LONDON, May 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The competition for creative children - Russia4Brits - has had an excellent response from children and young people within the United Kingdom. Not only did the students themselves put a great deal of effort and thought into their entries, but also their supporters, namely schools and parents, contributed to making this project a success. We would like to mention the project's most active participating schools respectively: DAR Centre, Harrow School and James Allen's Girls' School. We appreciate the time and energy that school staff dedicated to encouraging their students to participate!
Russia4Brits was designed to offer UK children and young people the chance to have their say on Russia, her culture and society - after all, they certainly have a right to it as they are the ones who will be living in the world being currently shaped! The work we received was actually more than we had hoped for. Defying ignorance and stereotypes, the participants thought long and hard about how to display an open-minded and caring point of view and came up with very creative ideas and methods to convey this message: besides drawings, paintings and photographs, we received videos, hand-crafted items and inspiring articles.
In all honesty, it was not at all easy for our judges to rate the entries and in the end the competition turned out to be extremely exciting with several participants in a head-to-head race for points.
To ensure that the competition was conducted in a fair manner, we designed an evaluation system with two aspects.
Firstly, we asked our judges to rate each piece of work individually based on four criteria:
1) Interpretation and clarity of theme
We asked the judges to rate the entry based on how the work's topic could be seen in relation to Russia, its culture and society.
2) Creativity and originality
Creativity refers to the uniqueness of a piece. If you look at it and think, Oh, I've never thought of thinking of that aspect from this perspective, it should score highly for creativity. It also refers to the creative use of different means to display your ideas.
3) Quality of the work and overall design
We were looking to see whether the drawing was accurately depicted (for example, correct choice of colours if it is a drawing or, for smaller children, perhaps if they managed to draw within the borders of a figure). Then, it should be rated highly in terms of the quality of the work and its overall design.
4) Overall impression of the piece
Overall impression of the piece is your personal impression, unconnected to any of the criteria; a subjective feeling, without taking techniques into account.
Each of the criteria was awarded a maximum of 10 points.
Secondly, the judges also had the opportunity to rate any three entries as their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices and accordingly the participants could receive further points.
To yet again maintain the competition's fairness for all participants, we decided to declare a winner among the young people as well as a separate winner in the category for smaller children.
Tom Shtasel, an 8-year-old student from the DAR Russian Education Centre in London, received one of our highest scores among our younger participants. His contribution was a summary of short articles which were funny little stories about his life told in Russian. Another younger participant, Max Koschek from Churchfields Infant School, had the idea of drawing the Moscow tube map which is a very easily recognisable symbol of the city.
Students over 12 years of age amazed us with their interpretations of the topic. Alizhan Aldiyar from Harrow School in London had the idea of drawing a modern Russian city, with Russia's past being mirrored in the water.
Another thought-provoking masterpiece was drawn by Elizabeth Sian Borrie, a student at Harris Academy, Bromley. Her picture shows a timer which, according to her description, prevents Russia and the UK from developing an interpersonal business and cultural relationship. It symbolises the possibility of taking advantage of a potential partnership in business as well as in culture.
"Although we had been advised on a number of occasions to withhold the competition, we felt it would not be right as to abstain from politics and to show some ideas beyond it was the primary aim of the competition. It would also not be fair to the participating children as they put so much effort and thought into their work", says the competition organiser Ignaty Dyakov.
We are very thankful for the thought-provoking entries we have received and cannot wait to award the winners with their prizes which include flights to Russia offered by EasyJet, book vouchers from the European Bookshop, art reproductions from Erarta Gallery and books from Russia Local.
Congratulations to all participants! The exhibition of best submissions will be hosted at GRAD Gallery in London 14th to 28th May, 2014. Works will also be published on their website and websites of Russia Beyond the Headline and Russian Art and Culture.
The Russia4Brits competition was conceived in April 2013 within a small British consultancy - Russia Local Ltd. - with the aim of involving children in a dialogue between nations. Subsequently, with the announcement of the UK-Russia Year of Culture, it proved to be an important and timely project. Latterly, the project has been supported by a number of businesses and cultural and educational organisations in the UK.
Russia Local Ltd. is a London-based linguistic consultancy firm helping British businesses expand into Russia. They offer language tuition, translation, marketing and market research.
GRAD is a pioneering institution that brings new insights into Russian art, design and culture to international audiences through exhibitions, publications, live events, collaborations and digital engagement. Our purpose is to share our specialist knowledge in ways that capture the imagination, inspire creativity and spark new ideas.
Ignaty Dyakov is the founder of the company and the project's developer. He is a professional linguist and author of two unconventional Russian language textbooks. He is frequently invited to speak as an expert on conducting business in Russia and selling to Russian customers. He is a member of the Institute of Directors, Society of Authors and Chartered Institute of Linguists.
Further details on supporters and judges can be found here:
SOURCE Russia Local Ltd