Cultural diversity of German speaking countries at DACHLI Fest 2021

Article, 22.05.2021

From April 12 to May 22, 2021, the 3rd Festival of the Culture of the German-speaking countries DACHLI_FEST was successfully celebrated in St. Petersburg. The four German-speaking countries can be abbreviated as DACHLI from D (Deutschland), A (Austria), CH (Switzerland) and LI (Liechtenstein). Switzerland, which based its program on several historical anniversaries contributed significantly to the highly popular event.


The main idea is to show the Petersburg public the diversity of classical and modern culture of the German-speaking countries, using the example of cinema, theatre, literature, art and education, i.e. with the help of film screenings, exhibitions, concerts, educational lectures, performances etc. The motto of the festival was "German in diversity".

A classical concert called “I sculpted thin cameos from sounds” was held for the opening event on April 12th in the White Hall of the Central Lermontov Library. St. Petersburg musicians played compositions of the composers from all 4 participating German-speaking countries. The first block of the festival was dedicated to the German writer Friedrich Schiller and the Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov. As from the Swiss side, there was a lecture called "Intricate Labyrinths" in the drama of Friedrich Schiller by philologist Y. Kaminskaya, covering the entire spectre from "The Robbers" (1781) to "William Tell" (1804)“ and a screening of the film adaption of Sсhiller’s play “Wilhelm Tell”.

The second block was a special educational program SWISSDOCS (April, 26-30) with the Izmaylovskaya library. It was opened with the banner exhibition of graphic works by Swiss Russian graphic artist Gregor Rabinovitch (1884-1958). The main aim of this program was to present the flamboyant Swiss culture and history of the 18th - 20th centuries – 5 outstanding people from Switzerland in cross connections with Russia and St. Petersburg. 5 Swiss documentaries («Isa Hesse-Rabinovitch – Das grosse Spiel»; «Paul Nizon. Der Nagel im Kopf»; «Mein Anker»; «Angelika Kaufman. Aus Vorarlberg in die Welt»; «Annemarie Schwarzenbach. Schweizerin und Rebellin. 1908-1942») were screened and followed by unique lectures about Swiss familiy with Russian origins: Isa and Gregor Rabinovitch and Swiss writer and art historian Paul Nizon, also with Russian origins; and other Swiss celebrities like Swiss painters Albert Anker and Angelika Kaufmann; Swiss photograph, writer and journalist Annemarie Schwarzenbach.

The third block was the program "Swiss classic detective stories. 2 Friedrichs" (May, 17-21) in the library Ekateringofskaya, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Friedrich Dürrenmatt and 125th anniversary of Friedrich Glauser (called the Swiss Simenon). The program consisted of 5 crime movies: “Glauser”, “Wachtmeister Studer”, “Matto regiert”, ”Es geschah am helllichten Tag”, “Justiz”.

The forth block took place in the Lermontov Children’s Library “German-speaking characters in the Children‘s Literature” (April 17-May, 22). It was opened with the illustration’s exhibition of Alois Carrigiet from the famous book of Selina Choenz “Schellen Ursli” (dedicated to the 50 anniversary of the book publishing), the lecture “Kinderland Schweiz. About children’s Switzerland and the canton Graubünden” and the film screening “Little mountain boy”, and continued with 2 popular children films, “The Little Witch” and "The Little Ghost", shown on Saturdays in May.

The closing event was in the city library Nr. 4, named after A. Moltchanov, on May 22nd. It was a combined Swiss-Liechtenstein music event, consisting of the exhibition “The last Romantic.  Composer from Liechtenstein Joseph Gabriel Reinberger and his music network”, a lecture-concert “Music of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Joseph Reinberger” and Swiss documentary movie of Helen Stehli Pfister “Sergey Tanin - the pianist who came from the cold”.

The DACHLI_FEST became a great cultural event in the city life of St. Petersburg. It gives hope for the continuation of a new tradition enabling all German-speaking countries to demonstrate their cultural achievements to a St. Petersburg audience.