Performance – birth of a fire sculpture «In 2020 happened ...»
From May to August 2020, the public art program Tales of the Golden Apples initiated a collection of contemporary fairy tales in Russian and Tatar. This project was related to the events of 2020: people experiencing a period of self-isolation were invited to tell their own story, fictional or real, in fairy tale format.
Throughout the story collection period, a course of video lectures on how to create a modern-day fairy tale was published. The speakers were Elina Petrova, a playwright and author of documentary plays, Dmitry Kotenko, an analytical psychologist, and Nikita Petrov, an anthropologist and folklorist. You can learn more about them here.

The stories, selected by the jury, were put to an open vote in the community VKontakte. Now the choice was passed to the local residents and users of the social network: the voters chose the best story in their opinion, and its plot formed the basis of the new art object in Almetyevsk.

The winner was a thirteen-year-old resident of Almetyevsk Alina Safina and her tale «In 2020 happened ...». The fairy tale in verse form tells about a girl's magical dream, in whose house household items come to life: an iron, a washing machine, a refrigerator. Household objects have become a vivid feature of reality for many people during the pandemic and self-isolation of Spring 2020. This story was the starting point for a new ceramic urban sculpture depicting a napping girl and the dreams she has.

Large-scale ceramic works require a special firing technique: the sculpture, molded without bottom or top, is set on brick and fired outdoors. Such works are called fire sculptures, and the process of their creation is spectacular and beautiful.

On October 19, 2020 a performance took place on the bank of Almetyevsk water reservoir – a firing of a fire sculpture created by St. Petersburg ceramics artists Ekaterina Alimova, Artem Maksimov and Anna Dukhanova (the ceramic studio LikeForms Ceramics). The firing lasted the whole day, and in the evening the artists removed the special protection, a kaolin cocoon, and a new art object appeared from the flames before the eyes of the audience, after which the glowing sculpture cooled for some time in front of the public. The performance could be seen online and live, but to a limited number of viewers. The space on the shore was divided into circles, at a safe distance from one another: Each person stood in his circle and did not leave it until the end of the performance. Click here to watch the recording of the performance.
«‎In 2020 happened...»
Something happened in 2020,
That the people will always remember!
Danger was all around the world!
And then everything changed in the world!
A pandemic has struck the world, my friends!
Countries and cities froze!
The schools have stopped teaching
They decided to teach us remotely
But there's been enough to worry about at home...
I've always helped my mother with everything!
Tired.. Sometimes you go to sleep...
А! I want to tell you my dream!
So that's it! I dreamed that in our apartment
All the things in our flat all at once talked!
The refrigerator's the biggest one of them all
The refrigerator's the biggest, the coolest
«I'm the most important person in this family,
Cause all the food's in me
If I stop storing food
The missus won't have anything to feed her family!»
The computer's a master craftsman...
He's old, but he's so easy to work with!
Also decided to prove he's great...
«I solve everything in a click!»
The microwave oven joined in the conversation:
«Friends, I'm sorry, I'm rightly embarrassed..,
But I think I'm more important in the family,
I'm the one who makes all the treats in me!»
Then the telephone entered the conversation:
«Comrades, I'll settle an argument now,
Only with me you be friends without fear,
I'm in touch with the outside world.»
The iron suddenly said that it was the most important of all,
For it was invented before anyone else!
It makes people's things beautiful,
And that means it's the most important and the most valuable.
While all this fuss was going on
The electricians drove into the yard.
They turned off the power to test it.
And in a moment all the appliances stopped arguing...
I woke up...
I had a funny dream
But I'll tell you what, my friends
Even if the machines were alive,
And we'd appreciate them so much indeed,
But there's no substitute for their hard work
from friends and family's warmth!

Author: Alina Safina
Bicycle masquerade and performance-carnival «Zaichestvo» from Upsala Circus
On September 7, 2019, Almetyevsk hosted a large-scale event: a bicycle masquerade, which ended with a screening of the street performance-carnival «Zaichestvo» («Bunnyhood») from Upsala Circus.

The event was divided into two parts. The first one was a masquerade bike ride from the Neftche Culture Center to the sculpture «In this fabulous forest...» (by sculptor Pavel Ignatiev) along the central street of the town. For this, each guest was invited to try on the elements of clothing, which corresponded to the theme of the performance and the concept of the freak-costume event. All of the props were created by volunteers of the public art program under the keen guidance of a guest dresser.
At the final point of the bike ride the actors of the Upasala Circus were waiting for the participants. They invited everyone to join the carnival performance «Zaichestvo», the program which included a costume party, outdoor games: talking drums, Hare Buddha and, of course, mischief and unbridled merriment.
Festival of street culture «In motion» – Street Style Contest
On September 14-15, 2019, the street culture festival «In Motion» – Street Style Contest took place in Almetyevsk. This event is held in the city for the second year in a row and was organized jointly with the Professional School of Breaking Funky People. For two days everyone was invited to take part in master classes on break dance, DJing and graffiti drawing. During the event participants:
– took dance master classes from professional dancers - bboy Can from Kazan, bboy Muddy from Sterlitamak,

– mastered the basics of djing together with DJ Rockid, who was responsible for the music background of the festival all 2 days,

– got to know the history of graffiti, invented their tag and made their own sticker at a workshop of the Kazan artist Roma Roll,

– drew general graffiti on the jam in front of the Youth Center together with artists Roma Roll, Denis OOPS, Alexey MERZ from Kazan,

– chose the winner of the break battle, in which more than 40 participants aged 4 and older from Almetyevsk, Naberezhnye Chelny, Izhevsk and Dimitrovgrad took part.

Also at the event was the selection for the Volga region children and youth break-dance festival Open kids battle 2 in the city of Khvalynsk.
Opening of Pavel Ignatyev's sculpture «In this amazing forest.../ ...Bu kara urmanda...»
August 25, 2018 in Almetyevsk was the opening of the work of St. Petersburg sculptor Pavel Ignatyev – «In this wonderful forest ... / ... Bu cap-kara urmanda ...». Gabdulla Tuqay poetry readings, a theatrical show by the Almetyevsk Drama Theatre and the Light Wings Street Theatre and even a bike masquerade took place in the city's main street. At the finish line the three owners of the most charming and original costumes received presents.
Surrealistic composition «In this wonderful forest.../ ...Bu kara urmanda...», is based on the works of the great Tatar poet Gabdulla Tukay.
Pavel Ignatyev says about his work:

«The goal of our project is to show that the simple and familiar can hold the joy of discovery. We address many people, but we want to touch everyone. This process requires fine-tuning.

Almetyevsk viewer is unique, it exists in a bilingual environment, the Russian and Tatar languages are familiar and understandable on a subconscious level. Even without being a philologist, a person intuitively feels the meaning of words, plays with words, jokes or tells stories, moving freely between these two different languages. Barely noticeable differences in the meaning of words, in translation, create a pulsation, a slight looseness giving the effect of movement even to a «frozen image».

The sculptural image acquires multiple meanings and everyone can see their own. There may be a dialogue – a discussion between the viewers. After all, everyone has their own imagination and, after all, everyone has their own language. Just as the poet had his own, different language. And that is his greatness. «Amazing» to us in its power of manifestation can be extraordinary, very good, excellent and striking, but we understand this magic, the unraveling is fun and gives us the joy of recognition».
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