Eleni Neikova
Editor in English at
Diplomatic Spectrum International Magazine, online-magazine Welcome to Greece contributor
I believe that culture represents a cultivation of the soul and plays a vital role in our daily lives. Having grown between my two motherlands (Greece and Bulgaria),I have experience the concept of cultural diversity and I believe that it is one of the greatest heritage, we humans have. Dialogue of cultures, for me personally, means: learning, evolving, making peace and learning to understand and respect.
Eleni Neikova


Report of Eleni about the Forum and Saint-Petersburg published on the web-site of Welcome to Greece media
"Saint-Petersburg: spirituality Hidden in the North"
Saint Petersburg feels like an organised pandemonium of the old London, Paris and current Havana… All these cities multiplied by many times with grandiose and therefore mixed with Russian flavoring and scent, turn this built-on-swamps city into one of the last standing ties of the cultural past with the cultural present. When you wander, you can notice the intellectuality of the average people, whether they are journalists, teachers, taxi drivers or waiters.
During the day you might wander around the canals for hours, masochistically enjoying the chilly weather (because what is Russia if not cold weather!), and then you can simply jump into a tiny underground café/restaurant (many of those, indeed) where you'll get to taste the hot gastronomic wonders of the northern cuisine (another instresting trait of this northern place is that they actually have their own proper cuisine!). In these cosy places you will instantly feel the soft heat coming from the turned-to-the-max heaters and immediately you can feel your circulation activated: the rushing blood into your ears and cheeks. The atmosphere is silent; only some whispers can be noted of some people talking. Moreover, I can assure you that you will spot someone sitting next to the window reading a book… every corner in this city is an utmost setting for a painter, a photographer or an artist looking to capture some kind of slowness and immateriality.
Saint-Petersburg means much more than just hedonising with gastronomy and roaming around the majestic streets and boulevardsis.
The State Hermitage Museum is of course a number one must-see sightseeing. The Hermitage gathers the greatest masterpieces of art of different ages and nations from all over the world. All collections of the hermitage have been personally acquired by Empress Catherine the Great from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky.

Last but not least under this cultural section I would add the Imperial Academy of Arts as another important must-see place. The Academy represents one of the biggest preparatory and training centres for specialists in the field of arts; and it undoubtedly is one of the leaders of the toughest educational institutions for classic arts in the world (along with the universities in Rome and New York). This institution feels like travelling back in time where the Arts were treated with absolute importance and seriousness, something that is undoubtedly missing from today's schools and any other related establishments.

Trailer of the documentary short-film about
Saint-Petersburg made by Eleni:

We asked Eleni several questions about the Forum:
— Have you ever been to Russia? If yes, what are you expecting from re-visiting this country?

— I have visited Russia three times in the past (Moscow, St. Petersburg and Crimea) and yet I know there so much more to be seen. I expect to get a bit more acquainted to St. Petersburg, to experience the city in a fresh and creative way, to meet new people and visit new places.
Could you name any cross-border projects that help to maintain good relations between your country and Russia?

— Relations between Russia and Greece have always been friendly. In 2016 the declaration for an effective Government Partnership has been signed between the two countries, and the cooperation has been developing since. There are currently over 70 Greek companies working in Russia, and the developments in the energy sector promise further deepening of ties.
Novak from Serbia and Eleni from Greece
at the «Dialogue of Cultures»
— We all are living in a digital era now. How modern technologies effect your work?
— Modern technologies have changed my sphere of work completely. Equipment has become way more affordable, which has given me the opportunity to work wherever, whenever and on whatever topic I am interested. Fast communication has allowed me to create social and cultural bonds with people from all over the world; while the hybridization of the media and technology, in general, has allowed me to involve myself creatively and professionally in various spheres like film, media, journalism and photography.
— What personal projects are you going to release based on this trip to St. Petersburg?

— I intend to create a short documentary on the topic «In and Out» or «The Cats of the Hermitage». I will be challenging the artistic approach towards juxtaposing the Museum's interiors with the street life of St. Petersburg. Moreover, around spring 2019 an informational travel website will be launched, where an article or the documentary about St. Petersburg will be posted among the very first publications.

Eleni shared some stills from her documentary film about St. Petersburg on her Facebook page
Stay tuned:
Whatsapp: +30 6949065896
E-mail: elma.neykova@gmail.com