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Vladimir Alexander Smith-Mesa

Vladimir Alexander Smith-Mesa is the cataloguer for the Russian collections of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library at University College London. The subject of his doctoral thesis was The Significance of Soviet and East European Cinemas for the Cuban Moving Image. Two of his books await publication. He is the founder of The British-Cuban Heritage Trust for the Arts and the UCL Festival of the Moving Image.


As the curator of the Dostoevsky Day UK at UCL SSEES which will take place on 11th November 2016 (on Dostoevsky's birthday) and will also mark the 150th  anniversary of the publication of Crime and Punishment,  I feel honoured to have been chosen for the prestigious Likhachev Fellowship, the only Russian Fellowship dedicated to the arts and culture in general. I am very grateful for this because it allowed me to focus completely on my research while I was in St. Petersburg. By bringing me to this city, by organizing a practical program  of activities and providing me with access to experts, centres, and collections on Dostoevsky, the foundation enabled me to immerse myself completely in the world of Dostoevsky's Saint-Petersburg, to literally walk in his and his literary characters’ footsteps, and gain a proper knowledge and understanding of the historic conditions of Dostoevsky’s creative process, when he wrote Crime and Punishment. Other winners of the Likhachev Fellowship - from this year and previous years - contributed to this by sharing their own experiences and projects. They suggested  names and ideas and created a real supportive environment.

 I could not have asked for more.  Thank you very much indeed to the Likhachev Foundation, to the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre, and especially the Dostoevsky museum, my main host. I am also grateful to the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House),  the National Library of Russia, the librarians of the special collections and  the specialists of the Dostoevsky collections in these centres  for a truly unique experience.