Valdai Club to Discuss How the Language of Culture Addresses War
List of speakers

On June 23, at 17:00 Moscow time (GMT+3), on the eve of the Victory Parade on Red Square in Moscow, the Valdai Discussion Club, in partnership with the Russian Jewish Congress, will host a public talk online, titled “How and Why Must War Be Spoken About Using the Language of Culture?”

For Russia and Israel, the theme of World War II remains central, if we talk about the preservation of cultural and historical memory. This is evidenced by theatrical performances, films, exhibitions and commemorative events in both countries. Endlessly, the theme of the war and its rethinking are addressed by Hollywood and European filmmakers. However, it often happens that in the framework of such projects, fiction borders upon the falsification of historical truth; this phenomenon is considered another aspect of the “memory wars”.

An acute question which remains is the fate of the monuments to Soviet soldiers and military leaders. Not so long ago, Zeev Elkin, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, said that Israel is the only country in the Western world where, instead of destroying monuments to Soviet soldiers, they erect them. It is worth recalling that this year in bilateral relations began with the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Israel. The Russian leader and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened a Memorial Candle monument in Jerusalem dedicated to the heroes of the besieged city of Leningrad.

What is the difference between modern cultural projects and those of the past? To what extent can they be considered a real reflection of the war years? What are their pros and cons? Is it possible to avoid the politicisation of modern culture? What role can Russia and Israel play in this process? Participants of the public talk will answer these and other questions.


  • Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation;

  • Andrey Konchalovsky, Russian film director, producer;

  • Krzysztof Zanussi, Polish film director, screenwriter, producer;

  • Anatoly Golubovsky, culturologist, supervisor of the grant competition of museum initiatives and exhibition projects at the Russian Jewish Congress.


  • Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club.

Working language: Russian.

For accreditation, you need to fill out the accreditation form on our website and indicate your personal mobile number with the WhatsApp application installed.

You can ask the speakers a question by sending it before the broadcast or live to [email protected] or via WhatsApp to the number: +79269307763. Be sure to include your name and position, as well as the name of the speaker to whom the question is addressed.

You can follow the discussion on the RJC pages on Facebook and YouTube. A link to the live broadcast of the meeting (in Russian) will be posted on all online platforms used by the Valdai Club, including our website, FacebookVkontakteInstagram and Telegram.