This decision by the Council of Europe opens new opportunities to attract attention of government bodies and independent foundations to the problem of defence, support and popularisation of the Chechen culture.
The main reasons justifying the need for such support today are the following:
- After the barbaric war of 1994-1996, which had destroyed all material infrastructure and institutions, regulating normal life and because of its unclear status, Chechnya is facing a difficult and vague future.Today in Chechnya the task of highest priority is to make steps aimed at development a spiritual and cultural basis of a democratic society compatible with the Islamic religion.Encouraging spiritual and cultural diversity and pluralism directly serves the cause of democratic development of the Chechen society and respect of human rights.Currently and in the future a natural basis of such pluralism can be provided, on one hand, by the values of the traditional Chechen culture, implemented in the traditional Vainach songs, dances, works of peoples art and craft and, on the other hand,- popularisation and representation in the republic of values of other cultures of the European continent ( primarily works of literature,dramatic, musical art etc.).It is the Chechen youth that suffered most from disorganisation of life, destruction of material infrastructure and demise of traditional values. In course of the war and as a result of the war the role and activity of the young generation in the Chechen society have increased dramatically.At the same time it is the young generation that has the most acute need and capability to absorb different spiritual and cultural values.Keeping a balance in the Chechen society between the religious and secular components of culture and the degree of openness of the Chechen society to the world depend most of all in the perspective on what valuesthe "Cultural market" of Chechnya will be based, on whether the high standarts of the traditional Vainach secular culture on one hand and the high standarts of culture of the peoples of Europe and other people on the other hand will be consumed and get support on this "market".
Members of the creative Chechen intelligencia shaped in the pre-war Chechnya and now united in the Center for complex research and popularisation of the Chechen culture "LAM"("Mountain") strive for the openness to the world of the Chechen people and the Chechen society, their development within the framework of democratic processes and democratic institutions without losing their national originality and self-identification on the basis of traditional cultural values.
Currently there does not exist in the Chechen Republic, except political parties and religious communities, any non-governmental public organisation with such influence and authority of its leaders among the population as that of "LAM".
The very existence of the "LAM" Center and its work experience areimportant incentives for the creation of non-governmental public organisations - subjects of a civil society.
The Center was founded by twelve philosophers, scientists, poets, journalists and theatrical figures:
- The Chechen popular poet, honorary member of the Russian PEN-center Apty Bisultanov; head of the Chechen language Department of the Grozny University, a linguist Arbi Vagapov;the Doctor of History Taus Serganova; the Doctor of History, director of ethnographic center, the only Chechen ethnographer Said-Magomed Khasiev;the honoured artist of Russia, producer Ruslan Khasiev;the honoured artist of Russia, balletmeister Dikaly Mazykayev; the theater critic Rosa Tashayeva; the poet Kosum Uspanov; the Doctor of Art Zulai Shavlayeva, who is the only artist specializing in the old Chechen crafts; the lawyer Said Abdurzakov; the scolar, a specialist in the old Chechen architectural monuments Lema Usmanov; the popular Chechen actress and the Honoured actress of the Chechen-Ingush Republic Zuleikhan Bagalovs - the director of the Center.
The "LAM" Center was created and registered in Grozny in 1995 as a non-commercial public association and in September 1997 its affiliation was registered in Moscow - a non-commercial cultural institution "Center of complex research and popularisation of the Chechen culture "LAM" (gave its legal address for the registration of the"LAM" affiliation in Moscow).
In autumn of 1997 the "LAM" Center recieved its first grants to support its activities (one 25 mln roubles grant was provided by the Soros Foundation, the other one-45 mln roubles- was provided by the Russian Ministry of culture).
The "LAM" Center seeks grants and needs financial support to accomplish the following tasks:
- Preparing materials for TV and radio broadcasts of the State Television of the Chechen Republic of Itchkeria on the problems of formation in Checnya of an open society and the preservation and popularisation of the values of the Chechen culture;preparation of materials for the Chechen press on the same subject;organisation of regular meetings in Grozny of the creative intelligencia of the Chechen Republic on the same topics;organisation and holding in Grozny of exhibitions: "Public exhibition of works of painters of the Chechen Republic", "Exhibition of works of traditional arts and craft", "Exhibition of the works of modern western painters";creative meetings in Grozny.