Lapa Azora the annual festival for the literary and graphical avant-garde
Lapa Azora began in 2007 as a festival for constrained poetry but already a year later it attracted a multitude of other forms of experimental art from poetry to film and became the annual festival for the literary and graphical avant-garde, hosted since 2014 by the Russian State Library for Young Adults. Today, Lapa Azora is the only regular festival in Russia that celebrates experimental and performative literature that discovers new meanings and aims at a synthesis with other art forms: sound, performance, visualization, multimedia formats etc. The festival welcomes not only poets, but video artists, musicians, painters; a regular visual poetry exhibition is held as well as a video art programme. Famous poets and sound poets, such as Konstantin Kedrov, Elena Katsyuba, Sergey Biryukov, Herman Lukomnikov, Herman Vinogradov, Sveta Litvak, Alexander Gornon, Danila Davydov, Tatiana Vinogradova, Dmitry Strotsev, Ry Nikonova, Anna Altshuk, legendary musician Sergey Letov and many others have taken part in the festival.
Drugoe Polusharie magazine and the International Zaum Academy are partners of the festival.
The curator of the festival is Evgenij V. Kharitonov.
Idea Factory projects for a modern young adult library
A modern library is more than a book warehouse, it’s a cozy environment for studying and working, a space for intellectual entertainment, a place where people meet old friends and make new ones, socialize, debate hot topics, and even go on dates. We try not only to work for young people, but also with young people. That is why in September 2014 we invited young people to submit their own library projects. During the month that followed we received over 30 interesting, unusual projects; authors of the 10 best ideas got an opportunity to present their projects to the library administration and creative department as well as other guests and library visitors. There was free entry for all, and the number of people who wished to see the presentation was beyond the Comics Centre’s capacity, so a live online broadcast was arranged.
The projects were very diverse: basic psychology classes, a conference similar to TED, ethnic days, a science club, programming classes, role-playing games aimed at self-development, learning foreign languages in tandem etc. The biggest project was Book-carriage submitted by students Irina Mishina and Mikhail Smirnov: it entailed turning a whole underground train carriage into a library-on-wheels.
A Night Behind the Looking-Glass
On 25 April 2014 RSLYA took part in the Russian Library Night for the first time. The object of this annual event is to support reading and encourage young people’s interest for books, literature, and libraries. A young adult library seemed a perfect place for teens and adults to go to on this night, so we decided to stage a huge and unforgettable event for our guests. The event was inspired by the paradox and twisted logic of world behind the looking-glass as seen in Lewis Carroll’s famous tale. In 2014, with support from the Lewis Carroll Society (UK) RSLYA started an Alice in Wonderland Year in Russian libraries to mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of this wonderful book.
14 different events happened at the library in three hours, and around 1000 people attended the Night Behind the Looking-Glass, which is as much as the library’s spaces could contain. All who came to the Night stayed until the very end.