Another Meeting of Caspian Expert Club

Another Meeting of Caspian Expert Club

On March 22, 2017, the fourth meeting of the Caspian Expert Club took place in Astrakhan; it was held in honor of the upcoming 300th anniversary of Astrakhan Region.

The event was held as a live talk show, which was broadcast by the Astrakhan 24 TV Channel. This time, the experts met to discuss historical researches and media projects as a part of the Caspian Dialogue, which implies international cooperation between the countries of the Caspian Littoral Region.

The format of the discussion was not selected by chance: a talk show makes it possible for specialists and program guests to exchange their views and opinions on a particular theme freely, which contributes to an active discussion of the set issues.

The range of the talk show participants included leaders of ethnic and cultural societies of Astrakhan Region and students of Astrakhan’s universities – future political scientists, historians, and journalists specializing in international themes. Historians and political scientists from Russia and Kazakhstan acted as experts.

The discussion began with setting the agenda by Dr. Andrey Syzranov, Chief of the Center of Eurasian Political Research of Astrakhan State University and the organizer of the Caspian Expert Club: “The Caspian Littoral Region is unique as a special historic and geographical zone of interethnic and intercultural contacts that lasted thousands of years. The tradition of dialogue between civilizations and cultures in this Region is the base for stable international relations both at present and in the future. The geopolitical importance of the Caspian Region is due to a mixture of cultures at the crossroad of civilizations, international trade, ideas, and impacts. With its considerable potential opportunities that are still unused, the Caspian Littoral Region keeps on being one of the sites in the world, where the origins of future events are focused. The 300th anniversary of Astrakhan Region is a good reason to perform numerous historical and media projects that relate to international contacts, common anniversary dates, historical and cultural memorials. Among all those projects, there are collective monographs, international scientific conferences, roundtables, public discussions and lectures”.

Ms. Marina Zaytseva, Chief of the Agency of Networks & Mass Communications of Astrakhan Region, who inspired numerous media projects in Astrakhan Region and participated actively in them, remarked: “We’ve been working on regional printing projects for a long time. Let’s remember the collective monograph “Fortress” that relates to the history of the Astrakhan Kremlin; by the way, we’re republishing it this year. The upcoming anniversary of our Region is a very good reason to continue our historical research. In particular, we’ll soon publish our new book “Serving Russia for 300 Years”. That’s just one of our projects”.

Mr. Ilya Toropitsin, Chief of the Information Analytical and Organizational Activities of the Ministry of International & Foreign Economic Relations of Astrakhan Region, a coauthor of the book “Serving Russia for 300 Years”, said: “It’s great that such a large team of authors took part in writing this book. Each of them did their best to cover centuries of our regional history – from Peter the Great to present days. That’s a hard job, and we’ll see its outcomes very soon”.

Projects that visualize the history of the Caspian littoral countries are regarded as essential activities that form Astrakhan Region’s image in the research, educational, and media space. Ms. Raisa Zakharova, a Senior Research Officer of the Astrakhan Art Gallery, told the audience about painstaking work to search for rare and unknown pictures, maps, and photos related to the history of our Region and neighboring areas. She pointed out that historical researches would not be efficient enough without a visual support.

It is necessary to develop joint media projects dedicated to the upcoming anniversary of Astrakhan Region. One of those projects is the 3rd Caspian Media Forum to be held in September 2017, which will contribute to further formation of the common media space in the Caspian littoral countries. It is also necessary to develop the Caspian Media School and the Editorial Board of the Caspian Littoral Countries.

Mr. Eduard Poletaev, Chief of the Public Fund “World of Eurasia” in Almaty (Kazakhstan), emphasized that the expert community of the Caspian littoral countries and regional mass media play a very important role in developing the image of the Caspian Region as a region of friendship and cooperation. He also reminded about the upcoming 5th Summit of Heads of Caspian Countries: “The issues concerning the legal status of the Caspian Sea is to be settled at the Summit. Should the agreement be signed at last, we’ll come to a common and objective understanding of the Caspian partnership. And already as a consequence, we’d attract world investments in economy and the humanitarian sphere of the Caspian littoral countries”.

Mr. Alexander Vassilyev, Editor-in-Chief of the Astrakhan 24 TV Channel and a political observer, mentioned a project that is already being performed efficiently – the Editorial Board of the Caspian Littoral Countries, which broadcasts news of those countries.

Dr. Kseniya Tyurenkova, Acting Head of the Chair of Advertising and Public Relations of Astrakhan State University, told about her research of the media image of Astrakhan Region. She remarked that world news about the Caspian Region pay considerable attention to military issues. “As we provide our expert assessments and recommendations, our major task is to change the negative connotation of news materials. The Caspian Region is a place where different cultures come across; we ought to promote our experience of interaction throughout centuries. To meet that goal, we should perform joint media projects at both the national and the regional levels. The projects dedicated to the upcoming anniversary of Astrakhan Region are an excellent illustration of such interaction”, she pointed out.

Mr. Bakhodir Aminov, Chairman of the Astrakhan Regional Public Organization “Uzbekistan” that aims to preserve and develop the Uzbek culture, congratulated people of Astrakhan on the upcoming anniversary and expressed his confidence in further development of peaceful and harmonious relations in Astrakhan Region. As for Mr. Gabil Dzhavadov, a representative of the public organization “All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress”, he told much about long-lasting and mutually beneficial contacts between Astrakhan Region and Azerbaijan; he added that a special research in this theme would be conducted soon.

Russian original information and photo source: the Center of Eurasian Political Research of ASU

Translated by E.I. Glinchevskiy (the Center of Translation Studies & Conference Interpreting “ASTLINK” of ASU)