Human beings have always survived, and thrived, on a blend of the artistic and the scientific, the spiritual and the rational. To debate whether art or science is more important is to miss the point that both are equally important to humanity; just as the paintings of Michelangelo are as much a part of what makes us as the inventions of the ancient Chinese, as are our iPhones, our endless capacity for innovation, and our ability to be mesmerized by beauty and to fall in love.
In this issue of Baku, we celebrate all of this – it is truly a magazine about everything. The Nasimi Festival, taking place in Azerbaijan for the first time this autumn, is a world of creativity and spirituality. The architecture of contemporary Baku is a tribute to the achievements both of technology – the vast beauty of the Heydar Aliyev Center seems to contain not one straight line – and artistry. The theme for our bid for World Expo 2025 is Developing Human Capital, Building a Better Future – for without people, neither art nor science would exist, and if we nurture our talents, all of our futures will be better.
More than anything else, Baku magazine is a celebration of my country, Azerbaijan, and its growing place in the world. It is also about its connections with the world through art, science, travel, business, cuisine, spirituality and design, subjects we have woven through the pages of this new issue. I hope we find a new place in your heart – and your mind.