WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM OCA#28 SPRING 2018 USA EDITION Text by Maria Indina
In the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, the international specialized exhibition “Expo-2017” has finished its work. It has continued for 3 months from June 10 to September 10. There were 115 countries and 22 international organizations who participated in the EXPO. The exhibition has been visited by about 3 million people.
The theme of this year’s exhibition was dedicated to the effective use of future energy. Scientists now advocate that society should turn to alternative energy. However, every country has its own view of future energy and different states demonstrated this in their pavilions. So, for example, Russia sees its future in the Arctic, Japan in using biofuels, but in the USA the source of future energy is human. OCA interviewed the director of public relations of the American stand, Antony Deangelo, to find out more about how this “American Way” went down in Astana.
OCA: Tell about your participation in EXPO 2017 in Kazakhstan. What have you come with and how do you see the future energy?
Antony Deangelo: The theme of EXPO-2017 is future energy. Each country has its own individual approach to this. We think that the source of infinite energy is people. And this is completely reflected in our pavilion. It consists of three halls. In the first hall there is video installation, which tells about all the technological innovations which have occurred through people. But the main thing is that our pavilion is fully operated by our students-ambassadors from USA, each of them speaks Russian well. Thus, we brought not only discussions, conversations about future technologies, but also real people who are the source of these future innovations; the source of everything that will happen in future. And we supposed that the theme of EXPO is always bigger and wider than the mere title.
OCA: What other success has participation in EXPO brought for USA?
AD: A presidential delegation from the USA, under the leadership of the US Deputy Secretary of Energy, came to our pavilion. It was an official visit and he had an opportunity to get acquainted with the Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan and even with President Nursultan Nazarbaev. Since EXPO was held in Kazakhstan and there was a pavilion from the USA, these meetings were possible to hold. They mean a lot for our countries. Our participation in EXPO has become as a catalyst of all these meetings at high state level. We hope that after personal acquaintances, the interaction in these spheres between America and Kazakhstan will improve.
OCA: Were any events been held in USA pavilion?
AD: Through our network of partners and sponsors we organized a series of discussions for our students about the future of energy and about renewable energy sources. Our pavilion was not sponsored by the state, but by private companies. We have a lot of sponsors, each of them has come and shared with us their views of future energy.
OCA: How do you generally assess the organization of EXPO in Kazakhstan?
AD: It should be noted that for any country it is difficult to organize such big exhibition with such a large amount of participating countries. This is especially true because Kazakhstan is the first country in Central Asia that has organized EXPO on its territory. We are very satisfied with the exhibition. Personally, I came several times while construction works were going on, and I saw how our pavilion was created. I like how it turned out. It is very sad to leave this place.
OCA: Experts call EXPO an economically unprofitable project. Do you agree?
AD: If we see it from our point of view, the main idea of EXPO is to meet people with different culture and have an opportunity to discuss different topics, so undoubtedly, the project was very useful for its participants and visitors. I think that the real value of EXPO comes from meeting people. And we are glad that Kazakhstan accepted the burden EXPO in order that other cultures could meet in a new destination. From economic point of view, I will leave that to people of Kazakhstan to decide whether the costs are justified or not. We have reached our goals and we are grateful for every day being in this atmosphere of fusion of cultures.