Alexander Dzasokhov: "Caucasus was variously and interestingly represented at Sochi festival"
Sochi hosted the World Festival of Youth and Students, which is called a unique platform where young people from different countries of the world jointly develop a vision of the future Earth. The festival was attended by thousands of participants from 180 countries. It opened on October 14 in Moscow, and key events took place in the Sochi Olympic Park. The program of the Festival included a discussion program, a series of scientific and educational activities, including panel discussions, lectures, conferences, master classes and workshops. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Commission for UNESCO, former head of North Ossetia, Alexander Dzasokhov, when he was young, participated in such festivals both as a participant and as an organizer. He shared his impressions with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- Alexander Sergeevich, when and how did you join the youth movement?
- Let me start by saying I am very pleased that very representative delegations from the North and South Caucasus attended the World Festival of Youth and Students, which were held in Moscow and then in Sochi. The culture of the peoples of the Caucasus was well-represented there.
Sixty years ago, in 1957, as a graduate student, I was invited as a delegate to the Moscow Festival. It's been so long, but I remember all of it, and sometimes I remember those days with nostalgia. Tens of thousands of young people from different continents from different countries came to our country for the first time to visit the Moscow Festival in 1957. It was during the 'thaw' period. Our country was able to see the world not through books or movies, but through direct communication with representatives of foreign delegations. It was a very successful festival, although this has not been without politics. Young people, even if they are given the command "do not engage in politics," will still be interested in what will happen tomorrow, wonder what justice means and how to have equal opportunities.
- Was there any politics in Sochi?
- This Sochi festival was conceived without any politics, but still many participants talked about what bothers them. And in 1957, it was the post-war period, so they talked about how to save the world, how to counteract the expansion of nuclear weapons, as well as about opportunities to create more favorable living conditions.
Then I met a front-line soldier who came to MGIMO in a soldier's overcoat and became the first chairman of the USSR Youth Organization Committee. It was Sergey Kalistratovich Romanovsky. And the first secretary of the Komsomol Central Committee was the legendary Shelepin Alexander Nikolayevich. Romanovsky had a keen eye, he remembered me and after a while invited me to the 1959 Vienna Festival. Austria established reputation as a neutral country, and the Soviet delegation had more opportunities to present its culture, sports achievements and, of course, thoughts to the public there, than in other countries. Then it was a time of our wonderful poets - Rozhdestvensky, Voznesensky, Bella Akhmadullina and, of course, Yevgeny Yevtushenko. They were heroes of that festival, they represented our youth.
- You were preparing a festival in Algiers, right?
- In 1965 I was sent as a representative of Soviet youth to the International Preparatory Committee of the festival in Algeria. There was a very popular president - Ahmed Ben Bella, he even had the title of French officer, but then he headed the national liberation movement. He was a big fan of football. A football team from Brazil arrived in the country, and as a fan, he flew from the capital to the city of Oran, and his closest confidant committed a treacherous action, and Ahmed Ben Bella was deposed as president. Unfortunately, the festival in Algeria did not take place. But then it was held with great success in 1968 in Bulgaria.
I think that festivals are similar in scale to the international Olympic games, because young people come from all over the world these days - this is the future. That is why it is very important that the Caucasus was variously and interestingly represented at the Sochi festival. Let's wish all the guys and girls present at the festival to also have an opportunity in sixty years to say that they were delegates to the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students in 2017.