years of Mutual Support» project.
The round table is an event of the international historical and educational project "Stalingrad in British History, 1942-1945" implemented by the NGO International Charity Foundation "The Battle of Stalingrad" with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund.

Full photo report
ROUND TABLE "C2C"
31.10.2021
Both leaders (Natalia Oreshkina - Volgograd and Roze Navab - Coventry, UK) and specialists of the project "Volgograd-Coventry Digital Tablecloth - 80 years of mutual support", implemented by NGO "Leaders of Change" together with "Twin Studios Project" under the grant of the President of the Russian Federation, provided by the Presidential Grants Fund, took part in the round table "C2C" within the International Forum of People Diplomacy "Dialogue on the Volga: peace and mutual understanding in the XXI century".
Among the participants were representatives from Russia, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, the USA and Turkey.
Full photo report
MEETING WITH PARTICIPANTS OF THE "EMBASSY OF THE FUTURE" AND "VOLGOGRAD WITHOUT FILTERS" PROJECTS
02.11.2021
The project team visited the "Generation" school where they met with the participants of the "Embassy of the Future" and "Volgograd without Filters" projects, whose participants are pupils from Volgograd and other Russian cities, their teachers and parents.
The children gave our guests from the UK a tour around the school, talked about their projects, their ideas about child diplomacy, child tourism, showed books about the cities, which they had created by working together.
Roze Navab talked about her experience of working with children in Coventry, how she tells them about Volgograd and the history of twinning, her vision of the children's role in the development of twinned city relations in the world.
Full photo report
EXCURSION TO MAMAEV KURGAN 03.11.2021
Natalia Oreshkina and Roze Navab, leaders of the Digital Tablecloth "Volgograd - Coventry" - 80 Years of Support" project implemented by the NGO Leaders of Change in cooperation with TwinStudiosProject using a grant of the President of the Russian Federation provided by the Presidential Grants Fund, visited today the Mamayev Kurgan, the main height of the Battle of Stalingrad.
The memorial complex and the history of the battle impressed our guest from the UK. Roze could see with her own eyes the distance from Mamaev Kurgan to the Volga, where the great battle was fought for 200 days and nights, of which 135 days were spent on Mamaev Kurgan. The first attempts to capture Stalingrad were made by the Germans in July 1942. On January 25, 1943, the top of Mamaev Kurgan was taken over by the troops of the 62nd Army under the command of Lieutenant-General V.I. Chuikov, who joined here the next day with the 21st and 65th Armies. The enemy troops were divided into two and eliminated within a week.
We thank the Committee for Economic Policy and Development of Volgograd Region Administration for the organization and the consultant of the department of international, external economic and interregional relations Nadezhda Roganova for holding the excursion.

Full photo report
FILMING A STORY FOR THE VOLGOGRAD SUNDAY NEWS
05.11.2021
Natalia Oreshkina and Roze Navab, team leaders of the "Digital Tablecloth "Volgograd - Coventry" - 80 Years of Support" project implemented by the NGO "Leaders of Change" together with "TwinStudiosProject" using the grant of the President of the Russian Federation, provided by the Presidential Grants Fund, took part in filming the story for the Sunday news in Volgograd.
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EXCURSION TO STUDIO OF ARTIST VLADISLAV KOVAL
07.11.2021
2021 The team of the project visited the studio of artist Vladislav Koval, a legendary artist (member of the Union of Artists of Russia, Honoured Artist of Russia, Honorary Citizen of Volgograd region, Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts).
Vladislav Koval told about his creative work, showed pictures from various collections, posters, heraldic signs, coins, jewellery, books and catalogues, postage stamps, logos of various companies, the author of which he is. The participants learned about new trends in art – square/rhombus, jewellery and T-art - from the author's experience.
Meeting with the maestro was a revolution in consciousness, inspiration, new discoveries and unusual meanings.
Besides, Vladislav kindly agreed to provide his works for the Digital Tablecloth, thereby joining the idea of the project and the history of twinning.
Thank you for your support and cooperation!
Full photo report
ONLINE MEETING "C2C" (RESULTS, PLANS, IDEAS) WITH RESIDENTS OF VOLGOGRAD AND COVENTRY
15.12.2021
On 15 December 2021 there was an online meeting "C2C" (Results, plans, ideas) with residents of Volgograd and Coventry - a new stage of the project "Volgograd-Coventry Digital Tablecloth - 80 years of mutual support" and started a series of such online meetings to be organised for artists, students and all those who support ideas of twinning cities of different countries and the development of public diplomacy.

The meeting brought together community leaders, representatives of business and government, the academic, cultural and sports community, and members of NGOs.


The meeting was welcomed by Councillor John Mutton, Leader of Coventry City Council and Member of the European Parliament, who has been very active in building partnerships between the twin cities. The experts of the VolSU Centre for Public Diplomacy shared their experience. Intermediate results of the current project, plans for the future and ideas for its development were stated by the leaders: NGO "Leaders of Change" and "Twin Studios Project".

A number of interesting initiatives to develop further cooperation between the residents of the two cities were announced from both the Russian and British sides. These include joint sports events, educational school projects, mutual online training of choreographic groups, joint creation of musical works, and exchange of video greetings for Christmas and the New Year.

A key initiative was the joint meeting of the City Councils of the two cities, Volgograd and Coventry, held online in order to create a single international committee to prepare for the 80th anniversary of the twinning movement, which will be celebrated in 2023.
Full photo report
INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC DIPLOMACY PROJECT BRINGS ARTISTS FROM TWO COUNTRIES TOGETHER
18.01.2022
More than 50 citizens from Volgograd and Coventry met online as part of the international public diplomacy project 'Volgograd-Coventry Digital Tablecloth - 80 Years of Mutual Support'. The project is implemented by NGO "Leaders of Change" using a grant from the President of the Russian Federation, provided by the Presidential Grants Fund.
An international team has been working on the project since 1 July 2021. During this time, three creative competitions were held among Volgograd and Coventry artists, photographers and young people's diplomats drawing on the topic of peace and friendship. A total of 96 children's drawings, 86 photographs and 85 paintings have been selected. All of them depict modern views of the twin cities of Volgograd and Coventry, images of harmony and unity. They will be put on a tablecloth - a modern digital image of the one that the women of Coventry, almost completely destroyed by German bombing raids (1940-1942), sent to the citizens of Stalingrad in 1943. On it were embroidered 830 women's names and the words: “Little help is better than big sympathy”, and £4,516 to buy X-ray equipment to speed up treatment for wounded Soviet soldiers. This is how the Twin Cities movement was born. The modern version of the tablecloth will be seen in the spring of 2022.
Today's international project brings more and more people from the twin cities together. This time, the virtual round table brought together about fifty artists, architects, medics, social activists - all those who care about the ideas of peace, friendship, mutual creativity and cooperation. The interesting conversation and ideas for creative collaboration resulted in a host of ideas for developing public diplomacy between the two cities.
A student of Volgograd State Medical University, a future pediatrician, Elena Tkachenko, came up with a very unusual idea. She is fond of such an artistic trend as anatomical drawing and came up with the "Eye of Time" project. The subject will be the creation of an image of the Madonna in place of a clock in one of the towers of the famous cathedral in Coventry, which was destroyed during the war. The British side enthusiastically supported the idea of the young Volgograd girl and expressed its willingness to help with the project.
The meeting participants also discussed the possibility of holding mutual plein air events in Volgograd and Coventry for artists from the two countries. Volgograd residents shared similar experience at the meeting. In 2011 a group of artists of the hero-city visited plein air in Italy and friendship and cooperation with the Italian colleagues are still developing. Of course, restrictions due to the pandemic are a reality today, but creative people are hoping for a better future. The topic of drawings and paintings by future plenographers could be 'Secrets of Urban Architecture'.
Another topic of discussion was the women's movement. It is a very active movement in Coventry and the British side shared information about actions organised by women. One of the areas was ecology. As the result, on the eve of March 8 participants of the online meeting decided to create a joint project - a women's project between representatives of the twinned cities - Volgograd and Coventry. The topic of mutual female support has not become any less relevant since wartime times.
Full photo report
COMMEMORATION OF THE HEROES OF THE BATTLE OF STALINGRAD IN COVENTRY, UK
02.02.2022
Today in Coventry, Volgograd's twin city, on the 79th anniversary of the Stalingrad Victory representatives of the City Council and the public laid flowers to the memorial sign on Volgograd Square and honoured the heroes of the great battle on the Volga with a minute of silence.

And the night before, as part of the international public diplomacy project "Digital Tablecloth Volgograd - Coventry - 80 years of mutual support" an international conference was held online to mark the anniversary of the Stalingrad Victory. The Lord Mayor of Coventry, the leaders of the City Council, representatives of the Coventry Association of International Friendship, members of the public forum of Russian and British twin cities, residents of Coventry and other British cities took part in it. Russia was represented by the leaders of the Volgograd City Administration, members of the Digital Tablecloth project team, cultural figures, and students and teachers of Volgograd State Medical University and Volgograd State Technical University.

The conference participants remembered the historical fact of the twinning movement beginning which was founded by Stalingrad and Coventry.

Dmitry Dilman - First Deputy Chairman of the Volgograd City Duma: "Public diplomacy is aimed exactly at preventing the tragedies of wars in Stalingrad, Coventry and so many other cities from ever repeating. It was out of the ruins caused by the war that the friendship that gave rise to the international twinned-city movement was born. Its founders, as we remember, were Stalingrad and Coventry. The Coventry tablecloth warmed the hearts of the people of Stalingrad during the hungry war years. Telegrams from Coventry broke through even the thunder of the Battle of Stalingrad, and money raised by English friends was used to buy medical instruments for Soviet hospitals".

Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council, Councillor Abdul Salam Khan: "We need to work together for friendship, inspire each other and always remember what happened during that terrible war. February 2 is a very important date for us too. We remember how in 1943 women sent aid to Stalingrad, the Stalingrad tablecloth. I am sure our friendship will only grow stronger".

In spring 2022, a new, modern digital version of the Stalingrad tablecloth will be released. Its appearance will be the result of the project "Digital Tablecloth Volgograd-Coventry - 80 Years of Mutual Support", which is implemented by NGO "Leaders of Change" using the grant of the President of the Russian Federation, provided by the Presidential Grants Fund.

This is almost a year-long story. The project started on 1 July 2021 and will run until 31 May 2022. The outcome of the large-scale work will be a digital tablecloth 'Volgograd-Coventry', reflecting the facts of the twinned cities' history during World War II, the modern look of the twin cities, and a child's view on the topic of peace and friendship.

The tablecloth will be a digital model and fabric canvas with children's drawings around the edges, and on the inside there will be pictures of the twin cities, copies of artists' paintings, and QR codes with information about the images, their authors, a description of the place and its history.
Full photo report
DIGITAL TABLECLOTH 2021 ARTIFACT PRESENTED IN VOLGOGRAD
31.03.2022
The international public diplomacy project "Digital Tablecloth Volgograd-Coventry - 80 Years of Mutual Support" is coming to its conclusion. On 31 March 2022 a unique artefact was presented on the site of the museum-reserve "The Battle of Stalingrad", which was the result of almost a year of international team's work. It is a digital and fabric version of the tablecloth - an analogue of the one sent in 1943 by the women of Coventry, almost completely destroyed by German bombing raids (1940-1942), sent to the citizens of Stalingrad in 1943. On it were embroidered 830 women's names and the words: “Little help is better than big sympathy”, and £4,516 to buy X-ray equipment to speed up treatment for wounded Soviet soldiers. Today this historical artefact is kept in the Museum-Reserve "Battle of Stalingrad".
And now a modern tablecloth was also presented here. It was created as a result of the project "Digital Tablecloth Volgograd - Coventry - 80 Years of Mutual Support" since 1 July 2021, implemented by NGO "Leaders of Change" using a grant from the President of the Russian Federation, provided by the Presidential Grants Fund.
In the Triumphal Hall of the Museum-Panorama "The Battle of Stalingrad" and on the online platform, all the people involved in the project came together: members of its international team, participants in competitions, volunteers, representatives of partner organisations and schoolchildren.
A huge, 3.5m x 4m tablecloth of a unique fabric took the honour. It depicts all the hard work of participants in three creative competitions: 100 paintings by artists, 100 drawings by children and 300 photographs created by Volgograd and Coventry citizens.
"Each individual work is a part of the person and reflects the world, the creativity and the soul of the person. And creating such a mosaic and uniting people in one international unique artefact was our task," said Natalia Oreshkina, director of the NGO "Leaders of Change", "We are all in the same diplomatic formation and goodness and beauty are our main tools in maintaining peace.
Olga Igumnova-Lawson - chairperson of the Coventry-Volgograd Friendship Committee took part in the presentation in an online format. "It's symbolic," said a member of the project team from the UK, "that we present our tablecloth on 31 March. On that day the first historic tablecloth was handed over from the women of Coventry to the people of Stalingrad. Over 80 years of mutual support, we have accumulated great experience in building good relations and are ready to share it. Despite the fact that today the twinning of our cities is suspended, the communication between people will not stop.
Previously, it was planned that after the presentation in Volgograd, the tablecloth would be brought and presented in Coventry as well. However, for now the international community can only see the artifact in digital format on the project's website. After the presentation in the Russian capital, the tablecloth itself will be deposited at the Museum-Reserve "Battle of Stalingrad" in May 2022.
In addition to creating the tablecloth, the project also involved many online meetings between Volgograd and Coventry citizens, students, artists the city authorities. They shared creative ideas, recalled history and planned future projects. Unfortunately, mutual trips and offline meetings cannot be discussed now, but communication between people will certainly leave a good mark in the hearts of the citizens of the two countries forever.
As part of the presentation, pupils from the Volgograd School "Generation" gave the Museum-Panorama "The Battle of Stalingrad" the letters which they had exchanged with their peers from Coventry over the last six months for safekeeping.
Full photo report
IN HONOUR OF TWIN CITIES DAY, VOLGOGRAD HOSTED AN ONLINE MEETING WITH PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
22.04.2022
At the Regional Analytical Centre in Volgograd, a public meeting "Valuable Conversation" was held on the occasion of the Twin Cities Day, which is celebrated on the last Sunday of April.
Despite the fact that the twinning movement is currently suspended as a number of cities from Western countries have suspended their twinning, the public meeting was attended not only by Russian participants, but also in an online format by representatives of the twinned cities: public figures and ordinary citizens from the UK, France, Turkey and the USA.

"Valuable conversation" turned out to be about the fact that ordinary friendship and mutual cooperation between people, regardless of nationality and country of residence, are especially valuable today and do not end under any circumstances. Mr Yury Starovatykh, the head of Volgograd from 1986 to 1990, the current head of the regional branch of the All-Russian Peace Foundation, said that even today he corresponds with representatives of the authorities of German cities, with which he began twinning relations; Volgograd students shared the details of their correspondence with British students, representatives of French and Turkish public organizations told about their projects, which continue with Russia. Students and volunteers in the public meeting room spoke about their own contribution to the development of international relations at the level of "citizens to citizens".

This communication became possible as a result of the international project "Digital Tablecloth - Coventry and Volgograd: 80 years of mutual support" which united both the expert community of Volgograd and Coventry, and citizens of the twin cities from other countries. As a reminder, the project, which is being implemented by the NGO Leaders of Change using a grant from the President of the Russian Federation, provided by the Presidential Grants Fund, was launched on July 1, 2021. As a result of great international work, just a few days ago, a new, modern digital version of the 1943 Coventry tablecloth was released; it reflects the history of the twinned cities during World War II, the modern look of the twin cities, and a child's view of peace and friendship. The tablecloth is a digital model and fabric with children's drawings around the edges and inside there are photos with pictures of twin cities, copies of artists' paintings and QR codes containing information about the images, their authors, descriptions of the place and its history. Project leader Natalia Oreshkina told the participants of the meeting about its realisation.
The unique and valuable communication lasted for two and a half hours and everyone agreed - the ideas of personal development, friendly communication and mutual interest in different cultures live on and will live on despite any turns of events. The impressive final of the meeting was the presentation of souvenirs and memorable presents on the twinning theme to the Volgograd Regional Local Lore Museum. The participants of the meeting Irina Kareva, ex-chairwoman of Volgograd City Duma, and Natalia Alshuk, head of Volgograd and Coventry Friendship Society, presented unique things to the head curator of the museum - a family photo album on a visit to Ostrava, a toy and a souvenir handmade by children from Italy and other items. All of them will become exhibits of the Volgograd Regional Local Lore Museum`s exhibition devoted to Volgograd's twinning relations.
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THE HEAD OF THE PROJECT "DIGITAL TABLECLOTH VOLGOGRAD - COVENTRY 80 YEARS OF SUPPORT" NATALIA ORESHKINA MET WITH THE PROJECT PARTICIPANTS - YOUNG DANCERS OF THE SAMPLE DANCE ENSEMBLE VOLZHANOCHKA
25.04.2022
On 25. April 2022 the head of the project "Digital Tablecloth Volgograd - Coventry 80 Years of Support" Natalia Oreshkina met with the project participants - young dancers of the Sample Dance Ensemble Volzhanochka (artistic director and choreographer of the ensemble, honoured cultural worker of Russia, Mrs Olga Ananyeva).
Together they remembered a joint trip to Coventry in 2019 as part of the project "75th anniversary of the modern twinning movement Volgograd - Coventry: a look into the future" (implemented by the "Academy of Success"), where the ensemble gave a big concert for Coventry citizens and compatriots, shared their memories, looked together at an album with photos from the trip.
They unfolded the Digital Tablecloth to see the very concept of the idea, photos, pictures and drawings of children from Volgograd and Coventry.
We discussed the importance of different means of public diplomacy, such as culture and art, because photos, pictures, drawings and dances do not need to be translated, but they convey the mood, culture, human perspective and shine with universal values that unite people from all over the world.

The children received gifts for their contribution to the twinning movement and their active and informed participation in the project.

The project «Volgograd-Coventry Digital Tablecloth - 80 Years of Mutual Support» is implemented by NGO "Leaders of Change" together with «Twin Studios Project CIC» using a grant from the President of the Russian Federation, provided by the Presidential Grants Fund.
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THE TEAM AND VOLUNTEERS OF THE DIGITAL TABLECLOTH PROJECT "VOLGOGRAD - COVENTRY - 80 YEARS OF SUPPORT" HELD 2 EVENTS
09.05.2022
At 11:30 a.m. the event "World without nazism" was held on the Mamaev Kurgan.
The symbol of peaceful public diplomacy initiatives was a 3.5m by 4m canvas Digital Tablecloth, featuring children's drawings, paintings by artists and photos of Volgograd and Coventry residents and winners of creative competitions.
During the event, volunteers, together with Volgograd citizens and guests, unfolded the digital tablecloth several times and then had to roll it up correctly without collusion, which symbolised the unity and special organisation of the participants, as the tablecloth was very large. It is interesting to note that at the end of the folding, the tablecloth ended up in the hands of the women each time. Traditionally, women have been the keepers of peace, hearth and order in every home.
The participants received souvenirs from the project: shopper bags, T-shirts, badges, magnets and tea towels with an exact copy of the Digital Tablecloth with working QR codes leading to the project website and photos of the twin cities. This was made possible thanks to the print quality provided by the staff of @3цех print shop and the fabric of the towels, twill, brought specially for the production of the towels from Siberia.
The campaign was supported by more than 300 Volgograd citizens, which we could only count by the number of gifts handed out, because there were so many people.
At 12:30 p.m. there was a special " C2С" online meeting with Volgograd citizens and compatriots from the UK, Israel, Italy, Switzerland and Australia, who joined in the online format.
The project team was spread across various locations on Mamaev Kurgan to show the whole memorial event in Volgograd, the Immortal Regiment procession, while at the same time Olga Lawson (project curator in the UK) greeted and congratulated participants together with her compatriots at the Imperial War Museum, where the memorial to victims of World War II stands (by Volgograd resident S. Shcherbakov). Every year official delegations from embassies of various states come to the memorial, but this year it was different. Nevertheless, representatives of embassies of Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Bulgaria visited the memorial. Compatriots who came to the memorial joined in the online meeting greeting and congratulating on Victory Day. And so we all went to different places on Earth, celebrating our common Victory Day because this is our joint Victory.
The project "Digital Tablecloth Volgograd - Coventry - 80 Years of Mutual Support" is implemented by NGO "Leaders of Change" together with "Twin Studios Project" using the grant of the Presidential Grants Fund.
The events have been coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Volgograd Oblast Administration, and the State Historical and Memorial Museum-Reserve "The Battle of Stalingrad".
Full photo report
PRESENTATION OF THE DIGITAL TABLECLOTH PROJECT "VOLGOGRAD - COVENTRY - 80 YEARS OF MUTUAL SUPPORT" WAS HELD FOR VOLGOGRAD CITIZENS AND AN AWARD CEREMONY FOR THE WINNING ARTISTS OF THE CREATIVE COMPETITION, WHOSE PICTURES ARE FEATURED ON THE DIGITAL TABLECLOTH CANVAS, WAS HELD
15.05.2022
On 15 May 2022, a presentation of the Digital Tablecloth project "Volgograd - Coventry - 80 Years of Mutual Support" was held for Volgograd citizens and an award ceremony for the winning artists of the creative competition, whose pictures are featured on the Digital Tablecloth canvas, was held.
The project team and volunteers unfolded the cloth for the participants of the festival "Excuse me, have you seen Mr Losev?" in the Central Park in Volgograd. The unique artefact attracted the interest of representatives of creative professions and citizens, all together we held and looked at the tablecloth and talked about how it was created. The participants received promotional gifts (badges, magnets, shopper bags, tea towels and T-shirts) with the logo of the project, the QR code on which leads directly to the project website.
More than 200 Volgograd citizens, artists and photographers took part and learned more about the project.
All about the project and more photos will soon be available on the project website: https://dtcvlg.ru/
We would like to thank NGO the Institute for Regional Economics and Social Design (IRESP) for invitation! Thanks to VSMU for the super volunteer team of international students, future doctors!
The project "Digital Tablecloth Volgograd - Coventry - 80 Years of Mutual Support" is implemented by NGO "Leaders of Change" together with "Twin Studios Project" using the grant of the Presidential Grants Fund.
Full photo report
THE INTERNATIONAL TEAM FINISHED PROJECT 'DIGITAL TABLECLOTH: VOLGOGRAD - COVENTRY - 80 YEARS OF MUTUAL SUPPORT' WITH A FINAL ROUND TABLE
30.05.2022
The international team finished almost a year-long project 'Digital Tablecloth: Volgograd - Coventry - 80 Years of Mutual Support' with a final round table. Its main historical artefact, a created tablecloth with images of children's drawings, artists' paintings and photographs on the theme of peace and friendship, was handed over to the Museum-Reserve "Battle of Stalingrad".
From 1 July 2021 to 31 May 2022 NGO Leaders of Change implemented the project using a grant from the President of the Russian Federation provided by the Presidential Grants Fund. This was the first time that representatives from Coventry were among the organisers. For 10 months the team has been working on a very large scale: three international competitions - artwork, photographs and children's drawings; countless online meetings with people in Coventry and around the world; presentation of the project at various international conferences and presentation to Sergey Lavrov, Head of the Foreign Office, who gave the project his high appreciation.
Significant political events in the world did not stop the project and the team managed to finish it, showing that nothing can stop communication and friendship between ordinary people from different countries.
The digital tablecloth, which has become the physical manifestation of this friendship, is a 7-metre long canvas with children's drawings, paintings, photographs of the cities of Volgograd and Coventry and QR codes containing information about the authors. Volunteers unwrapped the tablecloth on Mamayev Kurgan on the Victory Day on May 9, 2022 and presented it in the Triumphal Hall of the Museum-Reserve "Battle of Stalingrad". And now it has been handed over for storage and exhibition at this major Volgograd Museum of war history.
Olga Igumnova-Lawson, chair of the Coventry-Volgograd Friendship Committee, came especially to Volgograd to take part in the final events. "It is symbolic that we are handing over our modern tablecloth in the year of the 75th anniversary when that first historic tablecloth was handed over from the women of Coventry to the people of Stalingrad as a symbol of support," said a member of the project team from the UK. - The Friendship Committee of Coventry and Stalingrad, which started the worldwide twinning movement in the first place, is still in operation. The friendship began with the creation of a tablecloth in 1943 and continues now. Even though the official relationship is suspended, the tablecloth now symbolises a time of reflection, consolidation and development of new projects. If people are forced to go a bit into the shadows today, it does not mean that they are going to stay there. We are looking forward to the next civic projects. People will not stop communicating.
Previously, it was planned that after the presentation in Volgograd, the tablecloth would be brought back to the UK for a year to be exhibited as well. However, so far the international community can only look at the artifact digitally on the project's website. Natalia Oreshkina, director of the NGO "Leaders of Change", remarked when handing over the tablecloth to the "Battle of Stalingrad" Panorama for safekeeping: "With the condition that the tablecloth will be returned to the official delegation from Coventry as soon as possible for one year. We give a civic reason for mutual visits and the restoration of relations. Ordinary citizens are witnesses to this and initiators".
Participants of the final round table were agreed - the project "Digital Tablecloth: Volgograd - Coventry - 80 Years of Mutual Support" currently most clearly demonstrates why twinning exists at all, what its essence is: twinning comes from people, for people and to help each other in times of need.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS
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