A travel guide to Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia) for The Calvert Journal

City Guide to KazanRead my travel guide to the city of Kazan – the capital of the republic of Tatarstan in central Russia – in The Calvert Journal.

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“Created by Tatars, evolved by khans, tsars and Russians, and invigorated by cosmopolitan leaders over the last ten years to attract visitors from near and far; it would be passé to describe the centre of Tatarstan as a “melting pot”, were that not the meaning of Qazan, the word the Tatars chose for their town. Distant and accessible, Russian and Muslim, with spotless avenues and open spaces to complement its cultural credentials, Kazan is a treat to explore…”

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The Coffee Table

I travel because I am fascinated by the world – and especially by its people. Our actions can be powerful and far-reaching, but we also create little moments – beautiful songs or poems, special meals, unique atmospheres – that are  not widely-known. Often they say more about a country, and are more rewarding for its visitors to discover, than pop culture.

On this page I will add links to little-known or underappreciated parts of the cultures of every country that I have been to (and many that I haven’t). Use the “Leave a Reply” box below to add recommendations of your own…

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Kseniya Simonova - ‘A requiem in sand’ . An extraordinary Ukrainian artist, who tells stories through animations in sand. She was the winner of ‘Ukraine’s Got Talent’ in 2009.

ICA Kiev. An English-speaking church in Kyiv, which serves Ukrainians and the city’s foreign community.

Okean El’zy‘Druh’ and ‘Ledi‘. An excellent group from western Ukraine, lead by singer/songwriter Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, whose songs and concerts are popular within the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, Germany and Russia.

Yuliya Savicheva‘Malo’.  A Russian singer, with a song from her album ‘Magnit’.

Nanyuki Children’s Home - a children’s charity in Kenya.

Besh O Drom – ‘Meggyujtom a Pipam’. An energetic Hungarian folk music group. 

Eddy van Wesselphotographer, ‘The Chechens, 1994-2005′. A well-compiled, brutal photo essay of Russia’s war in Chechnya.

Musa Dzhalilpoet. A writer from Tatarstan, Russia, who died in a prisoner of war camp in Germany at the end of the Second World War. The poems on this page are in Russian.

Evgeny Grishkovetsauthor and playwright. A Siberian writer of accessible, energetic prose and thoughtful plays.

Russ Avery and Olivia McGregorCool Footprint. Environmental conservation with a focus on ocean life.

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