Russian world travelers present lecture

PULLMAN – Two Russian world travelers and their 21-month-old son –Vladimir, Tatiana, and Yelisei Sidenko– will be in Pullman April 21-25 to give a guest lecture about their experiences, show a photo exhibit, visit classes and meet people in the area.

A guest lecture with a slide presentation on the Russian stage of the journey will be presented at 7 p.m. April 22 in CUE 202. The photo exhibit, “Russia from East to West,” will be on display in the atrium of WSU’s Terrell Library, April 22-25. Both events are free and open to the public.

Vladimir Sidenko is the editor-in-chief of the Russian journal “Open Horizons,” which covers topics on tourism, leisure, travels, geographic mysteries, discoveries and adventure. Tatiana is the journal’s designer, a professional photographer and video artist.

In June 2007, the Sidenkos and some of the staff of “Open Horizons” began a global journey, which will be achieved in three stages. For 43 days, in a Ford van, they covered all of Russia from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg and back covering 13,500 miles.

During this transcontinental road trip, they interviewed people, prepared reports for a special issue of their journal, as well as a photo exhibit, and took footage for their documentary film, “Russia from East to West.” Their then 10-month-old son was part of the team, and will be included in the Guinness World Records as the youngest around-the-world traveler by car.

The second stage of the journey will take place April-June 2008 across the United States, eventually producing the documentary film “America from West to East.”

They will follow in the footsteps of the Russian writers Ilf and Pertrov, authors of “The Twelve Chairs” and “One-Storeyed America,” who visited the United States in the mid-1930s. The Sidenkos hope to interview people along the way, conduct a travel diary in real time on their journal’s home page, collect photos and information for a special issue of Open Horizons and a second documentary film.

Birgitta Ingemanson, associate professor at the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures, met the Sidenkos in the fall of 2006. 
“This is not a Borat-type visit, where good-natured and hospitable Americans will be made to look like fools. The Sidenkos are kind people and serious and highly respected professionals, who will offer information about their own country, and who are eager to learn about ours,” she said.

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