Losing identity. Is there a future for Russian folk arts and traditional arts?

Losing identity. Is there a future for Russian folk arts and traditional arts?

Folk arts and crafts and traditional arts that have survived wars, revolution, Soviet power and perestroika in the new Russia was on the brink of extinction: the production is falling from year to year, sales are not growing, the number of practitioners is steadily declining. From the sad fate of a unique industry could be saved only by a miracle. And it looks like it could happen. As was bent Russian identity and why St. Petersburg businessman Anton has a chance to stay in the memory of many generations of craftsmen, find out the “Spark”.

And says: for 25 years, our “basis of the original national culture” (defines folk art in its documents, the Ministry of industry and trade) quietly dying….

Tragic notes in the head of the Association can be understood: the volume of production from year to year decreases, the number of masters has been steadily declining. If in the Soviet Union at the enterprises of folk arts and crafts he worked for about 100 Grand masters, now the keepers of “national identity” in the vast Russian expanses — less than 20 thousand.

A typical picture: on the companies where he worked before 200-300 people, there were 15 and pension age. And work more out of habit than for the money — one third of the once-famous factories salary of 10 thousand rubles. Of course, for the money the youth will not sit down to paint Zhostovo trays, to pore over Bogorodskaya carving, Yelets lace or Fedoskino miniature.

“Ninety-nine percent of crafts needed extra assistance,” States the Association. And add dark paints a grim picture: last year the enterprise produced goods for 5 billion rubles, but to sell it they can’t have a third of the enterprises the profitability from 0.1 to 3 percent, more than half are unprofitable. The head of one of the most famous artistic crafts of Russia “Khokhloma painting” Elena Krayushkina sighs: “profit is not necessary to speak”.

What is it? Our Dymkovo toys, Palekh jewelry box, lacquer miniature, which, in theory, can feed entire regions, to develop rural tourism, useless?

The elusive identity

In the USSR all enterprises Handicrafts worked on government contracts. The products were centrally purchased, transported to the shops, was spent on gifts to foreign guests. In big cities there were large art shops, where are all Handicrafts. Regular fairs were held in Leipzig and Edinburgh is a traditional Russian souvenir Boyko was exported….

Publication of Zhostovo Factory (@zhostovskaya_fabrika) Jun 9 2017 8:35 PDT

Zhostovo painting

Then replace the government came to the market and capricious fashion. What was formerly considered “ancient heritage” and perhaps “soul of the people” for new Russians turned into kitsch. As for foreigners and it turned out to be unavailable — broken roads and lack of tourist friendly infrastructure cut off from the masters even fans: enterprises of folk Handicrafts are mainly in villages, to which was easy to get.

As a result, today no network dissemination of traditional objects of national pride there. Businesses simply are not able to open a sales point — they would have something for the light to pay. “The cost of rent in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg unreasonable, — says Elena Krayushkina, — an enormous rate for 1 square meter. To us such sums do not even dreamed of!”.

Publication of Andrew Zaharenko (@andrew_zaharenko) Jun 16 2017 12:07 PDT

Khokhloma painting

For known industries, such as, for example, Khokhloma, one of the main markets is the wholesale and corporate clients. But it is not about art, but about the whims of the customer — firm order gifts to employees, based on their own creativity, so the light appears every game: that dolls with a built-in flash, laptops, painted “Khokhloma”.

Once even the Royal throne any fan of the autocracy did Khokhloma factory in the struggle for return. And, to be honest, redeveloped a number of capacities for the production of the usual garden furniture, demand is stable. But Khokhloma production — large and small companies producing unique fishing products, a chance to earn no.

In Moscow or St. Petersburg today, you can buy anything you want. Also… traditional Russian products. No present Vologda lace, Palekh caskets nor could not be found.

Chinese fakes, Belarusian and Ukrainian goods to the souvenir stalls, even in the cities of the Golden ring are pressed by the original manufacturer.

“Many firms solve the problem of providing tourists with Souvenirs due to cheap imported Chinese products,” grieve in the Association “Folk arts and crafts”. And admit: to deal with this is almost impossible.

“The volume of illegal products that violate copyright law several times greater than the momentum of our company, — says Elena Krayushkina.— There were a few ships. We have made test purchases of counterfeit products from different IP. Then received an expert opinion confirming infringement of our copyright, sent a claim to the Arbitration court. In the proceedings of IE buried, the case is under the jurisdiction of the Arbitration court and referred to the World court, where violators are awarded a penalty in 2 thousand roubles.

What? Nothing: a penalty paid, and a month on the market the same offenders open a new UI and continue to do the same. To them, litigation is a cost of a paltry fine, and we paid for the expertise, to spend on lawyers… That is us, the court is 150-200 thousand, and 2 thousand. And what’s the point in such litigation?”.

Not calculated

The government supports crafts spot and crumbs. However, it’s just as well — in many life hardly glimmers only through subsidies (this year allocated 450 million rubles). Subsidies companies can spend to pay for gas, electricity, rail transport and exhibition activities.

But money is desperately not enough to cover all costs, also only get lucky is the 79 companies that have managed to get to the Registry, folk arts and crafts of industry and trade. Ingress — the ultimate dream for the guardians of the original crafts. A dream depends on luck and the goodwill of the members of the art Committee of the Ministry.

Luck is capricious and not everyone is smiling. For example, Russian mosaic — famous craft of creating a panel of colored stone — for 10 years trying to get this registry and all the way. Unique art exists 300 years, his master decorated St. Isaac’s Cathedral in the Imperial times and the Soviet era of expensive panels made of Ural Jasper Politburo members gave to foreign visitors. But, it turns out that the Ministerial Committee in charge of the records in the registry, it is not enough.

— At the arts Council we asked where in the Volga region of mountains, — tells about armchair misadventures of nail Bedredinov, the Director nkhp “Artel.”— The claim was that our craft is not tied to a specific village as the others. And what’s the answer? Ordinary mountains. Ural. And the belt of Jasper through many of the settlements goes by… another time the paperwork we were wrong, it turned out that not enough traditional we. Here once again applied. Wait. I hope….

The Association of national art crafts long been fighting for tax benefits. And they seem to have been even promised in the sectoral strategy of development of national art crafts to 2020 compiled by the Ministry of industry and trade in 2015. There is generally a lot of good things, but everything is still on paper. But in real life, almost all taxes and insurance premiums of the enterprise of our unique folk culture is fully paid.

“We employ 700 people. 90 percent of the manual labor, — says Elena Krayushkina, is the most costly part of product cost is payroll and payroll taxes, nearly 75 percent in the amount of the cost — an enormous amount. And we pay all taxes and insurance premiums as a major, high-tech and automated plants. This is an unbearable burden for us.”

Manual labor is the main feature of folk arts and crafts and it’s expensive. This is what plunges the enterprise into a hopeless unprofitable.

“Those popular crafts that have abandoned manual labour, I feel better,” admits Drozhzhin. This, for example, Pavlovsky Posad’s shawls, once a unique pattern on the painting now, not handy, but prints the printer.

Publication of Pavloposadskie Shawls (@platki_pavloposad) Jan 16 2016 11:32 PST

Pavloposad shawl

And lost identity, it seems, curators of the industry does not bother: the Ministry of industry and trade has set a target to increase the number of enterprises of national art crafts with a minimum share of manual labor. That is, as any truly commercial products they do stop, but will do cheap. It is ready to allocate state money to buy equipment. Only here does it save guardian of ancient crafts and small enterprises which are not able to open the store?

In the world there are different. In Germany, for example, the production using manual labor, have significant tax benefits, they allow a few years to fully recover costs. There is much lower than in Russia, the cost of renting retail space.

Canada has a centralized distribution system: the master delivers the manufactured product to the cooperative, which sends them to the places of sales. In France, if graduates of art schools come to the masters or in organizations specializing in handmade art work, within three years receive a fee that provides them with earnings above the average in the region.

In Japan, craftsmen not have a national heritage status. And the state guaranteed buys of the craftsmen and their students for enriching the Museum and gift funds for sale in other countries.

The sad fate of Russian folk crafts high-ranking officials in aware: Association “National art crafts of Russia” holds an annual conference, communicates with the Ministry of industry, scores of heads of regions screaming for help. Alas….

But we have, as it turns out, works flawlessly another method to reach heaven.

The Word First

Anton Georgiev two years ago bought the bankrupt factory “Kresttsy line” in the village of krestsy, Novgorod region. With all the “generic problems” of the industry, which was discussed above, faced directly. Rested in the main: to whom to sell krestecky lace and why is the government not helping. But he, unlike his peers, was lucky: he was among the 10 businessmen who in late April was found in Veliky Novgorod with Vladimir Putin.

Anton details Dating does not advertise, it is recognized only that reported to the President: Handicrafts we are all consistently bad. Adds that after that all the responsible officials suddenly cheered. And after that official events: after a week it became known that the President has instructed the government to develop an “action plan for the conservation, revival and development of national art crafts and crafts”.

Is entrusted, in particular, to consider the use of products of national art crafts in the programmes of additional education and upbringing of children, the formation of professional education, the development of domestic and inbound tourism in the places of traditional folk arts existence.

And most importantly — there has been a response to the question: “Who will buy?”. Is part of the Federal contract system to create a system of priority public procurement of goods and crafts for the replenishment of Museum collections, collections in educational and cultural institutions. Besides, all ministries, Rosneft, Gazprom there are gift funds, they will also be purchasing. To report on the creation including all of these positions plan, Dmitry Medvedev is the President at the end of August….

Presenting all these bright prospects, Anton, not without pride, said the “Spark” in the gift Fund of the President have already decided to buy the work “Krestetsky line”. And factory Georgieva received the state order from the Novgorod region.

Publication of KRESTTSY LINE (@krestetskayastrochka) Jun 14 2017 7:18 PDT

Example Krestecky lines

Surely salvation? “If we have to buy products of gift funds, the Museum’s collection will somehow be replenished by items crafts, it will be a great help,” says Elena Krayushkina. “In the Soviet Union a large number of our works were in gift funds — agrees the nail Betredinov — if all will return, of course, it will help us”.

The wizard hopes that the Ministry concerned by the President’s assignment, and now something is “to unite in the name of saving the Russian traditions.” And dreaming: the Federal Agency for tourism will include crafts enterprises in the Federal tourist route; the Ministry of culture will give an indication of the Tretyakov gallery and the Hermitage Museum to buy their products; the MoE will help with the training; the Ministry will create a network of stores in major cities where you will find all crafts….

— People would go for a gift and realized that it is for a gift, which is produced in Russia, is a collectible object can be inherited to another generation — the dream of the Association. But it is ready for execution and a more modest desires: if the Department is not master or roll up (not build roads, will not create a tourism infrastructure, will not open stores, etc.), they are at least forced to buy gifts “products of national culture”.

And as it is our identity, otherwise save?

“Spark” has collected crafts that are especially difficult.

Bogorodskaya thread. Moscow oblast, settlement Bogorodskoe.

Bogorodskaya thread

Famous bears-Kuznetsov and pecking chickens can be found in any large gift shop. But to the Bogorodskaya factory wood toy these crafts usually have nothing to do. Vintage folk craft lost in the fight against counterfeiting.

In Soviet times, a cottage industry was transformed into a powerful company with 1300 employees. Three years ago there were only 30 of carvers.

Shilovskaya Loza. Ryazan oblast.

Shilovskaya Loza pic.twitter.com/6PEv8amCvf

— Skopinskiy Center nkhp (@center_remesel) 5 may 2016

It may seem that basket weaving is reborn in Sochi. In the mid-1990s in the village again, a factory. Basket weaving is taught in the village children’s clubs. And each year on the Central square near the monument to the Yevpatiya Kolovrat (according to one version, he Shilovsky native) festival basket weaving “Willow-willow”, which attracts craftsmen of Ryazan, Vladimir and Moscow regions.

Only here real Shilovskaya Loza is not willow, and BlackBerry. Technology of preparation finally lost a few years ago, when he died last old master.

Ramon art pottery. Voronezh oblast.

Master Ramon ceramics factories with 60-ies of XX century maintained the traditional technology of pottery production, all products are created the forms and ornaments of ancient ceramics Voronezh. Thanks Ramon ceramics received the status of the enterprises of folk art crafts.

Now the factory is closed, leaving only the workshop for the manufacture of flower pots. There is a staff of 10. Mostly migrants. All that is left of its former grandeur, is a private Museum of ceramics.

Yelets lace. Lipetsk region, Yelets.

Yelets lace – weightless art pic.twitter.com/g54BZbAhc3

— Bliss (@Bliss_SI) 19 Aug 2016

Yelets lace is spun from the beginning of XIX century. This mainly involved the wives and daughters of wealthy merchants. In Soviet times 5 thousands of lace-makers worked in the factory.

Now there are less than 50 workers. To find Yelets lace, you should try. They are sold mainly at exhibitions in Moscow. Individual stores, where you could find the famous shawls and tablecloths, no.

Vologda finift’. Vologda.

Publication from Vologda finift (@vologodskayfinift) 5 Dec 2016 5:13 PST

Vologda finift

Complex technique of combining enamel and metal exists in the Vologda 400 years. In Russia, the enamel was not valued less than gold and silver. The Vologda product is compared to precious stones and gems. Enamel paints do not fade over time. Now an ancient tradition in Vologda saves only 13 people in one creative Studio.

Natalia Nechleba