The activities of the Creative Ports project have now been over for a few months, but we have no reason to be sad, because one of the most important results of the project has been launched: the CCI Contact Desk in Tallinn. The CCI Contact Desk will be managed by Denis Merkulov. We asked him a few questions to get to know him better.
Dear Denis, could you tell something about your background?
Well, in 2018, I attained my M. A. degree with honours in Philology at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and since then my career has been developing in three main directions. For the last three years, I have been planning and managing educational and cultural events within the EU project on media literacy The Earth Is Flat – How to Read Media?, conducted by the Goethe-Institut Moscow. Over 100 events on digital culture, journalism, and media making gathered almost 3,500 participants of different ages, nationalities, and religious and political views in 17 regions of Russia and also online. Apart from that, in 2018 and 2021 I assisted the theatre director Fabiane Kemmann in her joint German-Russian projects (Die Maßnahme, Pfad des Oktobers) and learned a lot about performing arts. Last but not least, in October 2021 I became the ambassador of Compasito manual on Human Rights Education for children issued and promoted by the Council of Europe. Each of these professional facets supports my work as the Project Manager of the CCI Contact Desk at the Goethe-Institut Tallinn and helps me to develop further.
Since when have you been interested in the Cultural and Creative Industries of the Baltic Sea Region and what experience have you already gained in this field?
During the implementation of the EU project and afterwards, I travelled to the Baltic Sea region many times and visited, among other places, Saint Petersburg, Vilnius, Riga, Leningrad region, and Kaliningrad region. There, I always met some representatives of cultural and creative industries, such as private gallery and museum owners, photographers and filmmakers, software developers, librarians, and others. The personal stories of these people, our cooperation, and also the substantial demand for media skills that I saw at the workshops and lectures there, aroused my interest in the CCI of the region and motivated me to apply for the Contact Desk project management. In these hard times, I am happy to disseminate and develop the beneficial effects of international cooperation that the Creative Ports partners brought into life.