Svetlana and Zhanna
The short Siberian summer is over and the snow-line is creeping downward toward the valleys. Svetlana made good use of the car that was donated last spring, taking promising young throat-singers to festivals where they can be immersed in the threatened Altai culture. But it is not only the youngsters who benefit from the gatherings of the clans; when long-time activists like Svetlana get together, they join forces to bring forth new opportunities.
For years, Svetlana and our old friend Zhanna An have been collecting myths, legends, and fairy tales with the intention of publishing them. This work is time-critical because the elders who remember the times before the Soviet destruction of Altai's indigenous culture have almost died off. Svetlana has wanted to make an e-book and Zhanna has wanted to make videos with sand animation.
Zhanna has recently been working at radio "Voice of Siberia," which planned a project called "Legends of Altai," but it was never made. Now, working together, Zhanna and Svetlana have fully selected the text and they are negotiating for recording studio time. Readers have been selected from among National Theatre actors, teachers, internationally recognized traditional musicians Nogon Shumarov and Bolot Bairyshev, and of course Svetlana's young proteges.
Svetlana says that the planning is all happening around her kitchen table. We're grateful for your continuing donations. They contribute toward communication and transportation costs, both of which take a big chunk out of the shoe-string budget.