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22 October 2018
Science and Art in One Exhibition

An outstanding event that opened the new library season at the National Library of Komi was the international exhibition Living in the Komi Landscape that was displayed in the main reading hall from 18 September to 19 October.

For the first time we have become a partner in such a large-scale research project, with the role to communicate original scientific findings to a wider public within the library space.

They were random visitors, who addressed the library with their information needs and stumbled upon the exhibition by chance, and there were target visitors, who intentionally came to to have a look at the installations.

People studied the photos, scrutinized the ceramic imprints and herbarium, read notes, listened to recordings and watched the videos. Lifestyle, traditions, and austere nature of Komi were captured through a visitor's perspective. The old samovar with a broken handle, chipped tea cups, an old clock, antique self-made wooden chairs, pieces of embroidery and other objects acquired a symbolic touch. Landscape photos laid out on the black podium imitated the meandering course of the Vym River – the image of the flow of time and flow of life.

The life of Komi villages of Kozlovka, Onezhie and Otla was brought to our scrutiny through the field work of the participants of the interdisciplinary summer school project of four northern universities of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. During the project researchers, masters and doctoral students lived in traditional log houses, communicated with the local community, made field trips to the river banks and surveyed and analyzed landscapes and people's life in them using multidisciplinary methods and theoretical approaches to natural science, anthropology, art and design. Collaboration of different disciplines, of locals and outsiders's perspectives produced this essentially innovative exhibition.

The time chosen for the exhibition coincided with the opening of the new library season which was highly eventful. The exhibition was attended by visitors of the Day of Languages and Cultures, students of colleges and technical schools who were introduced to the library resources and activities, visitors of family Sunday programmes and guests of the library.

The daily flow of visitors in the library allowed to reach out to a truly mass audience of different age-groups and interests. According to the feedback from the readers, both the idea and the implementation of the idea are amazing: seamless fusion of art and knowledge in the largest depository of knowledge about Komi – in the National Library of Komi.

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