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Culture news
The German Week in St. Petersburg kicks off on Monday with a packed program of events
04.12.2008 09:52

The German Week in St. Petersburg, an annual program of events designed to highlight many aspects of German life, takes place this year from Monday through April 20.

During the week, more than 70 events focused on economics, politics and culture will be held in the city. Among them are fashion shows and concerts of classical and modern pop music, photographic and architecture exhibitions, round tables and theater performances, presentations by German companies and a trade fair for young specialists, and even a football match between the young German and Russian teams. More than 52 companies and institutions support the German Week in St. Petersburg as its partners or sponsors this year.

Bernd Braun, German consul general in St. Petersburg, said that the German Week is aimed mainly at young people with a professional interest in Germany, such as students, researchers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, and scientists. However, there are also many events covering three topics — economics, politics and culture — that are of interest to a wider audience.

The economic events of the week open with Architectural Axis Russia-Germany, an exhibition that will present the results of successful German-Russian teamwork in architecture and construction. Among them are projects by two practices, Yevgeny Gerasimov and Partners from St. Petersburg and nps tchoban voss from Berlin. Leading German engineers will discuss the innovations implemented in these projects, while Dr. Sebastian Storz will give a lecture about the reconstruction of Dresden in 1945 after it had been destroyed during World War II.

Energy security, one of the main aspects of Russian-German relations, will be discussed during a two-day conference titled Photoelectric Transformation of Solar Energy: The Way Forward, launched by DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service) and the Russian Academy of Sciences. Russian and German scientists, such as Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alfyorov, chairman of the World Council of Renewable Energy Professor Wolfgang Palz, and others will take part.

A conference called Business Dialogue will be held at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and present three large German companies; Deutsche Boerse AG (The German Stock Exchange), Deutsche Bahn International (The International German Railway) and DEG (The German Society of Investment and Development). DEG is a part of KfW Bankengruppe, a financial group which contributes to the development of the private sector of the economy in countries with transitional economies. Deutsche Bahn International is a potential investor in big city, regional, and interregional railway projects, the St. Petersburg metro and the field of logistics. Deutsche Boerse AG is one of the leading world stock market operators which leads companies to global capital markets.

Such topics as the image of Russia in the German media and the relations between Russia, Germany and Europe after the presidential elections will be on the agenda during the discussions at Herzen University, the European University and St. Petersburg State University.

Among the highlights of the cultural part of German Week is a concert by Culcha Candela, a hip hop band from Berlin at Port Club on Sunday. Founded in 2002, the group consists of seven young multinational musicians. It has already released three albums.

Meanwhile, fashion project Garderobe 2008: Fashion With Room to Grow from Germany and Russia will present the work of young designers from the leading ESMOD Design School in Berlin and the new collections by their young counterparts from the St. Petersburg State University of Technology and Design, Moscow State University of Design and Technologies and other design schools in Russia.

Throughout the week, Cafe D at the Goethe Institute at 58 Naberezhnaya Reki Moiki will be the venue for roundtables, presentations of films and art videos, and music performances as well as meetings with guests of the German Week in St. Petersburg, although it will also continue to operate as a cafe for visitors who simply want to have a cup of coffee and read Russian and German newspapers.

“Although Germany is traditionally one of the main commercial partners of St. Petersburg, the official data of statistics can hardly help our citizens get a full impression of the country,” said Andrei Petruk, the first deputy chairman of the St. Petersburg External Relations Committee. “Modern Germany is more associated with the high-quality car industry, than its huge cultural heritage, leading universities, and unique socially-oriented economy. That is why the German Week is a very special and successful attempt to bring Germany to St. Petersburg, revealing the country’s past, present and future at the same time.”

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