At the Russian Geographical Society Festival Leningrad regional branch was represented by a stand of "Gogland" Complex Expedition".
The main mission of the Festival was to present the activities of the Society to people. And the organizers have brilliantly coped with this difficult task. According to preliminary calculations, in one week over 70 thousand people visited "the exhibition of achievements" of the revived Society. And few of them gave "the island of Gogland" and its lighthouse a go-by, resisted the pleasure of sitting on cozy "stones", so similar to Gogland Rapakivi granite or watch unique movies and photos on expeditions.
The authors of the stand tried to widely cover the history, culture and nature of the region under research - the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland. There were objects of everyday use from the Finnish village situated on the island of Gogland, found by archaeologists in 2013 and 2014. Pipes, forgotten by Dutch and Swedish sailors in XVI-XVII centuries , a clay whistle of XVIII century, probably brought by a Finnish fisherman from Veliky Novgorod, fragments of an English cup of XIX century and pottery of XIII century from the German coast of the Baltic Sea... These and many other exhibits told visitors about the life in the fishing village of Syurkyulya.
On the other side of the exposure the guests of the "island of Gogland" could see the legacy of World War II found by search groups on the islands of Sommers, Bolshoy Tyuters and Gogland. Helmets belonged to Soviet, German and Finnish soldiers, their personal belongings and even the remains of boats that took part in the assault of Sommers in July 1942 - could be more than just photographed. Guest could touch them just as archaeological artifacts. So basically you could touch the history.
Brief description of each island was presented on the touch panel. It will form the basis of a big information portal "Virtual journey to the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland", scheduled for March 2015. Both adults and, most importantly, children with great interest "traveled" from island to island, getting acquainted with the variety of flora and fauna. For example, with the predatory black slug "guarding" military equipment on the island of Bolshoy Tyuters preserved by a miracle, and the Glanville fritillary inhabiting the nearby Maly Tyuters, with a population of gray seals and the "maternity hospital" for birds.
The stand was created thanks to the comprehensive support of the administration of the Russian Geographical Society and the general sponsor of the project - "Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System" (FGC).
The first guest of the stand was President of the Society Sergei Shoigu. Mr. Shoigu had particular interest in artifacts of World War II. The Society’s President emphasized the importance of the search carried out by specialists of Leningrad regional branch - both near the western border of Russia - the islands of the Gulf of Finland - and in the east of the country - on the Kuril Islands Shumshu where our experts worked in the autumn of 2014.
Thanks to the Festival First Vice President of the Russian Geographical Society Artur Chilingarov was able to "visit" the island of Gogland once more. In the summer of 2013 he, together with Chairman of the Board of Trustees, President of Russia V.V. Putin had a meeting with members of the expedition. Mr. Chilingarov shared his impressions of that trip with the participants of the project.
An important event for the members of the expedition was of course a visit of Chairman of the Board of FGC Andrei Murov. Thanks to his unindifference and aid "Gogland" Complex Expedition" will be able to implement a number of serious long term projects. Including the projects dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory. In the interview after the visit to the Russian Geographical Society Festival Mr. Murov told more about the plans.
We can not but mention the name of another guest of honor of the Festival - Tallinn Mikhail Fedorovich Khudoleev, a participant of the legendary Soviet evacuation of. On August 29, 1941 his tanker as dozens of others of the convoy, was subjected to a massive air attack of the enemy, and between the islands of Gogland and Bolshoy Tyuters received a direct hit by a bomb. Mr. Khudoleev was among a few who survived. During a visit to the stand of the expedition he told us the history of Soviet evacuation of Tallinn and his remarkable rescue.
Certainly, the participants of he "Gogland" project did not only received guests, but also actively participated in the Festival program, performing at the grant-conference before the Festival visitors with a story about the project and the importance of the study of the archipelago for Russian science. As a result we received dozens of applications from residents and guests of the capital of various professions who wanted to volunteer in the expedition.
In addition a preview of "Tyuters. The Mystery of the Island of Death" was shown at the Festival. Viewers learned about unknown pages of the history and mysteries of the island of Bolshoy Tyuters. The director of the film Victor Chunyaev told the guests about the filming process.
At the Festival the participants of «Gogland» had a prior arrangement with the Serbian Geographical Society on participation of students from Belgrade as volunteers of the archaeological and geographical research on the island of Gogland.
Press Service of the Russian Geographical Society