Iliyana Nedkova

It’s a official. The people to people bond that has lasted for 30 years between the twin cities of Perth and Pskov is truly sealed for the next 30 years of bricht new twinning horizons following a fine evening hosted by our Twin City Ambassador Jim Mackintosh in association with the Federation of Writers (Scotland) and supported by the UK Twin Towns and Sister Cities Foundation.

What a start to our Zoom In On monthly blether gatherings with contemporary artists hailing from the twin cities of Perth, Pskov and Tartu and further afield. Apart from Scotland, the sizeable audience that ‘zoomed in’ on 15 March 2021 flocked in from Los Angeles, Berlin, Cork, Coventry, Sydney, Moscow and various parts of western Russia.

We loved hearing from Dr Billy Kay about the Scottish diaspora in Russia over the centuries, including the stories of architects, doctors, soldiers, royal family nannies and defiant lassies. We cherished the intermissions of Scots song and poetry by talented performers who zoomed in on Pushkin and Soutar. We even managed a world premiere – new owerset o a Pushkin’s poem Evil Spirits intae Scots as a spoken word zoom collaboration between Jim Mackintosh and Natalya MacDonald.

The People Bridge pictured here is the first cast iron bridge in St. Petersburg and is built by the Scot architect William Hastie

Inspired by the legacy of the first cast iron bridges in Russia built by Scot architects and masons, we continue to construct bridges over the rivers in Perth, Pskov and Tartu, but firmly set on the foundations of contemporary art. Do save the 15th of each month over the next 6 months for more fine blether about Russia and Scotland. We will announce our next Zoom In gathering soon.

In the meantime, we extend our thanks also Ross Gardiner and The Courier newspaper for this great interview with our Twin City Ambassador Jim Mackintosh. We are also grateful to our friends in Pskov for ensuring that our Zoom In Festival headlines the official site of Pskov’s City Administration.

Read the rest of the interview DOWNLOAD HERE, HERE and HERE