Note to Correspondents

Note No. 127
15 March 2001


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you, probably, know the General Assembly, by its resolution 53/22 of 4 November 1998, decided to proclaim the year 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, and invited international and non-governmental organizations "to plan and implement appropriate cultural, educational and social programmes to promote the concept of the dialogue among civilizations..." (*)

The necessity to carry out the dialogue among civilizations is recognized not only at the level of state leaders and officials in various fields including cultural, political, and legal, but also at the level of citizens willing to understand and learn more about the sources, factors, motive forces of the processes defining the life of people from other countries of the world and the reasoning behind their behavior.

"… diversity is the concept underlying a focused reflection about dialogue among civilizations" . (*)

The statesmen’s practice includes diplomatic initiatives, forums with participation of official delegations, other actions taken at the intergovernmental level.

The citizens’ practice involves their participation in social initiatives intended to shape joint endeavors of people leaving in different parts of the planet, and aimed at creation of the public vision of our world as an area of our mutual responsibility.

The social initiatives aimed at ensuring the dialogue among civilizations, in my opinion, should further promote the recognition of the common character of human values and sound diversity of cultures, traditions, life styles of different peoples. It is the internal perception of this diversity by every inhabitant of the Earth that makes us richer spiritually as well as helps to develop every single personality and the whole mankind.

This conception of social initiative is reflected in the fullest way by technical facilities that are represented by the world computer net Internet and means allowed by photography. The language of photography is understood without translation by any person, and is the most objective and informational. It is not for nothing that the proverb "It’s better to see it once…" is so popular in Russia. And the Internet is presently the most democratic, universal and increasingly affordable means of communication.

In 1998, a group of photographers living in different countries got together in order to present to the public a documentary report on one day of life on our planet. This global photographic not-for-profit public project called "ONE DAY OF PASSING MILLENNIUM" took place on May 15, when the participants were catching ordinary people’s life around them. The event resulted in creation of a web-site with a collection of photos made on that day, which is available at the address:

The year 2000 was the edge of the Millennium and, though the symbolism of this date is rather approximate, it made the people of the Earth think of philosophic and conceptual issues. The round date made many people re-consider their destination, comprehend their mission, correlate themselves with the eternity. That is why the initiative of the international group of photographers has got a logical continuation via the project "MASTERS OF NEW MILLENNIUM" intended to present to the public the collection of children’s photo portraits.

Unfortunately, due to various reasons the project was not implemented as planned. Nevertheless, photographs from 9 countries took part in this action. The photos they took are available on the web-site at the address:

Wishing to continue the tradition, we, the initiators of the previous project, decided to carry out a new photographic action in 2001. The name of the new project is "SYMBOLS OF NEW MILLENNIUM". It is intended to present to the public, though a single day experience, phenomena of social life, culture, science and technology achievements, things of our day-to-day life, etc. that will define the human life in the new century, like the telephone, car and aircraft defined it in the 20th century.

The three above actions will make a triptych, a logically and emotionally completed collection of photos, directed from the past to the future, visibly presenting to the public the tendencies of the civilization development on the verge of the centuries. That is why I hope that you would be interested in this project which at the public level addresses the tasks consonant to those of many civil society organizations, and would render your possible informational and organizational support to it. Your valuable participation would help all of us make a tangible input into the success of the International Year of the Dialogue among Civilizations.

Project Director,
"May 15"

(*) Quotations form the Report of the UN Secretary–General "United Nations Year of Dialogue amongCivilizations" No A/55/492.




  • all photos must be made on the same day – May 15;
  • all participating photos will be included into the new collection "May 15, 2001" without any subjective selection (except for the photos contradicting the conventional norms);
  • all of them will be placed on the web-site free of charge.

Technical conditions for the photos to be proposed for the project:

  • photos are accepted in electronic format .JPG with the compression quality of no lower than 80% and sized of not more that 400 px vertically and not more than 600 px horizontally;
  • the whole size of attached files in the e-mail must not exceed 500 kb;
  • in the cover letter it is necessary to note the complete information regarding conditions and circumstances of making each photo, i. e. the time (Greenwich time – the day is fixed for May 15, 2001 – so the date may be omitted) and the place of photo-making (noting the name of the country, settlement or geographical position of the photographed place); full name of the author, his contacts (e-mail, www or mailing address); to mention the name of the photo camera model, focus, type of the film, exposition parameters of the photo;
  • additional information - Copyright sign, author’s name, time and/or date, etc. – shall not be placed on the edge of the picture – all this information will be placed under the photo;
  • computer processing of the photos that can pervert the idea of the photographed event or phenomenon, embellishments with frames, backgrounds, etc. are not welcomed. Our ideal is a documentary photo that shows the idea of the phenomenon in the most precise way, though if the technical retouching using the collage technique are necessary for a more exact reflection of the author’s idea, such photos will be accepted;
  • photos made by traditional photo cameras as well as by numeric cameras will be accepted for the project;
  • it is admissible to send by post to the below mentioned mailing address traditional photos sized 10X15 cm with the requested information attached in a cover letter. In this case the photos will not be returned.

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Mailing address: Mr. Sergey Viktorovich Zhdanov,
Press-Center of the Voronezh Region Administration,
Lenin sq., 1, Voronezh, Russia