Free activities at VDNH's Slovo Centre this weekend

25 august 2021

Slovo Centre will be offering a choice of free activities for children and adults on 28 and 29 August. Among the activities planned are lectures on medieval Russian art and writing. The attendees will learn about the hidden meanings of medieval texts and images. The young visitors are welcome to enjoy the play The Scarlet Flower and the educational quest Cyril and Methodius: Mission Possible. Attendance is free by registration.

The lecture Killer Angels and Virtuous Satyrs: Peculiarities of Russian Medieval Miniature Painting will start at 3 p.m. at the Slovo Centre on 28 August. Scholar of medieval Russian culture Nikolai Butskikh will recount the history and explain the subject-matter and symbolism of medieval paintings. Among other interesting facts, listeners will find out how medieval Russian painters depicted deities and what they did when they did not know what their characters looked like. The mysterious creatures we can see in some medieval Russian artworks will be explained to VDNH visitors. For example, there occur fabulous creatures such as dolphins with wings or ant-lions—animals whose bodies are a cross between an ant and a lion.

Young visitors are invited to watch the play The Scarlet Flower at 12 noon on 29 August. It is customary to tell the story of Beauty and the Beast through the medium of wooden puppets and toys. The stage artwork is also created from all-natural materials. The directors and the artist of the Taratumb theatre company were inspired by the folk culture of Russia's subarctic north in this production. For the enjoyment of the Slovo Centre visitors, the performance features folk tunes and songs performed on traditional instruments.

Cyril and Methodius: Mission Possible is an educational quest for children, scheduled at 1 p.m. on 29 August. All participants will play the role of pupils of the creators of the Glagolithic alphabet. In game form, the children will be introduced to Glagolithic script and learn about the history of Russian writing. They will be challenged to solve a few not-so-easy riddles and decipher cryptic signs. The children have to be aged 8 to 14 and escorted by an adult to play.

The lecture Medieval Russian Cryptography: What the Old Scribes Concealed will start at 3 p.m. on 29 August. Encrypted writings frequently occur on the pages of medieval Russian manuscripts. Some of the encrypted texts have been decoded to contain the scribes' names, some verses and riddles. The lecturer Nikolai Butskikh will tell the audience of VDNH visitors all about this and more. He will explain the types of medieval Russian cipher and the differences between them. The audience members will be challenged to decode some original writings from medieval manuscripts.

The lectures and the play are part of the educational project Knowledge. VDNH.

The anti-coronavirus restrictions continue to apply everywhere on VDNH grounds. Visitors are expected to wear personal protective equipment and observe social distancing. More information about the anti-coronavirus measures at VDNH can be found here.

Members of the Friends of VDNH loyalty programme enjoy discounts on tickets for the VDNH Museum and other VDNH facilities. For a full and regularly updated list of programme partner venues, see the programme page on the VDNH website.

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