Lecture of A. Yankovsky "Waiting for the end of the World. The heritage of antiquity and modern destruction in Iraq and Syria"
As part of the educational program of the Fifth Contest of Young Artists ‘New projects for ANNA NOVA gallery’, a member of the Board of Trustees, Alexey Yankovsky, is giving a lecture on the problem of destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq, as well as international efforts to save them.
Many things that now lie at the heart of our present life first appeared on the territory of modern Syria and Iraq: the first agricultural settlements, the first writing, the first city-states, the first major poem, and inside this poem – the first verses about friendship, love, the search for immortality. The ancient Christian and Islamic manuscripts, which contain information about the development of our religions on common ground, are kept in the mosques and monasteries of this land.
In the last decades with the involvement of Western governments and wealthy neighbors, military conflicts have occured in these areas more often and often. As a result, of these conflicts, our common cultural heritage is lost. Now there is a new problem — the so-called "Islamic state" that multiplies the destruction defiantly, as "bloody show". What can we do and what has already been done to confront it — these are the topics of our lecture on May 15th.
Data about the disasters in the Middle East and about the people who opposed them, was collected during the work on the multimedia exhibition "Fearless" in the Royal galleries in Brussels. Its participants include Iraqi and American archaeologists, conservators from Italy, the head of the American anti-terrorist group, Director of the Iraqi National library. The exhibition presented photos, videos and text documents, and a series of sculptures of the St. Petersburg artist Emil Kapelyush, inspired by the sculpture from Nippur, the Sumerian early dynastic period (about the middle of the III Millennium BC), depicting the embracing couple.
In March 2016 extended version of this exhibition will open in St. Petersburg.
Alexey Yankovsky is the curator of the exhibition "Fearless", historian, movie director, executive secretary of the Association of Alexander Sokurov.