Riga - European Capital of Culture 2014 candidate

Riga - European Capital of Culture 2014 candidate

Riga - European Capital of Culture 2014 candidate

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<strong>Riga</strong> -<strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong><strong>Culture</strong><strong>2014</strong><strong>candidate</strong>

The Application <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> for the Title <strong>of</strong> The <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>2014</strong>

contentsmy name is milda 4riga’s proposal for the project <strong>of</strong> the european capital <strong>of</strong> culture <strong>2014</strong> 13challenges presented in the application for riga as european capital <strong>of</strong> culture <strong>2014</strong> 15goals proposed in riga’s application 17kult[rix] 19riga’s programme <strong>2014</strong> 29force majeure 31programme guidelines and structure 32thirst for the ocean 35freedom street 49survival kit 61road map 73riga carnival 86amber vein 105european dimension 117cooperation with sweden <strong>2014</strong> 123city and its citizens 129mobile centre 135mobile centre in sigulda, riga’s <strong>of</strong>ficial partner city 141cultural centres <strong>of</strong> riga and largest venues for <strong>2014</strong> events 153riga’s communication strategy 167ecc year organisation 172application link with long-term development plans 174application preparation process 178riga’s <strong>2014</strong> ecc project task group 181cooperation partners 184special thanks 187

My name is Milda Kristīne, née Krastiņa. I met AlfrēdsAleksandrs Vinters while living in Mīlgrāvis. We were married in St.Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church at Christmas, in 1927. I alreadyknew that Alfrēds harboured undiscovered talents and that he wouldn’tjust remain in the memories <strong>of</strong> our neighbours as a sawmill worker. Heplayed the violin and the zither. Alfrēds had learned to play these inhis childhood as part <strong>of</strong> his father’s orchestra. He played for his ownpleasure and for that <strong>of</strong> others. This is how he became a songwriter,beloved throughout the nation. When Alfrēds was already becomingfamous, we made the acquaintance <strong>of</strong> the sculptor Kārlis Zāle ata garden party. I remember, it was a very hot summer, Alfrēds wasplaying, but Zāle approached me, and that is what changed my life.I became, as they now say, a legend. In 1935, Kārlis Zāle finishedbuilding the Freedom Monument, based on his Shine Like a Star!design. People started talking <strong>of</strong> the resemblance between me andthe lady on the top <strong>of</strong> the monument. I don’t know why, but peoplealso started calling her by my name – Milda.At the very beginning, so that I could stand and guard, thepeople <strong>of</strong> Latvia donated funds by way <strong>of</strong> gratitude to those wh<strong>of</strong>ought in the Latvian War <strong>of</strong> Independence <strong>of</strong> 1918-1920. I wouldlike to see such a great instance <strong>of</strong> unity in this century as well.Today, thousands <strong>of</strong> people take photos <strong>of</strong> me daily – Germans,Japanese, Russians, English, Latvians and many others. Theystop and watch the changing <strong>of</strong> the guard <strong>of</strong> honour. I would liketo lift them all up – the guards, the tourists, the Latvians – to thevery top, so that they, too, might see the view that opens up everyday from my vantage point, 42 metres up. The places where<strong>Riga</strong>’s buildings begin, the sea disappearing into the horizon, theunusual sky over <strong>Riga</strong> – they are all visible from here.I am fondly called Milda. It is a good viewpoint,one from which I can see the whole city, exactlyas if I was a bird in flight. I am like a city sentinel. Itis surprising that I have survived through all thosewars and times <strong>of</strong> confusion. Maybe it was luckthat my fate was decided by the <strong>Riga</strong>-born andParis-schooled student <strong>of</strong> Kārlis Zāle – the famousUSSR sculptress Vera Mukhina, whose Workerand Kolkhoz Woman is known all over the world.The only chains they decided to guard me withthen, so that freedom wouldn’t ‘escape’ on its ownaccord, were trolleybuses and their electrical wires,innovations <strong>of</strong> the time.Every day, I watch <strong>Riga</strong> changing – growing insize from one day to the next. People, cars, trams,houses, shacks, towers, buzzing, rushing, silence,noise, streets and gates that connect the city’s ArtNouveau pearls to thousands <strong>of</strong> wooden houseson both sides <strong>of</strong> the Daugava River, the ro<strong>of</strong>s andturrets <strong>of</strong> Old <strong>Riga</strong>, with its place in the UNESCOWorld Heritage List. I see ever newer buildings,I see cranes rising above the future library, andships coming into the port <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.

From above, everything can be seen better. There are places andpeople that I wish to see changing. Different periods have left theirlegacies in all the neighbourhoods <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> – the shapes <strong>of</strong> factories,where manufacturing used to take place for both the Russian and forthe German occupying powers. Now they stand abandoned. I wantto wake up those living in ‘sleeper neighbourhoods‘ and who haveforgotten to greet one another. I want to landscape the banks <strong>of</strong> theDaugava River, where people go and meet each other. I want to see<strong>Riga</strong> grow, not just spread out ever wider.<strong>Riga</strong> has always been a free city in its own way; it hasalways wanted a relationship with everyone. It has neverwanted to stand apart. Maybe that is why I am built <strong>of</strong>Finnish granite and Italian travertine, while my figure hasbeen cast in bronze by Swedish craftsmen. Differentpeople have played a part in creating my colourful<strong>Riga</strong> over the centuries – Livs, Latvians, Germans,Russians, Jews, Swedes, Estonians, Lithuanians, Poles,Belarusians, Ukrainians... they have all lived here together.Historians speak <strong>of</strong> a Liv settlement that was here,under my feet, a thousand years ago.I watch the bridges over the Daugava,connecting both parts <strong>of</strong> the city. I see thatfor some, the Second World War endedonly yesterday, and it is still not easy toagree on what happened on May 8 th or 9 th ,1945 in Europe, and what emotions shouldbe felt when remembering the decadesthat followed these dates in all <strong>of</strong> EasternEurope. I hope that an understanding ispossible for <strong>Riga</strong>.

People aspire for something more.They gaze at the Baltic Sea from theMangaļsala lighthouse and think aboutwhat is beyond the horizon, and dream <strong>of</strong>lifting up the skies above <strong>Riga</strong>. It feels likethere is a hidden energy pulsing withinthe city, seeking its way to break out, likethirst that seeks quenching.<strong>Riga</strong> is thirsty, as if waiting for the rain. Iwant to see the city revive, just like afterspring rain.Yours always,Milda<strong>Riga</strong> is not afraid <strong>of</strong> large-scale relationships.Historically, <strong>Riga</strong> entered into trade alliances andfriendships with cities throughout the world – bothduring the Hanseatic League period and today.<strong>Riga</strong> knows how to receive guests fittingly – we havewelcomed NATO state leaders, Pope John Paul II,participants <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s song and dance celebration,Queen Elizabeth II, the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader <strong>of</strong>Tibet, visitors <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s 800 th anniversary celebrationsand thousands <strong>of</strong> others from all over the world. All havebeen among the city’s welcome guests.

iga’s proposal for the project<strong>of</strong> the european capital <strong>of</strong> culture <strong>2014</strong>Every city has many faces. Possibly, we know just a few <strong>of</strong>them. City guests and inhabitants <strong>of</strong>ten see completely differenttowns. <strong>Riga</strong> – a cultural metropolis, a <strong>European</strong> suburb, apoint between Russia and the West, a harbour town, a bilingualsociety, a city with rich cultural traditions, song celebration,Jugendstil, old wooden structures, innovations, new medias,opera. <strong>Culture</strong> is undoubtedly a significant component <strong>of</strong> thiscity that cannot go by unnoticed even during a short visit, inthe haste <strong>of</strong> today when there is no time to observe and obtainin-depth knowledge.For many <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s guests, the first encounter with the city takes placeat the airport. RIX – the airport’s denomination marking <strong>Riga</strong> on theglobal map. Kult[rix] – that is how we will recognise <strong>Riga</strong> as the <strong>2014</strong><strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> (ECC), a city inseparable from culture.Kult[rix] is more than a hybrid <strong>of</strong> words, it is the key to the <strong>Riga</strong>’s culturalspace code, encompassing both tradition and innovation, joining thecommon with the elitist, immersing the local into the global and holdingan endless amount <strong>of</strong> the undiscovered and unknown. One <strong>of</strong> thechallenges faced by the ECC is to reveal what Kult[rix] is to both <strong>Riga</strong>’sinhabitants and guests.Often known in Latvia as the patriarch <strong>of</strong> multi-media, Hardijs Lediņš– architect, musician, man <strong>of</strong> letters, artist and performance master– said several years ago that ‘... every geographic point is capable<strong>of</strong> generating anything. Absolutely anything that can be generated.Therefore, practically any point presents the opportunity <strong>of</strong> generatingan entire scale <strong>of</strong> values’.[x] is the unknown point on the map <strong>of</strong> a city, country or Europe thatcreates and accumulates creative energy and expresses itself inthe most unexpected ways. It doesn’t matter if the creative potentialis concentrated in an environment with a well-developed culturalinfrastructure or in a city suburb that can’t pride itself with culturaltraditions and ordered surroundings. Transgressing and expanding theusual territorial and geographical boundaries, initiating and stimulatingthe development <strong>of</strong> cultural processes onto an unfamiliar territory, weliberate a new charge <strong>of</strong> creativity and can achieve surprising results.When looking for the [x] point, imagine the view from an aeroplaneheading towards <strong>Riga</strong>, or a Google Earth image on a computer screen.We can try and zoom in, looking for a familiar place or noticing somethingout <strong>of</strong> the ordinary. The digital age <strong>of</strong>fers an unaccustomed closeness,allowing the image to be transformed into pixels. The Kult[rix] schemewould work in a similar way, first focusing on the region and the city,then zooming in to the cultural institutions and events that take placethere, and finally – the people.Cultural activities migrate to the suburbs and through gentrificationtransform degenerated territories into cultural polygons andlaboratories. Short-term cultural activities and artists’ interventions informer harbour territories, monotonous residential areas or languishingsuburbs continue the development <strong>of</strong> new and existing infrastructures,as well as improve the quality <strong>of</strong> life.[x] is cultural territory, where, through the interaction <strong>of</strong> various culturalaspects, a symbiosis <strong>of</strong> new cultural forms is created, widening the usualborders <strong>of</strong> cultural perception and providing new experience. The texture<strong>of</strong> culture is interwoven by various forms <strong>of</strong> life – cuisine, conversations,gardens, psycho-geographic walks. The various expressions <strong>of</strong> cultureare interconnected. As the global interacts with the local, the nationalculture is influenced by the global and <strong>European</strong> cultural processes,and they, in turn, are fed by the specific features <strong>of</strong> the local.Along with the aspect <strong>of</strong> global and local interaction, we can developa theory about the spirit <strong>of</strong> the age or zeitgeist, and atmosphere <strong>of</strong> aplace – they both are mutually connected values. Their interaction couldbe compared to panoramic potentiometer activity. Turning it one waythe proportion <strong>of</strong> zeitgeist increases and the presence <strong>of</strong> atmospherediminishes, but turning it the other way, the opposite occurs. However,the total exclusion <strong>of</strong> one factor is impossible. The system zeitgeist –atmosphere <strong>of</strong> a place’ has an inseparable polarity, where one pole isin a contradictory position in respect to the other’.As a text is formed by words and spaces between them, the language<strong>of</strong> culture is formed by events, buildings, achievements, as well asexpressions <strong>of</strong> culture integrated in our everyday lives, and which weperceive as self-evident. They are like a fungus mycelium, <strong>of</strong> whichwe notice only the mushrooms, leaving the net <strong>of</strong> branched rootsunnoticed. The activities <strong>of</strong> the ECC could activate the diversity <strong>of</strong>cultural forms and the development <strong>of</strong> their entire spectre.12 13

challenges presented in the application for rigaas european capital <strong>of</strong> culture <strong>2014</strong>Real value is hidden in thespace between words. Textis just a form <strong>of</strong> information,which is finished andtherefore restricted. Thevalue <strong>of</strong> culture is not form,but the freedom <strong>of</strong> creativespirit, which dwells in theinfinite space betweenobjects and concepcions.• Develop a new understanding <strong>of</strong> culture, perceiving it asbroader than the development <strong>of</strong> the specific cultural sector,expanding borders and demonstrating the effectiveness <strong>of</strong> thepresence <strong>of</strong> culture and creativity in all fields as an ability to createadded value and develop a positive influence on people, theeconomy, various aspects <strong>of</strong> development <strong>of</strong> the city and society,the human race as a whole;• Expand the borders <strong>of</strong> accessibility <strong>of</strong> culture and initiate thecreation <strong>of</strong> a new form <strong>of</strong> civil communication, in order to reachnew audiences, involve existing ones and ensure their participationin cultural processes, activating a new quality <strong>of</strong> communicationculture within interest groups.• Create common discussion in interest groups, for the surmounting<strong>of</strong> sector, territorial, social and competence barriers andcommon resolution <strong>of</strong> tasks. Development <strong>of</strong> a common responsibilityand action platform on a local, regional and cross-bordercooperation level, within the framework <strong>of</strong> existing organisations(business associations, research and manufacturing businessclusters), as well as develop the creation <strong>of</strong> a new intersectionalcooperation network.Justification <strong>of</strong> challengesFor twenty years Latvia’s history has been characterised by –nationalism – segregation – Europisation – migration – ascent –crisis – joint creation <strong>of</strong> responsibility. These processes can beconsidered summary development lines, resulting from privatisation,liberalisation and structural reforms over recent years in thisregion. They are processes that concern society as a whole andinfluence every person’s life. They are visible and tangible processesthat have long-term consequences for society and whichcreate the base from which the city will develop.Creative ideas, creative approaches, creative solutions, imaginationand ideas are becoming the main economic driving forcesin the world. Creativity has always been an instrument <strong>of</strong> culturalprocesses, thanks to which development, cooperation, acquisition<strong>of</strong> traditions are possible, but the city has developed as aspace where creativity can take place. Creativity is what developslinks between people, promotes the development <strong>of</strong> a dynamicsociety and competition. Latvia’s long-term development strategyfor 2030 indicates that creativity is a resource that Latvia, including<strong>Riga</strong>, as the most significant source <strong>of</strong> human capital andpartnership, mustn’t deplete, but look for new ways in which tomake use <strong>of</strong>.The fuel <strong>of</strong> creative economy is creative substance or idea resource,which is generated by talent and an open society. The jointcreation <strong>of</strong> responsibility is the quintessence <strong>of</strong> the creative process.Three things are necessary for joint creation: cooperationbetween people and organisations – desire to cooperate, practicalaction; cooperation institutionalisation – common standards,knowledge, values, support – and social capital – common trust,contacts.The joint creation <strong>of</strong> responsibility is Latvia’s and <strong>Riga</strong>’s challengefor the next few years and can be achieved by developing thepotential for creativity, imagination and cooperation. Creativity isthe resource <strong>of</strong> the future, without which the joint creation <strong>of</strong> responsibilityis impossible.14 15

goals proposedin riga’sapplication• Promote creativity and an innovative approach, highlightingthese as key catalysts in cultural development and the improvement<strong>of</strong> cultural processes, because culture as an instrument for the cultivation<strong>of</strong> creative skills and improvement <strong>of</strong> the individual is the mainprecondition for the birth <strong>of</strong> new ideas and improvement <strong>of</strong> the quality<strong>of</strong> life and culture as an event and process <strong>of</strong> society.• Show the diversity <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> culture and encourage interculturaldialogue, promoting the development <strong>of</strong> a quality, new communicationlevel between people in the Latvian and other <strong>European</strong>country cultural sector, societies in the civil sense, different generations,social groups and interest groups;• Promote dialogue and understanding between cultures and nations,promoting diversity <strong>of</strong> civil opinion and multiculturalism,thus enriching the <strong>European</strong> cultural space;• Accentuate the need to deepen the concept <strong>of</strong> developmentin the city administration context, supplementing it with a culturaldimension and underlining the fact that cultural development andcreative activity are significant factors that influence the quality <strong>of</strong>life, welfare and sustainability <strong>of</strong> cities;• Highlight and present the interconnections between the cultural,educational and economic sectors, acknowledging that thesynergy <strong>of</strong> these fields develops an economy based on knowledge,highlighting the importance <strong>of</strong> the creative industry in theeconomy;• Implement <strong>Riga</strong>’s cultural development vision and popularise itin Europe, thus promoting the city’s intention to visibly demonstratethat an understanding <strong>of</strong> culture promotes human rights, sustainability,democratic participation and creates conditions for peace;• Fulfil <strong>Riga</strong>’s ambitions with a rapid and determined development<strong>of</strong> the cultural sector, bringing to life new cultural infrastructurefacilities in <strong>Riga</strong>’s urban landscape and developing the existing culturalinfrastructure.• Promote the principal <strong>of</strong> participation as the basis <strong>of</strong> culturaldevelopment, which would interweave and link civil responsibility,identity, creation, intercultural dialogue and festive atmosphere;• Underline the importance <strong>of</strong> local cultural development, becauseit furthers the democratic participation <strong>of</strong> society, multiplies socialcapital and balances current globalisation tendencies, highlightingthe importance <strong>of</strong> culture in a local context and promoting the rights <strong>of</strong>all city inhabitants to culture and knowledge, discriminating no-one.16 17

tensityskycurrentfutureaustras koksblue mushroomamber roadspirituallifesequelprocessresinwhiteredblackocean war spirit ideakult[rix]Kult[rix] designates the cultural space, cultural territory <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong> that embraces both traditions and innovations, combinesforms <strong>of</strong> daily life with the elitist and the pr<strong>of</strong>essional, merges thelocal into the global and hides many yet undiscovered things. Thenotion Kult[rix] in <strong>Riga</strong>’s project denotes a new understanding <strong>of</strong>culture marked by three basic principles or keys:• Creative abilities;• Expansion <strong>of</strong> borders (broadening <strong>of</strong> the understanding <strong>of</strong>the notion <strong>of</strong> culture through close interaction with other fields);• New forms <strong>of</strong> interaction.In implementing the project <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>,<strong>Riga</strong> intends to call into being the new, broadened through Kult[rix]understanding <strong>of</strong> the notion <strong>of</strong> culture already before <strong>2014</strong> andensure the further development <strong>of</strong> this ‘platform’ after <strong>2014</strong>, establishingit as a well-known hallmark <strong>of</strong> processes and events thatchange the way <strong>of</strong> thinking, based on perception <strong>of</strong> culture as acreator <strong>of</strong> added value, creative industries and all other fields andthe driving force <strong>of</strong> sustainable development <strong>of</strong> the city. Kult[rix]is a scheme <strong>of</strong> thinking, a set <strong>of</strong> tools contained in each eventin the programme <strong>of</strong> the year <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>.earthseapastphysicalcauseAdventures <strong>of</strong> Austraskoks* in the world <strong>of</strong> force majeure (*a symbol <strong>of</strong> dawn in Latvian pagan tradition) | Egils Mednis19

Creativity is the ability topaint a painting, creativityis the ability to see apainting and wallpaper,and understand thatthe painting’s motif canbe transformed intowallpaper and propose itin a creative mannerI think that life itself is a kind<strong>of</strong> creative project becauseat every instant we come intouch with new situations.Each moment is unique, youhave to resolve it and youneed new ways <strong>of</strong> thinking.Creativity isfreedom andself-assurance.Mutual respect.Respect towardscultural heritage,environmentalvalues. Culturaleducation <strong>of</strong> anew generation.Tolerance,understanding,culture <strong>of</strong>mutual relations.Knowledge <strong>of</strong>the creatorsand pioneers <strong>of</strong>Latvian culture,environment,heritage. Theacquisition <strong>of</strong>creative skillsand abilities froman early ageUsing a creativeapproach, we needto promote new ways<strong>of</strong> communicationthat broaden existingborders in people’sconsciousnesses, theso-called <strong>Riga</strong> cultureextends beyond the cityborders – not just ona Latvian, Baltic Searegion or <strong>European</strong>level, but also ona global levelCreative industries – in Latvia so little known, inthe EU considered strategically important fields <strong>of</strong>economic activity. At the same time they mark bordertransgression and the creation <strong>of</strong> aspects <strong>of</strong> newcommunication points – business and culture, variouscultural fields, international cooperation, etc.Everyone has somekind <strong>of</strong> creativeenergy, ideas. It doesnot matter whether heis or is not an artist.What matters is thathe does not focusesit solely on the choice<strong>of</strong> goods, on dailypreoccupations andmaterial things, buteither creates a work<strong>of</strong> art or expresseshimself in the creationCreativity: anyone can be creative. Childrenare creative, janitors and trolley-bus driversare creative. Unfortunately it is not called theright name. The intellectuals have privatisedcreativity as inherent in their circles only.<strong>of</strong> something new,even if only on thelevel <strong>of</strong> amateur art.There are very manydifferent opportunitiesto be creative, themain thing is thatit should not beconcentrated only andexclusively on somesort <strong>of</strong> consumerculture.creativityThe creativity <strong>of</strong> every <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitant is a value that can be madeuse <strong>of</strong> and which needs to be stimulated, ensuring the possibilityfor all to take part in cultural processes. <strong>Riga</strong> is a cultural territorythat is open to new ideas, orientated towards a wide participation<strong>of</strong> society and the stimulation <strong>of</strong> new work, with an aim to promotea greater cultural diversity and dialogue.• With the expansion <strong>of</strong> the concept <strong>of</strong> creativity, applying itto any sphere <strong>of</strong> life, not just traditional fields <strong>of</strong> culture, developinga symbiosis <strong>of</strong> various sectors, thus creating new ideas, newcommunication forms and actions. A new perception <strong>of</strong> cultureand the broadening <strong>of</strong> the concept <strong>of</strong> creation will stimulate thecreative economy, promote the transposition <strong>of</strong> art and creativityalso onto economic and business benefits and stimulate publicand private partnership.• Creativity is the most important driving force for <strong>Riga</strong>’s development,thanks to which solutions are possible both from the aspect<strong>of</strong> new communication forms and from the border expansionaspect. A change in the perception <strong>of</strong> creativity would mean acreative approach in any pr<strong>of</strong>ession or walk <strong>of</strong> life, which, if takenadvantage <strong>of</strong>, can achieve sustainable development for the city.• Creativity anticipates the promotion <strong>of</strong> dialogue and creation<strong>of</strong> joint responsibility for the city as a common living space,about environmental quality in the broadest sense <strong>of</strong> the word.Creativity is what promotes the participation <strong>of</strong> various groupsand individuals in the city, which makes the creation look for forms<strong>of</strong> expression.• With a growth in the well-being <strong>of</strong> society and the quality <strong>of</strong>city life, it is increasingly important for inhabitants to be involvedin some kind <strong>of</strong> creative activity. Personal growth is becomingincreasingly significant, therefore, taking into account <strong>Riga</strong>’s developmentscenario, where the accent is placed on the person,the possible uses <strong>of</strong> this potential have to be anticipated.• The merging <strong>of</strong> the cultural and creative sectors has stimulatedgrowth in recent years in Europe and created a need to developcreative industries and promote broader interdisciplinarycooperation forms – greater social, humanitarian, scientific andart cooperation. This is possible by changing the understanding<strong>of</strong> the concept <strong>of</strong> creativity. Creative industries are one <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’smost significant resources, which will have a major impact in thecontext <strong>of</strong> long-term development.• One <strong>of</strong> the main instruments <strong>of</strong> creativity, for achieving achange in the perception <strong>of</strong> culture and idea <strong>of</strong> border expansion,is the use <strong>of</strong> positive provocation in relation to the everyday level<strong>of</strong> consciousness <strong>of</strong> culture and society, and the desire for experimentation,supplementing the traditional process <strong>of</strong> the perception<strong>of</strong> culture with provocative methods, creating new processeswith an experimental approach.• Creativity as the main driving force <strong>of</strong> cultural developmentcan be employed in the use <strong>of</strong> technologies and for a change inthe perception <strong>of</strong> the fact that technologies are an element <strong>of</strong> culture,an instrument <strong>of</strong> creativity, a tool for people’s creativity. Therapid development <strong>of</strong> technologies can be used as an instrumentthat permits the synthesis <strong>of</strong> various sectors, developing cooperationbetween individuals and various societies. Technologies anda creative use <strong>of</strong> them present the opportunity for cooperationin an inter-regional and global context, which, over the comingyears, will be a significant factor <strong>of</strong> cultural development <strong>of</strong> anycity. In a situation where technologies are rapidly developing andpeople ‘can’t keep up’, it is precisely creativity that becomes themost significant resource <strong>of</strong> competitiveness.* Focus group comments20 21

Latvians are in themselvesa kind <strong>of</strong> border. A borderbeyond which the unfamiliaror unknown begins.Important is the need for adequate infrastructure,cohesion <strong>of</strong> the social sphere and the city, creativeeconomy in the shape <strong>of</strong> support for different projects.In 6 years <strong>Riga</strong> will look different. Which <strong>of</strong> all <strong>of</strong> theabove-mentioned aspects will be topical still? Wemust focus on those who will remain topical.Depressedareas really arevery important.It would beimportant tothink about thistarget audience,it shouldn’t bethose who doattend eventsto a greater orlesser extent, but,if it is the city,then it should”encompass theentire city.<strong>Culture</strong> is aninterdisciplinaryphenomenon,which feeds <strong>of</strong>f theIt is importantto encouragethe miniaturecreativity ineach district,in each place<strong>of</strong> the city, tosearch for it,to find it andto support it.It isimportantnot justto build ahouse thatcreates theatmosphere<strong>of</strong> culture,but to dovery manyother thingsaround itas well,symbiosis <strong>of</strong> varioussectors. It is nota frozen dogma.Changeability and theability to react withprecision to whatis happening is one<strong>of</strong> its qualities. Thecultural environment<strong>of</strong> every city isdifferent, similarlyto food, which ismade up <strong>of</strong> differentingredients. <strong>Culture</strong>can have severalaxes in a city, severalcentres <strong>of</strong> gravity.Migration <strong>of</strong> the centre=suburb in the centre,centre in the suburb.The everyday as art=art as the everyday.to put thetransportand all theother thingsin order.border expansionThe idea <strong>of</strong> border expansion encompasses the expansion <strong>of</strong> theborders <strong>of</strong> both space and time, with the aim <strong>of</strong> making full use<strong>of</strong> the potential <strong>of</strong>fered by human resources and infrastructure.In Latvia’s case, <strong>Riga</strong> has amassed both cultural and spiritualpotential. The mobility <strong>of</strong> this creative potencial, and its promotionis envisaged in the “Mobile Centre” idea involving partners fromthe <strong>Riga</strong> region, other parts <strong>of</strong> Latvia and Europe.notion <strong>of</strong> spatial border expansion• The idea <strong>of</strong> spatial border expansion focuses on thecurrently dominant cultural forms being transferred to a differentgeographical space – outskirts, residential areas, out <strong>of</strong> the citycentre, stressing the idea <strong>of</strong> culture as a changeable centre <strong>of</strong>events. Currently, culture concentrates in the centre, while thesuburbs continue their life on the periphery. Through borderexpansion suburban cultural space is created anew, turningdepressed city regions into locations for creative and culturalevents.• The spatial aspect <strong>of</strong> border expansion also includes theexpansion <strong>of</strong> borders with the construction <strong>of</strong> new, significantcultural infrastructure facilities (the new Latvian National Librarywill connect Latvia’s regions into a common information networkand will develop intellectual and information cooperation networkswith other country databases; the new Contemporary Art Museumwill include <strong>Riga</strong> into the network <strong>of</strong> contemporary art processes,marking it as a new location for cultural dialogue on the map <strong>of</strong>contemporary world <strong>of</strong> culture).• Conscious <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s dominance in Latvia’s spatial structuresand the growing intercity migration in Latvia, the borderexpansion concept also includes aspects <strong>of</strong> regional cooperation,development <strong>of</strong> cultural cooperation forms among towns andregions, thus decentralising cultural events and making use <strong>of</strong>infrastructure, encompassing as wide a cultural field as possibleand developing new forms <strong>of</strong> cooperation. The “Mobile Centre”idea, which is included in this concept, envisages the participation<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> as the ECC in any location in Latvia, where it is possibleto create and make use <strong>of</strong> existing infrastructure, promote thecreation <strong>of</strong> new work and new forms <strong>of</strong> cooperation.• The spatial aspect <strong>of</strong> border expansion includesinterdisciplinary approach to changing the understanding <strong>of</strong> theconcept <strong>of</strong> culture, developing an open infrastructure, necessaryfor creative expression in various spheres <strong>of</strong> life, previouslyconsidered as not belonging to culture, and promoting thedevelopment <strong>of</strong> creative industries in <strong>Riga</strong> and Latvia.• The idea <strong>of</strong> border expansion sees <strong>Riga</strong> as a geographicaland cultural transit city, attracting creative people from otherplaces <strong>of</strong> the world, who would contribute to the development<strong>of</strong> a creative environment in <strong>Riga</strong>. <strong>Culture</strong> becomes not just aresource for participation, but also a significant instrument for thedevelopment <strong>of</strong> political, economic and diplomatic ties thanks to<strong>Riga</strong>’s geographic location and historic cultural ties – a bridgebetween East and West.border expansion time aspect• The concept <strong>of</strong> border expansion from the time aspectincludes predicting – what will be in six, ten years, who will be thepotential users <strong>of</strong> culture and participants <strong>of</strong> the creative processin <strong>2014</strong> and in the long-term, focusing attention on work withpotential target audiences already today.• Border expansion from the time aspect includes work with ageneration that is open to other, untraditional forms <strong>of</strong> the use <strong>of</strong>culture, leading us to research and predict, what forms <strong>of</strong> culturethe younger generations are using now, in their formative years,and what could be their development in the future.• Border expansion from the time aspect includes predictionin the context <strong>of</strong> demographic changes and economic globalisation.• Border expansion in a dimension <strong>of</strong> time confinement –accessibility <strong>of</strong> culture at different times <strong>of</strong> the day and night,which opens up a new dimension <strong>of</strong> perception and culturalexperience.* Focus group comments22 23

The theoryexists that atthe base <strong>of</strong>communicationbetween anytwo people is:you for me – mefor you. Thereis no such thingas disinterestedcommunication.That would bethe highestlevel <strong>of</strong>creativity,if we were allable to talkabout clearthings in clearlanguage.”The newest moderntechnologies helpinterest groupsincorporate into acommon culturalprocess and promotethe accessibility <strong>of</strong>the field <strong>of</strong> cultureto each and every,which relates to theexpansion <strong>of</strong> borders.We live in a time that could be described as waking up from the globalisation.Liberalism that stimulated it is going out <strong>of</strong> fashion. Different crises - rise <strong>of</strong> fuelprices, the growing food prices, climatic threats, the looming regional conflicts– are waking us up from the dream (nightmare) <strong>of</strong> globalisation and we feel thateverything must change: economy must become environment-friendly, industrialproduction – science-consuming, food – healthy, lifestyle – sustainable, politicsresponsible and the society – cohesive. The globalised markets will have tocontract and regain a part <strong>of</strong> their rooted-ness and local-ness.We are a fairly diverse society. The new solution,creativity, is in the search for common points <strong>of</strong> contact.Creativity isn’t in ethnic difference, but in the comingtogether and creation <strong>of</strong> a new world.Development is born in the depth <strong>of</strong> the individual, butit also springs from the collective spirit. If one <strong>of</strong> these ismissing, development leaves much to be desired.forms <strong>of</strong> interaction• In recent years the consumption <strong>of</strong> culture in <strong>Riga</strong> has increased.Research indicates that the majority <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s inhabitants are satisfiedwith the level <strong>of</strong> possibilities available to them to attend culturalevents, but the tendency towards a transitional society that resultedin alienation, disassociation, loss <strong>of</strong> social ties, has completely excludedcultural instruments such as new cooperation forms.• Creativity through the idea <strong>of</strong> border expansion will promotewide cooperation between individuals, city areas, suburbs, generations,towns, regions, countries. <strong>Riga</strong>, with its human capital andinfrastructure, will promote the creation <strong>of</strong> this form <strong>of</strong> cooperation.Cultural events are a self-evident part <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s programmefor the ECC project, however, the main goal is to trigger a processin which the consumers <strong>of</strong> culture would also be willing also totake an active part. Thus, the main task is to create new forms <strong>of</strong>interaction to help involve new audiences.• Making use <strong>of</strong> the potential <strong>of</strong> creativity, imagination and cooperation,it is possible to create networks around <strong>Riga</strong>, includingindividuals, institutions, businesses, towns and countries insearch for forms <strong>of</strong> cooperation, creating the possibility <strong>of</strong> newcooperation forms through new infrastructure facilities or breathinglife into existing ones.• It is important to achieve a change <strong>of</strong> focus from the consumption<strong>of</strong> culture to participation, from a passive consumerismto a change in attitude towards any kind <strong>of</strong> creativity. This includesa re-evaluation <strong>of</strong> values in society, which means a search for newforms <strong>of</strong> interaction.• The desire for expression is typical to creativity, as well as theneed for appropriate forms <strong>of</strong> expression. It provides further impulseto seek interaction with partners sharing similar interests, in order t<strong>of</strong>ind an audience for one’s skills and their evaluation. Support fornew forms <strong>of</strong> cooperation plays a cruical role in stimulating creativeskills within each and every inhabitant <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, making creativity themost significant force driving <strong>Riga</strong> as the ECC.• Developing forms <strong>of</strong> culture based within the audience, onmutual communication and political intention rather than onmaterial, spatial or artistic media typology, creates a platform forparticipation. The epicentre <strong>of</strong> the meaning <strong>of</strong> a work <strong>of</strong> art orcultural process as such shifts from the object to a new type <strong>of</strong>experience that it provokes. The dialogue between the audienceand the artist acquires the status <strong>of</strong> a work <strong>of</strong> art, participationbecomes the deciding factor in the creation <strong>of</strong> culture. Similarlyto Umberto Eco’s definition <strong>of</strong> the principle <strong>of</strong> an open work <strong>of</strong>art, which states that a work <strong>of</strong> art is only finished when it comesinto contact with the audience, the involvement <strong>of</strong> society in thecultural process reveals a new cultural dimension.• Successful interaction is a vital component for the positivedevelopment <strong>of</strong> a multicultural and civil society. <strong>Culture</strong>, in thissituation, is a tried and tested device in promoting dialogue betweencultures and civil society.• Ethnocentricity creates a symbolically restricted space. Dueto <strong>Riga</strong>’s ethnic specifications, the possibility <strong>of</strong> dialogue betweenvarious ethnic groups exists through border expansion and creativityas a value, thus promoting an exchange <strong>of</strong> ideas, developingsociety’s receptiveness towards different cultural experiences.• Research shows that it is possible to develop a culture <strong>of</strong> philanthropyin Latvia, which would help overcome the tendency towardsmutual isolation between various sections <strong>of</strong> society and provide theopportunity for the majority <strong>of</strong> inhabitants to fulfil their human capital.• To prosper, a city needs ideas and the will <strong>of</strong> individuals, synthesis<strong>of</strong> thoughts and cooperation. New products and servicesare created not only through individual efforts but also as a result<strong>of</strong> cooperation. It is necessary to provide opportunities for enterprising,creative people to try something new together.• The contemporary public space, which serves as a platformfor interaction, is <strong>of</strong>ten identified more as a psychological ratherthan a physical construction <strong>of</strong> space. The public space is alsodefined as a politicised social product, which cannot be separatedfrom conflicting social relations that are created by specificsocieties at specific moments in history.* Focus group comments24 25

• Latvia has strong informal social networks (family, friends,acquaintances). Taking into account the high level <strong>of</strong> trust in thesenetworks, they can be used as a significant resource for the promotion<strong>of</strong> forms <strong>of</strong> creative participation, and the public bringingto life <strong>of</strong> these forms in a new format that is beneficial for development<strong>of</strong> the city and society.• Global economic tendencies create a need to promote globalcooperation and <strong>Riga</strong>, as the most significant Baltic transit point,can serve as an excellent bridge <strong>of</strong> global cooperation betweensimilarly orientated creative groups and individuals elsewhere inEurope and the world.• With the implementation <strong>of</strong> the “Mobile Centre” principle, <strong>Riga</strong>,as <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>2014</strong>, becomes a kind <strong>of</strong> a Greekagora, where the most diverse scale <strong>of</strong> interaction <strong>of</strong> cultural ideasand exchange <strong>of</strong> thoughts takes place. The new cultural infrastructurefacilities (the National Library and the Contemporary ArtMuseum), construction <strong>of</strong> which has already begun, will becomea part <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> and global information circulation processes,making <strong>Riga</strong> the location for new ideas, testimony <strong>of</strong> excellence,developing types <strong>of</strong> cooperation forms that would not be possiblewithout these facilities.26 27

iga’s programme <strong>2014</strong><strong>Culture</strong> reacts to everything that is happening, especially tosurprising and unexpected processes. For this reason we applythe legal term force majeure in the title <strong>of</strong> our programmeto provoke unexpected art developments, to create and recordnew qualities <strong>of</strong> culture born in the interaction <strong>of</strong> differentfields, to find unusual solutions to customary cultural activities,in a surprising manner to rediscover generally knownfacts about ourselves, our city and the environment that welive in and to help everyone to find unlimited inner possibilitiesfor creative manifestation.The programme <strong>of</strong> events that <strong>Riga</strong> <strong>of</strong>fers for the project <strong>of</strong> the<strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>2014</strong> is based on the ideologicalkey principles <strong>of</strong> Kult[rix]. After several months <strong>of</strong> creative discussionwith the participation <strong>of</strong> a diverse circle <strong>of</strong> expertsfrom different fields, <strong>Riga</strong>’s programme for <strong>2014</strong> has acquiredthe title force majeure.28 29

The world in which we live is full <strong>of</strong> change, in constant movementand development. At times it seems as though it is dragging ata snail’s pace and nothing is happening, at others we find ourselvesat the epicentre <strong>of</strong> a whirlwind, which catapults us atan inconceivable speed several steps or several lives ahead.Looking back at the messages left by history or taking a glimpseat personal experience memory registers, we have to admit thatvery <strong>of</strong>ten the most powerful impulse that projects us towardspositive change is an invincible force or power, which unexpectedlytransforms the usual course <strong>of</strong> events and puts the usualsystem <strong>of</strong> values to the test.This invincible force hits us without warning and influences bothglobal processes and the progression <strong>of</strong> historic events, as wellas the otherwise common and unnoticeable everyday events <strong>of</strong>every individual. We identify the epicentres <strong>of</strong> these invincibleforces on the map <strong>of</strong> history as collisions created by humans orby nature – revolutions, ecological phenomena, economic convulsions.The urban philosopher Paul Virilio, commenting thesemanifestations <strong>of</strong> invincible force, concludes that without clashes,without the discharging <strong>of</strong> pressure, further progress is notpossible and that the potential for collision is already encodedinto the progress <strong>of</strong> mankind itself.For most people the term force majeure, which is usually foundin the un-translated French version, probably conjures up associationswith agreements drawn up by lawyers, where the impact<strong>of</strong> an invincible force annuls whatever was agreed upon before.Force majeure acts as an unconquerable power, which transformsthe order <strong>of</strong> things and many things are no longer howthey used to be.In the current situation, which marks the end <strong>of</strong> the era <strong>of</strong> totalrationality and opens up the path to new opportunities andchallenges, the term force majeure seems very appropriate forcharacterising the situation in culture. Unexpected, but at thesame time predictable, accumulating and expanding over anextended period <strong>of</strong> time from various relationship, communicationand social tension congestions, inflated by the problemsfaced by nature on our planet, from abandonment to consumereuphoria and from differing cultural messages, for which nocommon translation has yet been found. Force Majeure releasesa gigantic flow <strong>of</strong> energy and, transforming it into creative potential,surprising and unexpected revelations are possible.Force Majeure is a catalyst and provoker <strong>of</strong> cultural events. As a<strong>candidate</strong> for the status <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>2014</strong>, <strong>Riga</strong>– a city with a rich history <strong>of</strong> events, multi-cultural environmentand wide range <strong>of</strong> cultural traditions, is ready for a new challenge.The challenge <strong>of</strong> being constantly in transformation. Upwardtransformation. To strengthen the belief that culture can becomean invincible force that works as an instrument <strong>of</strong> salvation, asurvival kit, a springboard for new and bold ideas, which helpstransform the world and allows us to look at it from a differentangle. <strong>Riga</strong>’s <strong>2014</strong> Force Majeure will strengthen the convictionthat culture can change the lives <strong>of</strong> people and cities and improvethem, that culture is the soundly credible and invincible forcethat has the ability to direct change into a positive channel, fearinto challenge and hasardous joy, uncertainty – into trust in thecreative spirit.Your Kult[rix]30 31

programme guidelinesand structure12 34 56amber veinthirst for the ocean• human conversation, the projection <strong>of</strong>feelings onto the immensity <strong>of</strong> the universeand its existential mysteries• the relations between mortal, temporal,ephemeral man and the riddles <strong>of</strong> eternity• human relations with the essence <strong>of</strong> theworld• the trajectory <strong>of</strong> human creation, thesense <strong>of</strong> the individual path• the spiritual vertical, human strivingtowards the sublime, the unknown, and theundiscoveredfreedom street• ‘explosions‘ <strong>of</strong> ideas stimulating receptivityand cultural dynamics• the relations between culture and forcemajeure• encounters <strong>of</strong> ideas and discussions,the battlefields <strong>of</strong> culture and the dream <strong>of</strong>a universal culture• the history <strong>of</strong> power, destruction andrenewalsurvival kit• a return to basic truths and skills, to thefundamental human needs <strong>of</strong> the future• discovering the seemingly impossible inoneself• mastering new skills and know-how,gaining experience, experiencing newfeelings• the urban dweller discovers fire again –the rural returns the townroad map• private and public space in the urbanenvironment• a brand new physical and mental circulatorysystem for the city, new and activecentres in local neighbourhoods• the anthropological textures <strong>of</strong> localspace, spaces in the town which havebeen forgotten or are unseen due to historic,social or political reasons• the marginal at the centre <strong>of</strong> attention• the accessablity <strong>of</strong> singular spacesin the cities, neighbourhood lore, localmemoryriga carnival• an invitation to dash into a giddy dance,the frenzy <strong>of</strong> games in a colourful carnival• traditions and festive rites from a freshpoint <strong>of</strong> view• the diversity <strong>of</strong> cultures and cross-culturaldialogue• a carousel <strong>of</strong> joy – event after event• contemporary communication, new cooperationnetworks and the opportunitiesthey <strong>of</strong>fer• <strong>European</strong> cultural cooperationnetworks• new interdisciplinary cooperation• distinctive achievements with globalsignificance in science and cultureEvents:Events:Events:Events:Events:Events:International conferences and exhibitions,multimedia events in urban environments,cinema, concerts.Exhibitions, art and music campaigns,theatrical tours, literary readings, open-aircinema, digital laboratories, creative tradefairs.Creative workshops, seminars, researchprojects, interactive events with an ecologicalbent, art in the public space, pleinsairs, fairs, competitions, talent shows, performances,discursive events.Excursions, bicycle routes, open housedays, interdisciplinary events, creative areasin the urban environment, circus performances,events, performances in atypical spaces,anthropological documentary films.Festivals, seasonal rites, concerts traditionaland non-traditional, interactivegames.Interdisciplinary expeditions, presentations<strong>of</strong> the distinctive, international photographycampaigns.32 33

34thirst for the ocean

thirstfor the oceanYearning for the ocean is a yearning for eternity. Human speech,the projection <strong>of</strong> feelings onto the immensity <strong>of</strong> the universe.The existential mysteries are reflected in the human. The ocean<strong>of</strong> cognition is both perceived reality and the human to his orher self. These mysterious relations between temporal, ephemeral,mortal human beings and the mysteries <strong>of</strong> eternity – thehistory <strong>of</strong> the all – cannot be settled once and for all. These arepossibly the most enduring – and at the same time the mostdynamic – relations in human life.Approaching the ocean <strong>of</strong> consciousness, cognition and the unknown,the human is alone, without ancestors, children or home toback him or her up. The relations with the essence <strong>of</strong> the universe arethe relations <strong>of</strong> the vertical to the horizon. Latvians live on the coast <strong>of</strong>the Baltic Sea, linked to the oceans only by the North Sea. Kārlis Skalbe,one <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s foremost lyric poets, in his philosophical fairy tale “HowI Sought the Girl <strong>of</strong> the North” and in his first poems, writes dreamily<strong>of</strong> the sea despite having seen only Alauksta Lake at the time. Humanyearnings, dreams, and longings for transformation and for the neware ambivalent. In their temperament, they bear resemblance to a cravingto merge, to adapt and to dissolve in the primordial motherland.The ardour with which people strive for new horizons resembles theobsession to create. The spiritual dimension is as vital as the experience<strong>of</strong> the senses and the rhythms <strong>of</strong> consciousness and the subconscious.Thirst for the ocean embrace not only the promise <strong>of</strong> distanthorizons (Dullais Dauka, the daft but heroic creation <strong>of</strong> the writerSudrabu Edžus, strode toward the horizon to find out what was onthe other side) but also a craving for unfathomable depths (the greatLatvian poet Rainis: ‘Where did you find such stupendous words? –I stared out to sea for some time’).What does it matter if the Baltic Sea is composed <strong>of</strong> slightly salty waterin which few species swim, needing to adapt to water that is neithertruly sweet nor really salty? Is that where musings on Latvians beingadaptable begin? Does the shallowness <strong>of</strong> the sea determine thedepth <strong>of</strong> yearning for the ocean? For Skalbe, the lake was enough.Thirst for the ocean is part <strong>of</strong> the trajectory <strong>of</strong> coming into being. It isunique for each individual. Latvians, thirsty for sunlight, saw signs in theplay <strong>of</strong> the sun upon the waters, taking that path in their folklore and in art.What is beyond the horizon? Where does the ocean end? Is yourfreedom – the freedom you search for but must make for yourself – tobe found there? Does it reflect your standing by the sea, vertical againstthe horizon? Or is the ocean as infinite as your being? Strangely,no one competes with you in walking this road. No one opposes you.Everyone for himself – the archipelago <strong>of</strong> the Baltic Sea.36 37

the book, 1514-<strong>2014</strong>Massys, Quentin. Der Goldwäger und seine Frau. (1514)‘I stare at the textual field on my friend’s screen and I am unpersuaded.Indeed, this glimpse <strong>of</strong> the future–if it is the future–has me clinging all the more tightly to my books, the very idea<strong>of</strong> them. If I ever took them for granted, I do no longer. I nowsee each one as a portable enclosure, a place I can repair to torelease the private, unsocialized, dreaming self. A book is solitude,privacy; it is a way <strong>of</strong> holding the self apart from the crush<strong>of</strong> the outer world. Hypertext – at least the spirit <strong>of</strong> hypertext,which I see as the spirit <strong>of</strong> the times – promises to deliver mefrom this, to free me from the ‘liberating domination‘ <strong>of</strong> the author.It promises to spring me from the univocal linearity whichis precisely the constraint that fills me with a sense <strong>of</strong> possibilityas I read my way across fixed acres <strong>of</strong> print.‘Sven Birkerts, The Gutenberg ElegiesThe opening <strong>of</strong> the new Latvian National Library building isplanned for 2013. It will be more than just a significant <strong>European</strong>cultural event in architecture – <strong>Riga</strong> will be the <strong>European</strong> bookcapital in <strong>2014</strong>. After moving to its new premises, the LatvianNational Library is going to organise a large-scale book exhibit“The Book 1514-20014“ (Grāmata 1514-<strong>2014</strong>), dedicated tohumanity’s history in reading over the past 500 years. Manyunique books will be brought to <strong>Riga</strong>. An international conference“The Content <strong>of</strong> the 21 st Century” is also planned. SvenBirkerts – the American writer and literary critic – has been invitedto be the patron <strong>of</strong> the conference. He happens to be the son <strong>of</strong>the architect <strong>of</strong> the most significant building to be built in <strong>Riga</strong> inthe years since the restoration <strong>of</strong> independence - the new NationalLibrary. The theme <strong>of</strong> the conference will be the history <strong>of</strong> reading.Among the participants expected are the Nobel Prize laureatesin literature V .S. Naipaul and Imre Kertész; Harold Bloom, one <strong>of</strong>the world’s leading literature critics; the linguist Noam Chomsky;the philosopher Alexander Piatigorsky; the writers Umberto Eco,Tatyana Tolstaya, Václav Havel, and Jānis Krēsliņš; the founders<strong>of</strong> Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and other luminaries.The conference will take place at the same time as the opening <strong>of</strong>the exhibit “The Book” 1514-<strong>2014</strong>1514 is unique in the history <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> book. It is the agewhen the printed book has already stepped out <strong>of</strong> its cradle(incunabula in Latin). The next era has begun with its brightestsigns – the high Renaissance and the Reformation. The bookloses the features <strong>of</strong> a manuscript and new traditions in printingand publishing emerge – it is the time <strong>of</strong> the appearance <strong>of</strong> titlepages, illustrations (engravings), printed works in local languages,printed music scores, etc. 1514 is the very special year that marksthe border between the passing and the coming ages.Hartmann Schedel – the author <strong>of</strong> the “World Chronicle” (1493) –dies in 1514. Notably, it is in this year that the Abbot <strong>of</strong> TrittenheimJohannes Heidenberg publishes his inventory <strong>of</strong> books printedsince Gutenberg’s invention came about, abate Tritemioscrive la Cronaca Irsaugense che reca importanti precisazionisull’invenzione di Gutenberg. This year brings forth several outstandingworks by his contemporaries. At least six (!) books byErasmus <strong>of</strong> Rotterdam are published (Parabolarum and others).It is very likely that the manuscript <strong>of</strong> Till Eulenspiegel was beingprepared by a typesetter to be printed in the following year.Also in the year 1514, Copernicus mentions his work on developingthe description <strong>of</strong> heliocentric system in the manuscript“Small Commentaries” (Commentariolus) that he distributes to hisfriends. Several engravings by the distinguished Albrecht Dürerappear (Melencolia I, Der heilige Hieronymus im Gehäus). Thebooks <strong>of</strong> John Rastell also should be mentioned, as well as thepapal bull <strong>of</strong> Leo X (1475—1521) and the letter <strong>of</strong> England’s KingHenry VIII to the Pope.The range <strong>of</strong> books in 1514 includes classics (at least nine worksby Cicero, three by Ovid, five by Plautus, two by Pliny, four byVirgil, as well as works by Aristotle, Horace, Plutarch, Ptolemyand Seneca), the famous Biblia Poliglota, and Avicenna’s Florescollecti superquinque Canonibus quos adidit in medicina (Lyons)as well as works by the Renaissance master Boccaccio and byJoannes Eckius (Johann Eck) – the future ardent antagonist <strong>of</strong>Martin Luther – who writes about the coming years. This is one<strong>of</strong> the brightest years in the era’s art <strong>of</strong> printing. 1514 sees the appearance<strong>of</strong> books printed by Aldus Manutius (1449/1450—1515)in Venice (Scriptores rei rusticae), the Athenaeus <strong>of</strong> Philippus andLucas Antonius Giunta in Florence, Cicero’s letters to Atticam,Johann Froben (c. 1460—1527) sheltered and published Erasmus38 39

1514, becoming the pastor <strong>of</strong> the congregation in Limbaži. TheCzech translator Pavel Stoll discovered that some <strong>of</strong> the songsRamm is renowned for translating were written by Jan Hus. TheMoravian Brethren movement that would be hugely influentialamong Latvians in 18 th century southern Livonia (now Latvia) wasinspired by Hus. The book Christi ab incarnationis by Jan Huswas printed in 1514 by Weissenburger in Landshut. Also in 1514,the manuscript <strong>of</strong> Дзесяціглаў was completed; Frantsisk Skarina,born in Vitebsk and acquainted with <strong>Riga</strong> Baltic Germans, wouldpublish it in Vilnius in 1522.A few hundred publications from 1514 are held in the collections<strong>of</strong> national and university libraries. The Latvian National Librarymaintains close contact with the keepers <strong>of</strong> these rare volumes.The library <strong>of</strong> the Duke <strong>of</strong> Courland, for example, is currently inthe National Library <strong>of</strong> Finland and was formerly at the University<strong>of</strong> Helsinki. The Latvian National Library intends to locate othercopies <strong>of</strong> works published in or connected to 1514, appropriate tothe exhibition in the new library building in <strong>2014</strong>. The exhibition willalso tell <strong>of</strong> other ancient libraries that existed five centuries ago.There is no doubt that <strong>2014</strong> will see the publication <strong>of</strong> a host <strong>of</strong>books across the globe – many more than were printed in 1514!In cooperation with the finest publishing houses in Europe, an exhibition<strong>of</strong> the best books, atlases and albums printed in <strong>2014</strong> isalso being planned.Bitwa pod Orsząin Basel, Henri Estienne (1460?—1520) printed Arithmetica decemlibris demonstrata in Paris, Wynkyn de Worde worked in London. Itwas in 1514 that Aldus Manutius introduced the use <strong>of</strong> blue paper.The first book in Arabic letters was printed by the brothers DeGregori Fano in Italy, and Erhard Oeglin produced the firstHebrew typesetting in Augsburg in this year. A Torah was printedin Constantinople, and Ottaviano dei Petrucci completed the publication<strong>of</strong> the eleventh series <strong>of</strong> scores in Venice. 1514 also sawthe introduction <strong>of</strong> “+“ and “–“ signs.It is also held that the first book printed in Polish appeared in 1514rather than 1515 as commonly believed. Soon after victory overthe Russians at Smolensk, a letter <strong>of</strong> Sigismund I to Pope Leo Xwas published.With regard to <strong>Riga</strong>, it should be noted that this is the year theprinter Joannes Badius Ascenius produces the “Danish Chronicle“<strong>of</strong> Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1150-1220). This history <strong>of</strong> Denmark isone <strong>of</strong> the most important sources on the early history <strong>of</strong> what isnow Latvia. The “Saga <strong>of</strong> Hadingus“ tells <strong>of</strong> a Danish Viking andhis blood brother, who make war upon the Couronian chieftainLoker. The Couronian leader defeats them and captures them.Escaping, Hadingus craftily seizes a city on the Daugava, takingits chieftain hostage and asking for the chieftain’s ransom in gold.In the Saga <strong>of</strong> Frodi, raids on the Baltic region are described.The first book in Latvian is printed in 1525. The first librarywas established a year earlier. Both <strong>of</strong> these events are linkedto Nikolai Ramm, the pastor <strong>of</strong> the Latvian congregation at St.James’s Church in <strong>Riga</strong> – he arrived in what is now Latvia inThe dawn <strong>of</strong> the electronic age, digital environments and digitallibraries has led some to dub our era the Second Coming<strong>of</strong> Gutenberg. The technical environment that affects informationflow, knowledge, cultural values and the dissemination <strong>of</strong> ideashas changed as radically as it did five centuries ago. Handwrittenmanuscripts were replaced by printing, just as the computer keyboardhas shifted the world <strong>of</strong> words now. Drawing met engraving– today computer graphics <strong>of</strong> all kinds come into play. The printingpress took the place <strong>of</strong> the scriptorium – the great ‘scriptorium’today is the World Wide Web. The king, however the Content, isstill king.What: International conference and exhibition.Where: Latvian National Library.When: Exhibition throughout the year; conference in April.Concept author: Andris Vilks, Director <strong>of</strong> the Latvian NationalLibrary.Organisers: University <strong>of</strong> Latvia; Latvian National Library.Danorum Regum heroumque Historiae, Paris 151440 41

sound <strong>2014</strong>The art <strong>of</strong> sound, by contrast to music,which is a consecutive distribution<strong>of</strong> sound in time, is an ‘architectonic’intervention in the environment. Thisproject <strong>of</strong>fers a guide in today’s urbanjungle <strong>of</strong> the world <strong>of</strong> sounds, thinking<strong>of</strong> new forms and manifestations <strong>of</strong> theinteraction between sound, architectureand space, vitalizing and enliveningforgotten spaces in innovative anduntraditional ways.Modern technologies help the art <strong>of</strong> sounderupt. At the core it is placement, the musicalizationand execution <strong>of</strong> the environment.Creating a composition for citychimes, for example. Trees and buildingscan be equipped with sound effects. Youcan play around with urban sounds. Justas well autonomous sculptural pieces canbe created in open space. Sound and lightshows have become very popular.It is also possible to get to know the inaudibleurban sounds by unarmed ear. It canbe done with a specific technique. For example,the sounds <strong>of</strong> an electromagneticfield or <strong>of</strong> an empty room – creating a compositionout <strong>of</strong> them. There are performerswho operate with inaudible sounds onle.The German artist Christina Kubisch orDanish artist Jacob Kirkegaard work withvery sensitive microphones to record thesounds <strong>of</strong> the northern lights, <strong>of</strong> ice and<strong>of</strong> the abandoned zone at Chernobyl. Therecorded material can be turned into beautifulcompositions.The art <strong>of</strong> sound can be created in specialspaces, creating performances particularlyfor that space. For example, inchurches, castle ruins, in shops or at thetrain station. A sound ’architecture’ can becreated, changing the sense <strong>of</strong> the space.It is possible to interactively play with thefrequencies <strong>of</strong> sound. For example, usingthe Geiger counter, which measures humanradiation and converts it into a sound(Finnish performers Tommi Gronlund andPeteri Nisunen).Within this project there will be a soundart exhibition where single objects will becreated especially for and inspired by aselected space. The concept <strong>of</strong> force majeuremanifests as the impossibility to escapeand dissociate oneself, as the urge toexpress the current and to reflect on reality– to be present. The nature <strong>of</strong> the art <strong>of</strong>sound can accomplish that as perfectly asit can co-operate with the existing environmentand create a new one.Within the project the art <strong>of</strong> sound will bepresent in the city environment, using andintensifying the existing elements <strong>of</strong> thatenvironment. At the same time the artworks<strong>of</strong> sound will be created for specialspaces. The performances <strong>of</strong> the soundartwork or innovative music along with newmusic concerts (dancing and listening music)will show that the boundary betweenmusic and art <strong>of</strong> sound is a mere convention.The art <strong>of</strong> sound will become moreaccessible to more people.What: Sound art exhibition.Where: Urban environment and unconventionalexhibition spaces.When: September.Concept authors and organisers: Skaņumežs – Viestarts Gailītis, Zane Dātava,Ernests Ansons, Renāte Auziņa,www.skanumezs.lvCooperation partners: NUMUSICfestival (Stavanger, Norway),Transmediale Festival (Berlin,Germany), ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany),SpongeArteContemporanea (Italy),Jauna Muzika (Lithuania), and others.sacred musicfrom sunset to sunriseEveryone has experienced a moment<strong>of</strong> clear night without any cloud in thesky or any wind blowing. Suddenly theskyline dissolves and you cannot tellwhich <strong>of</strong> the stars are just reflectionsin the ocean and which ones shine inthe sky. The ocean starts to breathein time with the universe on the night<strong>of</strong> the sacred music concert in DomeCathedral, in the Dome Garden andDome Square.The Dome Cathedral complex can providean exclusive concert, which can be enjoyedfrom three different perspectives. Inthe Dome Cathedral there is a concert forthose who want to experience the acousticarches <strong>of</strong> the Cathedral. There will bea specially designed zone in the DomeGarden where the concert will be broadcaston big screens and good acousticsare guaranteed. Original special effectswill be created by the lighting design. InDome Square, the atmosphere will bemore open/democratic. In the city environmentthe concert can be enjoyed by freelymoving about, choosing specific compositionsor certain performers in the concert.The musical heritage <strong>of</strong> Western Europeis as boundless as an ocean. The programme<strong>of</strong> the concert will be structured inthe form <strong>of</strong> an archway rondo - internationallywell known large-scale compositionsare combined with original pieces and organsolos.At midnight Rachmanin<strong>of</strong>f’s Vigilia will beperformed. The programme may includeBruckner’s, Kodai’s or Mendelssohn’sTe Deum, and the Urtrehtas Te Deum <strong>of</strong>Handel. There are plans to commission awork by Pēteris Vasks as well as to inviteGidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica andinternationally known solo artists fromLatvia and abroad.What: Concert.Where: <strong>Riga</strong> Dome Cathedral, Garden andDome Square.When: AugustConcept authors: Māris Ošlejs, State Choir“Latvija”.Cooperation partners: The Dome Cathedral,composers, Latvian and <strong>European</strong> soloists.42 43

eaming riga <strong>2014</strong>Our ancestors believed that light is asubstance and that it can be poured,cut into pieces, stuffed into a sack, orcollected in a Castle <strong>of</strong> Light… thatone can build bridges from light andthat light can be given to others as apresent. This conviction is nicely illustratedwith a funny story about peoplewho built a house without windowsand then tried to fill it with light usingbuckets and sacks.The festival <strong>of</strong> light “Beaming <strong>Riga</strong>” (StaroRīga) keeps proving the enduring truth <strong>of</strong>our forefathers in artistic ways – light becomesthe material <strong>of</strong> artwork just as paintbrushes,colour, canvas, stone or bronzehave been media for art. In the year <strong>2014</strong>,all <strong>of</strong> the themes <strong>of</strong> the programme will betouched upon, but the festival will primarilybe dedicated to the theme “Thirst For TheOcean”.As the sea may dream <strong>of</strong> becoming anocean, the <strong>Riga</strong> Canal wishes to be asgreat as the Nile or the Amazon, and eachfountain in the city – as swift as a torrentialmountain spring. The festival <strong>of</strong> light“Beaming <strong>Riga</strong>” has enough resources t<strong>of</strong>ulfil these dreams at least for few days.Powerful light and sound effects will transformthe waters <strong>of</strong> the city – the fountains inthe Vērmanes Garden, the Esplanade andthe Opera Square, and also in the <strong>Riga</strong>Canal, bringing to life fantastic sights onan incomparable experience.“Freedom Street”, one <strong>of</strong> the themes in the<strong>Riga</strong> programme, is a very important arteryfor the city. The festival <strong>of</strong> light “Beaming<strong>Riga</strong>”, being a recent and ambitious processin the urban environment, plans tobathe the street in coloured light andvideo projections. The street will be one<strong>of</strong> the routes <strong>of</strong> the festival – overlookedelements <strong>of</strong> architecture, buildings andparticular details <strong>of</strong> the urban environmentas well as previously concealed innercourtyards will be unveiled by the artists<strong>of</strong> the “Beaming <strong>Riga</strong>” festival. The avenueopposite the Cabinet <strong>of</strong> Ministers, the <strong>Riga</strong>District Court building, the Central Library,a typical Art Nouveau building, the DaileTheatre, the Vidzeme marketplace, theNew St. Gertrude’s Church and Air Bridgeare just a part <strong>of</strong> the wide range <strong>of</strong> interestingsites on this street. The latest technologies,a broad range <strong>of</strong> lighting systems,video and real fire will turn Freedom Streetinto the artery <strong>of</strong> the festival.The “Road Map” will help one find one’sway to “Beaming <strong>Riga</strong>” performances inthe <strong>Riga</strong> neighbourhoods. For example,festival artists will create light performancesand installations in the parks <strong>of</strong> Āgenskalns– in Arkādija Garden, the Youth Garden,Small Arkādija’s Garden, Māra’s Garden,Meteor Garden and Victory Park. The play<strong>of</strong> light will uncover the Neogothic buildings<strong>of</strong> Pauls Stradiņš’s Clinical Hospital.A very special show will be awaiting atMāra’s Pond, where with the help <strong>of</strong> lightand projections an illusion <strong>of</strong> the historicalbuilding <strong>of</strong> the Māra’s Mill will be created.This mill was the first known building inĀgenskalns and the Pārdaugava area <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong> and is mentioned in historic chroniclesfrom 1226.Everyone has heard stories about thelegendary Amber Room – one <strong>of</strong> the biggesttreasures from the castle <strong>of</strong> CatherineI, Peter the Great’s wife. The Amber Roomwas lost during the World War II and noone has succeeded in finding it. The lightfestival “Beaming <strong>Riga</strong>” will let one find theAmber Room in <strong>Riga</strong> – inside the RailroadStation tunnel.The Old Town – the oldest part <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> –will turn into a maze during the “Beaming<strong>Riga</strong>” festival. The narrow streets disguisedby lights will confuse even the true Old<strong>Riga</strong> experts and make them look for theright way out. Then the “Survival Kit” willbe <strong>of</strong> good use!A whirl <strong>of</strong> events will await the spectatorsat Dome Square. “<strong>Riga</strong> Carnival” – in asequence <strong>of</strong> moving light projections onthe walls <strong>of</strong> the buildings surrounding thesquare, the history <strong>of</strong> the city will be presented- the past, the present and even thefuture.What: Multimedia light installation festivalin the urban environment.Where: Sites throughout the city.When: November 14–18.concept authors: Diāna Čivle, Mārcis Gulbis,Guntars Kambars (www.staroriga.lv).Organiser: <strong>Riga</strong> City Council, Department<strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>44 45

adio riga onlineThe “Radio <strong>Riga</strong> Festival” <strong>of</strong>fers achance for every resident <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> to finda concert to his or her taste and to meettheir favourite musicians in person at aconcert venue that is near to them andaccessible. In cooperation with LatvianRadio, the music most loved by the people<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> will be heard all over Europe.re:visitedCan you follow everything that happensin the world and feel yourself involved ingreat events and processes? Perhapsthe world could be brought to us… toshow what is most recent, fresh, and important,let us join the common context,and become part <strong>of</strong> the great ocean <strong>of</strong>art. The most significant and newest artworkfrom the most prestigious art biennials<strong>of</strong> the world will be in <strong>Riga</strong>.Within this project it is planned that a selection<strong>of</strong> the newest artwork will be brought to<strong>Riga</strong> in order to introduce <strong>Riga</strong> residents tothe latest trends in contemporary art. ThisThe “Radio <strong>Riga</strong> Festival” will gather famousmusicians in <strong>Riga</strong> - those who begantheir musical career in <strong>Riga</strong> but gainedfame and glory in the greatest concert halls<strong>of</strong> the world: conductor Mariss Jansons,cellist Mikhail Maisky, singers ElīnaGaranča and Egils Siliņš. We will hear theirvoices in several concerts at the LatvianNational Opera, the Great Guild Hall, andthe Dzintari Concert Hall. The special feature<strong>of</strong> this festival is the live broadcast <strong>of</strong>the concerts to all <strong>European</strong> countries providedby Radio Latvia.The main event <strong>of</strong> the festival is the concert<strong>of</strong> the Bavarian Radio SymphonicOrchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons.Symphony concerts, vocal symphonic musicconcerts as well as opera productionswill be staged in <strong>Riga</strong> and at the Dzintariconcert venue with the participation <strong>of</strong> theLatvian National Symphony Orchestra, theLiepāja Symphony Orchestra, the EstonianRadio Symphony Orchestra, the LithuanianNational Symphony Orchestra, the StateChoir Latvia, the Latvian Radio Choir, theEstonian Philharmonic Chamber Choirlarge-scale exhibition will be composed<strong>of</strong> the most noticeable objects selectedfrom the most significant art biennials. It isa commonly known fact that art biennialsserve as indicators <strong>of</strong> the art process, theyreveal new trends and present young andpromising authors.The most prestigious biennials <strong>of</strong> 2013will be surveyed – the 55 th Venice Biennial,the 4 th Athens Biennial, the 13 th IstanbulBiennial, the 12 th Lyons Biennial. Usuallyonly a small circle <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essionals andinterested people manage to visit all thementioned biennials and keep track <strong>of</strong> thedevelopment <strong>of</strong> contemporary art processes.This project would bring a selection<strong>of</strong> the latest outstanding artwork to <strong>Riga</strong>,and the Kaunas State Choir. The chambermusic and choral music concerts will takeplace in the Small Guild and in culturalcentres in the vicinity <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.Jazz music concerts will be held in <strong>Riga</strong>’ssuburban cultural centres with participation<strong>of</strong> musicians from Latvia – MārisBriežkalns Quintet, soloist Intars Busulis,“<strong>Riga</strong> Groove Electro” with soloists JolantaGulbe and Deniss Paškēvičs, SilvesteriOrkesteri and “City Jazz Bigband”; fromLithuania – Dainius Pulauskas Group,“Kaunas Bigband”; as well as from Estonia– “Guitar Weekend Trio”, “Nordic Sounds”with Villu Veski.What: Festival.Where: <strong>Riga</strong> and environs.When: June.Concept author: National Concert Agency.cooperation Partners: Ministry <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>,<strong>Riga</strong> City Council, Department <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>,Latvian Radio, municipalities.and would serve as a unique apportunityfor cultural education that would makethe international contemporary art sceneaccessible to the general public in <strong>Riga</strong>.What: International exhibition .Where: <strong>Riga</strong> Art Space or other largeexhibition hall.When: April - July.Concept authors and organisers: LatvianCentre <strong>of</strong> Contemporary Art.“2annas” <strong>2014</strong>No idea or event can last withoutan inner drive or a wish to expresssomething. Therefore, when selectingfilms for the “2Annas” competitionprogramme, we search for works withan individual and unique signature,creativity, aesthetic and technical performancecorresponding to the artisticidea. Above all, we crave the feelingthat without creating this film, the filmmakerwould not be able to fulfill him/her-self or even live on. These worksare created by some invincible forcewhich is an inner urge to express oneselfintellectually and spiritually.The aim <strong>of</strong> the project is to popularise thefilms <strong>of</strong> young <strong>European</strong> and internationalfilmmakers as an alternative to multiplexmainstream cinema products. It is anopportunity to see the development <strong>of</strong>in the beginingwas the wordMan possesses a natural urge to namethe ongoing – the felt, seen, heard andexperienced. By explaining and definingit, what is experienced materialises,coming into existence.The central idea <strong>of</strong> the project is based on thescriptural description <strong>of</strong> the beginning <strong>of</strong> theuniverse. By analogy it is transferred to culture,especially to literature, which precedesdevelopments and describes the atmospherebefore the events actually take place. Wordsand language create a rhythm, challengingthe music. The motets are distinctive with asacred form and contemporary content; inFrench the word mot means “word”.Baltic films as an art form and place theirtrends in a global context; to platformthe works created in the Baltic region bycreating an appropriate environment - aplatform for developing new ideas and cooperationprojects.In <strong>2014</strong>, the festival “2Annas” will takeplace for the 19 th time. From being a youthfilm competition, has grown into a noteworthyinternational event amongst studentsat film schools all over the world, for<strong>European</strong> creative alliances, and for newfilm directors. It has become a stellar eventin Latvian cinematography.The festival programme includes an internationalcompetition, a Baltic short filmcompetition, special programmes, andeducational audio-visual lectures, musicand audio-visual performances.The festival <strong>of</strong>fers debut films made bythe young pr<strong>of</strong>essional filmmakers – theIn the framework <strong>of</strong> the project, 8 knownforeign poets create contemporany sacredtexts, 8 acknowledged foreign composerscreate motets. The multimedial premieres<strong>of</strong> the original pieces will end the “SacredMusic Festival” and lead into the “PoetryDays”.What: Concert <strong>of</strong> original work, festival.Where: St. Peter’s Church.When: Beginning <strong>of</strong> September.concept Authors: Inga Bodnarjuka, IevaVītiņa, Māris Ošlejs, Māris Sirmais, IevaKolmane.cooperation Partners: Latvian WritersUnion, State Choir Latvija.representatives <strong>of</strong> national cinematography.It also enables us to enjoy the latesttrends in <strong>European</strong> films. The magnetic atmosphere<strong>of</strong> the festival stimulates the exchange<strong>of</strong> ideas between Baltic and other<strong>European</strong> young cinema enthusiasts andwill help the new directors on their journeyto the pr<strong>of</strong>essional level.What: International short film festival.Where: Cinema K.Suns, Cinema Rīga, the<strong>Riga</strong> urban environment.When: May 25—31.Concept authors: Viesturs Graždanovičs,Mārīte Lempa, Dana Indāne,www.2annas.lv.Organisers: Centre <strong>of</strong> Creative LearningAnnas 2 and Virtual Studio Urga.cooperation Partners: Hannu Pro.46 47

48freedom street

freedom streetWhen a ruling power changes, and in <strong>European</strong> history thishas usually happened after a revolution or war, the firstthing that power does is to change the names <strong>of</strong> streets.Freedom Street, within the context <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong> as <strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> programme, is not just the story <strong>of</strong> astreet. Freedom Street is a symbolic stage, a system <strong>of</strong>signs, a tale <strong>of</strong> history and wars, which we can say onlyended yesterday, even though perhaps a whole century haselapsed.The “Freedom Street” programme which refers to the centenary<strong>of</strong> the 1 st World War, is intended as a story <strong>of</strong> collisions, which peoplewho live in any city in any place in the world experience. <strong>Riga</strong>’shistory is one such space for collisions, where echoes <strong>of</strong> globalhistorical events can be found. Over the entire course <strong>of</strong> the 20 thcentury <strong>Riga</strong> has found itself in postwar-prewar relationships, orloser-winner relationships, but the local people’s memories <strong>of</strong> historicalevents have not been inherited – they are alive and real, justas in the consciousness <strong>of</strong> many <strong>European</strong>s.Freedom Street has experienced a lot. Power and war have alwayssought acknowledgement in this street, changing or not changingits name. Freedom Street is the axis <strong>of</strong> the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, the mainstreet (Via Magna), which has been called Large Sand Street,Aļeksandrovskij buļvar, Petrogradskoje šosse, Revolution Street,Adolf Hitler Strasse, Lenin Street and finally – Freedom Street oncemore. In <strong>2014</strong> the street will regain its historic names in the form<strong>of</strong> artistic events along its entire length, above all stressing theinvaluable virtue <strong>of</strong> freedom and democracy.Freedom Street is the stage for the history <strong>of</strong> global power. Itis the story <strong>of</strong> one <strong>European</strong> city’s and its inhabitants’ relationshipwith power – invincible and at the same time overcome. The1 st World War, which dates back 100 years before <strong>2014</strong>, and itsconsequences, in the interpretations <strong>of</strong> many <strong>European</strong> historiansends around the time when <strong>Riga</strong>’s main street retrieved itsname <strong>of</strong> Freedom. In 1914, <strong>Riga</strong> was one <strong>of</strong> the group <strong>of</strong> citiesthat formed part <strong>of</strong> the indisputable <strong>European</strong> prestige, which,together with the 1 st World War, Europe lost, leaving indelible consequencesin the consciousness <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong>s. <strong>Riga</strong>, in war-time,has always been drawn in between other powers. And FreedomStreet is also this type <strong>of</strong> axis - between East and West, betweenother powers. Freedom Street has experienced several wars –First World War, Second World War, Cold War, Singing Revolution,August 1991 putsch. Many military forces have entered and left<strong>Riga</strong> via this street. War has its reflections in the cultural code <strong>of</strong>Europe, which has also defined cultural mobility, destroying andcommanding resurrection anew. It has always exploited the cityfor its own gains, demonstrated itself in the main street <strong>of</strong> any<strong>European</strong> capital city. In a way, for <strong>Riga</strong>, the 1 st World War endedin 1991.Prewar and postwar periods have taken <strong>European</strong> culture, homes,places, people, generations, stories, memories, monuments andspirit, facilitating progress and always – on someone’s account.Freedom Street is a stage for both destruction and renewal. Thefeminine and the masculine. Collisions and war never end, theyjust continue the search for fresh forms <strong>of</strong> acknowledgement. Thegreatest philosopher on freedom in the world, Sir Isaiah Berlin, wasborn in <strong>Riga</strong> and taken for walks by his nanny on the Esplanade byFreedom Street (then - Aļeksandrovskij Buļvar). Paradoxically, hischildhood promenade place, the Esplanade, during his lifetimeand later, became the location for military parade rituals. Freedomis a symbol and a value, which becomes these things preciselyas the result <strong>of</strong> an invincible force (force majeure). When Berlinwas asked whether the focus <strong>of</strong> his thoughts was influenced bythe fact that he was born in the Russian province <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> duringits period <strong>of</strong> sophistication and peak period <strong>of</strong> development andafter leaving <strong>Riga</strong> experienced the revolution in Petersburg, hereplied that this was undoubtedly true. A place always leaves itsimprint. Freedom is this city’s captive name.Freedom Street continues to be the symbol <strong>of</strong> power <strong>of</strong> its time.Where once radios were manufactured people now exercise,where once matchsticks were made people now shop and goto the cinema, the place where once people who thought differentlywere captured is now abandoned and awaiting the decision<strong>of</strong> the powers that be, where once stood a statue <strong>of</strong> Leninnow stands a Christmas tree, where once the statue <strong>of</strong> Peter I –now the Freedom Monument. “Freedom Street” is the story <strong>of</strong> thebonds <strong>of</strong> love between the street and the calculations <strong>of</strong> powerover a period <strong>of</strong> several centuries. “Freedom Street” is the scene<strong>of</strong> tragedy, theatre, rural and urban events, politics, art, travel, arrivals,departures, transit passengers and motor vehicles, marketsand philosophy.The 1 st World War and its traumatic nature in the consciousness <strong>of</strong><strong>European</strong>s initiated a new wave <strong>of</strong> monument construction. Themonument became a new form <strong>of</strong> 20 th century <strong>European</strong> historyand ideology. In <strong>Riga</strong>, as one <strong>of</strong> the settings <strong>of</strong> war, monumentshave always battled and been the ritualistic embodiment <strong>of</strong> thecombat between ideas, the fruits <strong>of</strong> the writers and re-writers <strong>of</strong>history, the embodiment <strong>of</strong> the consciousness <strong>of</strong> the winnersand the losers. When the 1 st World War broke out monumentswere evacuated from <strong>Riga</strong>. Amongst the evacuated monumentswere the statues <strong>of</strong> Peter I and Barclay de Tolli, J. G. Herder’sbronze bust and the bronze adornments <strong>of</strong> the Victory column.Some <strong>of</strong> the monuments were lost during evacuation (Barclay deTolli’s statue), the statue <strong>of</strong> Peter I sank together with its boat, andafter the war the adornments <strong>of</strong> the Victory column were neverreturned.The battle <strong>of</strong> monuments has always continued in <strong>Riga</strong>, initiatingarguments as to what should be pulled down and what erected.Out <strong>of</strong> all the monuments evacuated during the 1 st World War, onlythe bronze bust <strong>of</strong> the German thinker and Lutheran minister in<strong>Riga</strong>, J. G. Herder returned to its place. Herder was the one whowas driven by the conviction that no universal truth exists, but thatdifferent cultures have different answers to various principal questions,which themselves vary for different cultures. Every culturehas its centre <strong>of</strong> gravity, its point <strong>of</strong> reference; there is no causefor one culture having to fight another. Herder was the one whoconsidered that adherence to a culture unites groups <strong>of</strong> people.<strong>Riga</strong> is the battleground for these differing cultures, with a dream<strong>of</strong> universal culture. The “Freedom Street” programme, within thecontext <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>, will be the location for theencounter <strong>of</strong> ideas and discussions, where monuments, ideasand truths from various periods will fight amongst each other,and will take over the pedestals <strong>of</strong> past and present monuments.Poetry battles, concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions at thefoot <strong>of</strong> the Freedom monument, by the statues to the greatest20 th century Latvian poet Rainis and the statue Barclay de Tolli,monthly artistic events at the former location <strong>of</strong> the monumentto Lenin – creating living, physically accessible monuments freefrom ideology, against which no-one has any objections. The“Freedom Street” programme will include rituals <strong>of</strong> regret, truce,commemoration and forgiveness in the form <strong>of</strong> culture.The <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> “Freedom Street” programmewill reclaim premises that haven’t been available to the generalpublic, but whose historic existence is directly linked to the 1 stWorld War. In 1915, with the approach <strong>of</strong> the First World War frontline,<strong>Riga</strong>’s factories and manufacturing plants were evacuatedto Russia. The evacuation mainly affected <strong>Riga</strong>, where 59% <strong>of</strong> allLatvia’s enterprises, employing 79% <strong>of</strong> all workers, were concentrated.Evacuated enterprises included the wagon manufacturersFenix, Russian-Baltic wagon factory, shipbuilders “Lange andSon”, the largest rubber plant in Russia Provodņiks, and the factories“Unions” and “Felzer and Co”. The evacuation <strong>of</strong> factoriesand manufacturing plants incurred huge losses for Latvian industryand for <strong>Riga</strong> in particular. Thirty thousand wagons were usedto transport machines and machinery, raw materials and means <strong>of</strong>transport, church bells and copper ro<strong>of</strong>s at a value <strong>of</strong> 186 millionroubles. Some <strong>of</strong> these manufacturers were located directly onFreedom Street. In <strong>2014</strong>, these former factory territories will betransformed into locations for cultural events.The “Freedom Street” will be an explosion, with reference toPr<strong>of</strong>essor Jurij Lotman <strong>of</strong> the Tartu School <strong>of</strong> Semiotics, who comparedculture to an explosion, accentuating its dynamic, openand unpredictable nature.Today, the pillars <strong>of</strong> an old bridge that can be seen on the RiverDaugava next to the Railway Bridge remind us <strong>of</strong> the war-time explosionsthat destroyed bridges during the First and Second WorldWars. The task <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> programme isto seek out the “explosions” <strong>of</strong> thought and culture that stimulateits openness and dynamics. In the place <strong>of</strong> the exploded bridgeartistic campaigns will symbolically construct a cultural bridgeover the River Daugava to the National Library, where the world’ssemiotic experts will discuss the relationship between culture andinvincible force at a conference.50 51

zeppelinScientific innovations have alwaysserved in the war industry. One <strong>of</strong> thesigns <strong>of</strong> the time <strong>of</strong> the First World Warwas t he dirigible, which in L at via is k nownas the Zeppelin. The “Zeppelin” willbecome the symbol <strong>of</strong> the “FreedomStreet” part <strong>of</strong> the programme.In <strong>2014</strong>, the symbol <strong>of</strong> the “Freedom Street“programme will be a dirigible flight, whoseinventor Count General Ferdinand Zeppelinis closely connected with Latvia. In 1889,he announced the patent for his inventedairship or dirigible balloon. At the beginning<strong>of</strong> the 20 th century Count Zeppelin wasa regular visitor to Vecgulbene, becausehe was married to Izabella, the daughter<strong>of</strong> the owner <strong>of</strong> the manor named Wolf.Very soon German manufacturers saw thepotential <strong>of</strong> the invention and began to financefurther improvements for the use <strong>of</strong>the ship. Germany was preparing for warand this provided pr<strong>of</strong>it opportunities formanufacturers. Zeppelin’s invention wasadapted for bomb carrying. In the summer<strong>of</strong> 1915, when Courland had already beencaptured, the Germans built five reinforcedbearslayer’s battleby the daugavaIn the classics <strong>of</strong> Latvian literature andcinema “Bearslayer” is the symbol <strong>of</strong>the eternal battle for freedom. Thiswork, which is rooted in Latvian mythology,incorporates the eternal polarity<strong>of</strong> the good and the bad.One <strong>of</strong> the culmination points <strong>of</strong> the“Freedom Street” programme will be therestoration and demonstration on one <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>’s bridges <strong>of</strong> the legendary and, forconcrete hangars to house the airships inVaiņode. At nightime they lifted <strong>of</strong>f withtheir bomb consignments and flew tothe Russian positions. In 1915, one darkOctober night, German dirigibles, whichare commonly known as Zeppelins, took<strong>of</strong>f from Vaiņode and flew over <strong>Riga</strong> anddropped a bomb consignment onto thecrossing <strong>of</strong> Marijas and Avotu streets.After the First World War – Latvia’s initialperiod <strong>of</strong> independence – all five hangarsin Vaiņode were dismantled and installedin <strong>Riga</strong>, where the Central Marketis now located. The anticipated dirigible orZeppelin flight over <strong>Riga</strong> is intended to bea symbolic event, a reminder <strong>of</strong> the bondbetween power, science and technologyin <strong>European</strong> culture. The Central Markethangars would become a location for<strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> events – in thecontext <strong>of</strong> war and market relations.War and market relations are <strong>of</strong> equalvalue to war and science relations. Withinthe framework <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong><strong>Culture</strong> programme it is intended to orga-nisean international creative industryannual market in the pavilion <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong>Central Market. At the weekend, creativeLatvian cinematic history, significant film“Bearslayer” (1930, director AleksandrsRusteiķis), which has been entered intothe Latvian cultural canons <strong>of</strong> cinema.“Bearslayer” is the first notable achievement<strong>of</strong> national cinematography and,for its time, an innovative union <strong>of</strong> alarge-scale production and historic document.A restored copy is being made forthis silent movie. The National ChamberOrchestra Sinfonietta Rīga, in cooperationwith the composer Kristaps Pētersons,who is composing music for the silent film“Bearslayer”, will perform the live accompaniment<strong>of</strong> the film at a special cinemaconcert by the Daugava.industries will fill the former 1 st World Warmilitary object with products that havebeen created as an alternative solution tothe power <strong>of</strong> global economics and consumerculture, demonstrating solutions tothe relations between culture and changesin power.The Kult[rix] dirigible will also be like asingular antenna for impulses from ECCevent locations. The dirigible will digitallycapture and process the physical andenergetic field information <strong>of</strong> ECC events.In cooperation with the media, the publicwill regularly receive the ECC’s energeticimpulses.What: Installation in an urban environmentand digital laboratory, Creative industryannual market.Where: ECC event locations, CentralMarket.When: All year.Concept authors: <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group.Organisers: <strong>Riga</strong> Central Market incooperation with creative industryrepresentatives.What: Film, concert and multimedia event.Where: Banks <strong>of</strong> the Daugava or on one <strong>of</strong>its bridges.When: August.Concept authors: Kristīne Matīsa, AgneseZeltiņa, Kristaps Pētersons, GundegaŠmite.Organisers: National Film Centre <strong>of</strong> Latvia,<strong>Riga</strong> Cinema Museum, Union <strong>of</strong> LatvianComposers.Internet resources: www.lks.org.lv,www.nfc.lv.52 53

noisy neighboursClashes <strong>of</strong> power, conflict zones arean inescapable part <strong>of</strong> the reality <strong>of</strong>the contemporary world. Rebellion andconflict are the norm, unavoidable, regardless<strong>of</strong> which part <strong>of</strong> the world weare in. The presence <strong>of</strong> direct or indirectconflicts and collisions leaves anindelible mark on the consciousnessand actions <strong>of</strong> people.museum <strong>of</strong> legaciesLegacies are the things to which storiesbelong, for which people createlegends. Legacies are the things,which help people to orientate themselvesin the world. Wars, fires, changesin values destroy legacies, but it isnot within the power <strong>of</strong> any invincibleforce to destroy everything. There arelegacies that are more powerful thanany force, which, because <strong>of</strong> theirstories, help us survive, making thestory about oneself, the city, countryand the world even bigger. Everyoneinherits legacies from generation togeneration, to which he allocates hisFor the <strong>2014</strong> “Poetry Days” the intention isto invite participants from the world’s conflictzones. Conflict zones will mean notjust countries where there are real conflictsor real war activity zones, but also countrieswhere intolerance towards culture, ahigh level <strong>of</strong> prejudice and cultural conflictcan be observed, for example Turkey andGreece, England and France, the Balkancountries, Spain and Catalonia, Georgia,Russia and the USA. The short-term goalon which the choice <strong>of</strong> guests will bebased is to prove that culture can overcomevarious conflicts and is above andbeyond the rifts between different nations,even war activity. The long-term goal <strong>of</strong> theproject is to promote cross-border activities,break stereotypes and initiate a closerlook at the different cultures <strong>of</strong> the world.The “Noisy Neighbours” programme intendsto include guest poet public readings,as well as a master class combinedwith a seminar, where all interested partieswith or without prior experience in literaryactivities will be able to participate andgain skills, advice and inspiration frompr<strong>of</strong>essionals from other countries. Openown story and which have influencedthe life <strong>of</strong> his family, his personal life.Legacies make it possible to restoretime.Several centuries ago every country dwellerwho crossed <strong>Riga</strong>’s border had to bringwith him two cobblestones, from which<strong>Riga</strong>’s streets were made. Everyone arrivingat the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> willbe asked to submit to the exhibition personalitems with a historic legacy. The location<strong>of</strong> the exhibition is planned in one <strong>of</strong>the former Freedom Street factories – VEFor in the territory <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> Wagon Factory.Together with this large-scale project,which will run for the entire ECC year, anexhibition is planned in the Museum <strong>of</strong> thelectures are also planned at the University<strong>of</strong> Latvia and Latvian Academy <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>,during which students and other interestedparties will have the opportunity to meetforeign poets, find out about current eventswithin their cultures, develop discussionsand exchange information.What: Poetry readings in an urbanenvironment, masterclass, seminars.Where: Esplanade, Academy <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>,University <strong>of</strong> Latvia.When: September.Concept authors: Inga Bodnarjuka, IevaKolmane, Uldis Bērziņš.Organisers: Latvian Writers’ Union.Cooperation partners: Latvian Literature.Centre, Ventspils International Writers’and Translators’ House.History <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Navigation “Stories <strong>of</strong>100 objects from the museum collectionabout Europe”. The exhibition would display100 legacies from the museum collection,which have an outstanding historicor artistic value, or value linked with theidentity <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitants.What: Exhibition.WHERE: VEF or <strong>Riga</strong> Wagon Factoryterritory.When: January.Concept authors: Inese Zandere, Museum<strong>of</strong> the History <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Navigation.Organisers: Museum <strong>of</strong> the History <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>and Navigation, Occupation Museum,War Museum, LU Faculty <strong>of</strong> History andPhilosophy.ruptureWar is the biggest <strong>of</strong> barbarisms, thesupreme sin, war is a man’s world, waris something which cannot be framed.War is the object <strong>of</strong> 20th century artisticreflection, which is inextricablylinked with Europe’s historic traumaand collective experience. War is therupture <strong>of</strong> the evolution <strong>of</strong> mankind or,maybe evolution is the rupture <strong>of</strong> theprogress <strong>of</strong> war?The Latvian National Art Museum ExhibtionHall Arsenāls, which was historically builtand used as a military depository in the19 th /20 th centuries, in <strong>2014</strong> will become thelocation for a large-scale exhibition, whichwill mark out artists’ views and positionstheatrical collisionboulevardFreedom Street is the location <strong>of</strong> thestage for collisions <strong>of</strong> war. During the1 st World War monuments and factorieswere evacuated from here, whichnever returned to their places after theend <strong>of</strong> the war. <strong>Culture</strong> has always reactedto political and historic events,creating a kind <strong>of</strong> space for tension inthe forms <strong>of</strong> drama and theatre.In <strong>2014</strong> the Daile theatre on FreedomStreet and untraditional premises for thetheatre environment – 1 st World War evacuatedfactory territories, will become thelocations for <strong>European</strong> theatre guest performances.Over the course <strong>of</strong> the year theguest performance programme will <strong>of</strong>fersix <strong>of</strong> the world’s most prominent artiststheatre performances, relating to collision,male-female and conflict solutions, and theprewar-postwar theme. The programmeregarding the war theme. The exhibition willprovide an insight <strong>of</strong> the museum collection– Grosvalds, Kazāks and others,Anselm Keefer, Shirin Neschat, NedkoSalakov –, and will <strong>of</strong>fer contemporaryartist interpretations (Imants Lancmanis,Sandra Krastiņa, Ilmārs Blumbergs, KatrīnaNeiburga, Krišs Salmanis, Miķelis Fišers),as well as present the works <strong>of</strong> internationallyrecognised foreign artists.The intention is to supplement the exhibitionwith historical materials (photographs,interior elements, weapons, etc) from thecollections <strong>of</strong> the Latvian History Museum,Latvian War Museum and Museum <strong>of</strong> theHistory <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Navigation, whichwould allow for a more detailed characterisation<strong>of</strong> the period and appeal to a broaderrange <strong>of</strong> society. The planned exhibitionwill be selected by the curators <strong>of</strong> theLatvian New Theatre Institute, putting theaccent on the contemporary tendenciesand quality <strong>of</strong> guest performances andtheir place within the context <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong>theatre art and at the same time encompassingthe needs <strong>of</strong> various groups <strong>of</strong> society.In <strong>2014</strong> the intention is to invite artistssuch as Christoph Marthaler (Switzerland),Alain Platel (Belgium) and Krzyszt<strong>of</strong>Warlikowski (Poland) to bring guestperformances to <strong>Riga</strong>. Parallel to eachguest performance the LNTI will developeducational programmes, film sessionsand lectures, during which talks and discussionswill take place regarding theatreart in a wider discourse. Geographically,the guest performances will encompassthe Freedom Street trajectory <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> territory.The implementation <strong>of</strong> this type <strong>of</strong>programme will confirm that <strong>Riga</strong> is theplace for regular, high-quality projects inthe field <strong>of</strong> contemporary theatre.will propose an original view through theprism <strong>of</strong> the theme <strong>of</strong> war, which will markout the collision <strong>of</strong> forces, position theevents <strong>of</strong> war as the catalyst <strong>of</strong> an era or,on the contary, as an irreparable rupture <strong>of</strong>the regular course <strong>of</strong> history, illustrate thedifferences in the interpretations <strong>of</strong> eventsby men and women, as well as reveal anddemonstrate many other viewpoints, fromwhich it is possible to look at significantevents in our history.What: International exhibition.Where: Exhibition Hall Arsenāls.When: All year.Concept authors and organisers: LatvianNational Art Musuem in cooperation withthe Contemporary Art Centre.What: Theatre guest performanceprogramme.Where: Daile theatre, VEF (StateElectrotechnical Factory), <strong>Riga</strong> CinemaStudio, <strong>Riga</strong> Wagon Factory territory.When: Begins in February.Concept authors and organisers: LatvianNew Theatre Institute.Cooperation partner: Daile theatre.54 55

un for freedomRunning as a national sport growsmore popular every year. The annualNordea <strong>Riga</strong> marathon participantnumbers are increasing and variousother runs and marathons are beingorganised in <strong>Riga</strong> and beyond. As agift to Latvia for her 90 th birthday a relay“Run! For Latvia!” was organised.Runners can also be seen every daymore and more <strong>of</strong>ten in the city’s parksand on its streets, just exercising. Arun is in its way an attempt to conquertime, prove that historical time is acquirablein an illusory manner.propagandaBecause <strong>of</strong> its geopolitical situationLatvia has always been the stage forvarious <strong>European</strong> political ideas, uponwhich political campaigns vibrate, influencedby the most diverse currents,ideas, movements, tendencies andhistoric turning points. Power, for workwith the masses, chooses the most diversetools— including art.Since the renewal <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s independence,5 parliamentary elections have alreadytaken place and in total, an independentLatvian parliament has already beenelected 9 times. Every time elections approacha certain tension can be observedamongst political powers; promises aremade, publicity campaigns created. Theintended project would demonstrate thedevelopment <strong>of</strong> political ideas and the instrumentsused by them over the centuryup to today. The intention <strong>of</strong> the exhibition“Political propaganda history in Latvia” isto gather political posters and party politicalposters that have been created beforethe establishment <strong>of</strong> the Latvian state,during Latvia’s initial independence andafter renewal <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s statehood. Itis intended to demonstrate all politicalcampaigns and pre-election publicity campaignsin chronological order, confrontingartistic facts with real historic events, whichthe campaigns feature, thus developingboth a collection <strong>of</strong> serious historicalmaterial and bringing a smile to the faces<strong>of</strong> exhibition guests regarding the role <strong>of</strong>propaganda tools or campaign posters inthe public’s choice.What: Exhibition.Where: <strong>Riga</strong> Art Space.When: August - October.Concept authors: <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group.Cooperation partners: Latvian Art Directors’Club, advertising agencies.The time has come for runners to becomeparticipants <strong>of</strong> an unprecedented event.Everyone who feels sporty has the opportunity<strong>of</strong> becoming the co-creator <strong>of</strong>an event celebrating the anniversary <strong>of</strong>the declaration <strong>of</strong> the independence <strong>of</strong> theRepublic <strong>of</strong> Latvia. In turn, all <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitants– <strong>of</strong> being the spectators <strong>of</strong> an unprecedentedcity performance. Instead <strong>of</strong>the usual concert for the anniversary <strong>of</strong> thedeclaration <strong>of</strong> the independence <strong>of</strong> Latviaa run will take place – a “Run For Freedom”along the entire length <strong>of</strong> Freedom Street.In its way this will be a run through FreedomStreet and at the same time the history <strong>of</strong> a<strong>European</strong> street, where various periods <strong>of</strong>Latvian and <strong>European</strong> history will be outlinedat various sectios <strong>of</strong> the run.The start will be at the Ethnographic OpenairMuseum and the route – along FreedomStreet to the Freedom Monument. Totallength <strong>of</strong> the run — 11 kilometres.What: Marathon.Where: Freedom Street.When: May 4 th .Concept authors: “Untitled” Ltd.voice from the past ineisenstein’s birthplaceProvocative pro<strong>of</strong> that Europe’s andLatvia’s mental space always hasbeen and is united: an opportunityto be convinced that Latvian cinemaclassics have worked and thought ona global level. A review <strong>of</strong> classic filmsin their black and white tonality like avoice from the past seem to contrastwith the contemporary multi-colouredcity environment, but at the same timesurprise us with the topicality <strong>of</strong> eternalproblems, which makes us thinkabout intransient values that will stillbe significant in the distant future.One <strong>of</strong> the world’s most distinguishedcinema directors Sergej Eisentein is from<strong>Riga</strong>, and he proved that outstanding cinemalanguage is compatible with undisguisedpropaganda. His film “BattleshipPotemkin” is recognised as one <strong>of</strong> the alltime20 best films. Cinema, since its beginning,has always served as an instrument<strong>of</strong> power, searching for means <strong>of</strong> artisticexpression between terms dictated bypower and artistic and human protest. <strong>Riga</strong>inhabitants are characteristic with their particularattitude towards cinema and theircharacteristic cinephilia has arisen froma restricted access to the <strong>European</strong> cinemaculture heritage during the Cold Warand the search for their identity in nationalcinema.The films will be shown in an urban environment- large-scale open-air sessions onopen-air screens on city squares, in parksand beyond. It will be the border expansion <strong>of</strong>cinema’s territorial consciousness and interactionbetween selected works <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong>cinema classics (<strong>European</strong> Cinema Greats)and the restored Latvian cinema heritage(Latvian Cinema Greats). This project is alsoan opportunity for the expansion <strong>of</strong> timeborders — unlike usual cultural events, themost favourable time for open-air cinemasessions is in the evening hours <strong>of</strong> dusk,when cinema projections with their appealand particular magic would attract youngpeople and other groups <strong>of</strong> society.In 2008, the State Agency National FilmCentre <strong>of</strong> Latvia began work on the restoration<strong>of</strong> the Latvian cinema heritage and plansto finish the restoration <strong>of</strong> about 100 films by<strong>2014</strong>. Of the renewed films it will be possibleto make the most precise selection, whichwill interplay with <strong>European</strong> cinema classicsand will provide an insight into the best examples<strong>of</strong> our cinema culture heritage.The <strong>Riga</strong> Cinema Museum and theNational Film Centre <strong>of</strong> Latvia propose aconceptual selection <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> CinemaGreats – demonstrating one film fromevery <strong>European</strong> country (for example,Michelangelo Antonioni from Italy,Sergei Eisenstein from Russia, Jean-LucGodard from France, Louis Bunuel formSpain, Andrzej Wajda from Poland, AkiKaurismaki from Finland, Ingmar Bergmanfrom Sweden, Vera Chytilova from theCzech Republic, etc.). In <strong>2014</strong>, they wouldall meet for the first time in <strong>Riga</strong> and taketheir places next to the pearls <strong>of</strong> Latviancinema classics.What: Open-air cinema sessions.Where: City squares, suburbs.When: June-September.Concept authors and organisers: <strong>Riga</strong> CinemaMuseum, National Film Centre <strong>of</strong> Latvia.Cooperation partners: Danish CulturalCentre, Nordic Country InformationCentre, French Cultural Centre.56 57

then and nowStop. Look. Become acquainted.A city changes rapidly: already returningafter one month’s absence it seems asthough everything has changed. In turn,if you find yourself on the spot, it seemsthat nothing whatsoever has changed, becausethe changes have been so serenelysmooth, gradual. The aim <strong>of</strong> the photoexhibition “Then and Now” is to capturethese changes, creating photo installations– stands, where one and the samepart <strong>of</strong> the city can be observed and thechanges taken place at various times overthe centuries. Placed by the specific object– square, building or street section, theseinstallations will demonstrate how it washere then, allowing for comparison withhow it is now.postwar generationThe postwar generation is free <strong>of</strong> thetraumas that pursue previous generations.They convert the neuroses andmemories <strong>of</strong> previous generations in acreative manner, which, at the same time,is a protest for anything that is not free.Within the framework <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> it is intended to organiseartistic and cultural space in locationsthat are linked with the relationships <strong>of</strong>power and war themes, organising concerts,exhibitions, performances, etc. Theidea <strong>of</strong> the use <strong>of</strong> these locations – culture,which doesn’t sacrifice itself to power, resistsit and doesn’t conform, being itself atwar with everything conventional. LīgatneExamples:Freedom MonumentBefore the 1 st World War the spot where theFreedom Monument, built in 1935, is currentlylocated was occupied by the Peter Ibronze statue. During the times <strong>of</strong> SovietLatvia trolley buses ran round the monument.Live traffic created serious damageto the monument and therefore, whentraffic on this part <strong>of</strong> the street was finallyclosed in 1990, with the renewal <strong>of</strong> independence,the monument was in need <strong>of</strong>serious restoration. Restoration work wasterminated in 2001.Freedom and Elizabetes Street crossingDuring the Soviet times Lenin’s statueflaunted itself on this spot. For several yearsnow at Christmas this place is adorned bya Christmas tree but during various <strong>Riga</strong>festivals – appropriate design formations.underground training area, Salaspils nuclearreactor site, Daugavgrīva fortress,Irbene radio locator are all planned to become<strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> locationsfor alternative cultural processes, involvingvarious <strong>Riga</strong> sub-culture groups in theprocess, such as grafitti artists, alternativemusic festival organisers, unpublished philosophersand literati, independent theatregroups, proposing the transformation <strong>of</strong>these locations into multi-cultural spaceswith the name <strong>of</strong> Postwar generation.What: Art and music events.Where: Līgatne underground training area,Daugavgrīva fortress, Irbene radio locator,Salaspils nuclear reactor.When: All year.Organisers: Skaņu mežs (Sound Forest),Orbīta.Daile theatreThe Daile Theatre acquired its home –architect Marta Staņa’s designed buildingon Freedom Street, only in 1997, but whatwas here before – an old <strong>Riga</strong> construction,was taken down when building theDaile theatre.Air BridgeThe Air Bridge is the first viaduct in <strong>Riga</strong> andit was built over the railway tracks in 1906.At the foot <strong>of</strong> the bridge is the FreedomStreet tram depot, which could tell us howthe appearance <strong>of</strong> public transport haschanged over the years. Behind the depotthe former premises <strong>of</strong> the “Red Star” factorycurrently await reconstruction.What: Photo exhibiton in an urbanenvironment.Where: Freedom Street.When: May-September.Concept authors: Untitled Ltd.opera valentīna –the story <strong>of</strong> the atlantissunk in rigaIn <strong>2014</strong>, the staging <strong>of</strong> a new Latvianoriginal opera, Valentīna, will take placeat the Latvian National Opera. It willbe the story <strong>of</strong> a legendary characterin Latvian and <strong>European</strong> cultural life– cinema and theatre expert ValentīnaFreimane, whose personal life storyis closely linked with <strong>European</strong> andLatvian historical events. She is knownas the Atlantis sunk in <strong>Riga</strong>, who,as a young girl fleeing from FascistGermany, found herself in <strong>Riga</strong>, losingall the dreams she had at the beginning<strong>of</strong> the 1930’s in Berlin. Her family perishedin the Holocaust. Having grownup in the Berlin cinema and theatre environment,in the Soviet times ValentīnaFreimane became a teacher <strong>of</strong> Westernculture and cinema for several generations<strong>of</strong> Latvians.Already in 2007, the Latvian National Opera,in cooperation with joint-stock companyKolonna Board Chairperson Ieva Plaudeand the Cēsis Art Festival, announced aLatvian original opera competition, whoseaim was to promote the development <strong>of</strong>the Latvian opera genre, creating largescalecompositions for production at theLatvian National Opera. The Latvian originalopera idea competition, which waswon by the composer Arturs Maskats withhis opera Valentīna has ended, and theimplementation <strong>of</strong> the idea is planned in<strong>2014</strong>. The creative team <strong>of</strong> the new productionincludes libretto author MartsPujāts, playwright Margarita Zieda anddirector Viesturs Kairišs. Together with thepremiere <strong>of</strong> Valentīna, the National Operawould also demonstrate the documentaryfilm about Valentīna Freimane by Germancinema director Rosa von Praunheim,which he began work on in 2009.WHAT: Opera premiere.When: <strong>2014</strong> Latvian National Opera season- October.Where: Latvian National Opera.Concept authors: Latvian National Opera.Organiser: Latvian National Opera.58 59

survival kitLuxury replica | Andris Eglītis60

survival kitIn extreme situations a person reveals the seemingly impossibleabout himself. The “Survival Kit” section <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’sprogramme invites you to investigate the arsenals <strong>of</strong> knowledge,skills and values at our disposal that could be usefulin various different situations and circumstances or, onthe other hand, prevent life from passing by – in masteringnew talents, cultivating skills, gaining experiences andemotions.The “Survival Kit” could be seen as a return to basic truths andskills, or as a return to future basic needs in a person’s life, throwingoneself into a journey full <strong>of</strong> adventures in the IT jungles, cominginto contact with world climate changes and surviving theeconomic crisis in an inventive manner. By fusing tradition with innovation,we acquire a new resource, instrument and experience,which show us the right path and help us to implement the plansconceived. The boundary between the trivial things in everydaylife and global events is lost, because sometimes a trivial gesturecan change the advancement <strong>of</strong> the world. The meadow flowerspicked before Midsummer Day become a medicinal ointment, theamber thread acquired in a small laboratory provokes a revolutionin medicine, experiments with new technology present solutionsfor obtaining new energy and adressing ecological problems.The contemporary need <strong>of</strong> city-dwellers within this understanding<strong>of</strong> force majeure is to know the old story <strong>of</strong> ‘how to make fire’: howto milk a cow, how to knit a sock, how to effectively collect anduse energy, etc. Thereby, the theme ‘the rural returns to the city’ isnot a contrast, but the ‘survival kit’ <strong>of</strong> the person <strong>of</strong> today, whereknowledge, attitude and emotions stand next to the relativelypragmatic skills <strong>of</strong> everyday life. It is the ‘travel bag’, containinga symbolic loaf <strong>of</strong> bread, as well as spiritual wisdom that is botheternally young and as old as time. The travel bag will contain thesingle match with which a fire must be lit, just like in scout camp,as well as a couple <strong>of</strong> books which might have changed your lifeand become trusted travel companions. It may also contain asecret talisman, evidence <strong>of</strong> a mystical experience that at timeshelps more than rational arguments and sensible advice.The “Survival Kit” is an invitation to unleash the creative spirit thatlies dormant within every individual, at times serving as a test,as a trial <strong>of</strong> our thinking and behavioural capacity, our ability toquickly analyse situations and take extraordinary decisions, toachieve surprising results with minimum resources, to find wittyand innovative solutions.Joseph Beuys in his time asserted that anyone can be an artist.He also defined the so-called social sculpture, meaning thatsociety as a whole is regarded as a work <strong>of</strong> art, with every individualcontributing to its construction with his or her creative potential.In his way, Beuys changed the trajectory <strong>of</strong> artistic development,inviting us to merge life with art, with everyone interactingand becoming creative.What can an artist do in this situation? Develop audacious experimentsand surrender to creative explosion, using the current situationfor his own benefit. If it is not an appropriate time for heroicnarratives and large-scale representative events, one can turn todaily quests for poetry, footnote comments, spontaneous demonstrationsand interventions. With minimum resources one canobtain surprising results, bring to life witty ideas with DIY (do-ityourself),arte povera, ready-made resources, the help <strong>of</strong> performancesand campaigns, making use <strong>of</strong> Fluxus strategies.The “Survival Kit” is an invitation to develop life in the way that wewish to see it, just like with minimum resources surprising works <strong>of</strong>art can be created. Everything is in our own hands. The universal‘survival kit’ recipe might be as follows: 20% bravery, 20% knowledge,10% endurance, 10% resourcefulness, 40% creativity.63

handbag-balconyThe balcony – a <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitant’s ‘handbag’or object <strong>of</strong> investigation that revealsthe lifestyle <strong>of</strong> a city-dweller, aswell as being a reminder <strong>of</strong> the flowergrowing& presenting traditions typicalto Latvia and promoting idea <strong>of</strong> gardensin the very heart <strong>of</strong> the city, about the cohabitation<strong>of</strong> nature with urban space.By involving, for example, the residents <strong>of</strong>Freedom Street, we will become familiarwith contemporary culture and the lifestyle<strong>of</strong> today in <strong>Riga</strong>, simultaneously creating acommon visual image <strong>of</strong> the street.Within the framework <strong>of</strong> the event the residents<strong>of</strong> Freedom Street and other streets(inhabitants, institution workers) will document(photograph, film) their own and/ortheir neighbour’s balconies, thereby forminga collection <strong>of</strong> visual evidence that anyinterested party will be able to view, usinginternet resources (eg. www.draugiem.lv,www.serde.lv). Each photograph, evidence<strong>of</strong> today’s history, will be exchangedfor flower or herb seeds and the <strong>Riga</strong> ECCfestival flag. By planting the seeds in a poton a balcony, the balconies on FreedomStreet (and other enthusiasts involved inthe project) will provide a colourful touchto the culmination <strong>of</strong> the festivities and bedistinguishable by their flowers, and flags.Flowers are not the only thing that can begrown on balconies to add colour, but teasand herbs may also be planted, therebypromoting the balcony as a city-dweller’sgarden, chemist’s, etc., that is permanentlyclose by and an essential component <strong>of</strong>daily life. The event will promote a feeling<strong>of</strong> community involvement, as well as encouragingus to think about the interaction<strong>of</strong> nature and urban space, about the antagonismbetween the countryside and thecity and the necessary balance that is anessential element <strong>of</strong> our ‘survival kit’.Before project implementation an educationaland informative campaign will becarried out in the mass media, reachingout to the target audience and involvinginhabitants in the project.What: Investigative, aesthetically ecologicalproject aimed towards the participation<strong>of</strong> society.Where: Buildings with balconieson Freedom Street.When: March-September.Concept authors and organisers:Interdisciplinary Art Group Serde,www.serde.lv.weaving marathonWeaving marathon – the popularisation<strong>of</strong> the traditional skill <strong>of</strong> weavingand its contemporary interpretation.The old becomes the new, the unusable– useful, the forgotten – practical.Traditional culture – a guarantee <strong>of</strong> anenvironmentally friendly future.Weaving marathon on the street inside theshopping centre “Galerija Centrs” – withthe aim <strong>of</strong> getting into the Guinness Book<strong>of</strong> Records with the longest rag rug, whichcould then be presented to the <strong>European</strong>Parliament. Over a month as many weavinglooms as will fit will be set up insidethe shopping centre. Each inhabitant andguest <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> will be invited to contribute– to bring a piece <strong>of</strong> old clothing, cutinto strips and with the help <strong>of</strong> a weaver,weave it into the communal rug himself.children’s festival“come and join in”How can children and young adultsfind their bearings in the wide array <strong>of</strong>options and find something they likedoing in their free time and, maybe,even their future career?At the end <strong>of</strong> May, institutions in <strong>Riga</strong> that<strong>of</strong>fer interest-related education will organiseseveral events demonstrating the varietywith which children occupy their freetime through different forms <strong>of</strong> expression –singing, dancing, relaxing, playing sports,building, assembling, sewing, drawing,modelling, etc. At the end <strong>of</strong> August, opendoor days will be organised by the institutions,but on the first Saturday in September,at the start <strong>of</strong> the new school year, they willThe basic principle behind the rag rug is tothink about ecology and the huge supply<strong>of</strong> second-hand items, commonly knownin Latvia as humpalas, sent from Europe toLatvia. We propose an original exchange– old clothes for lovingly woven rag rugs.In parallel to the weaving marathon workshopswill be organised – artistic andamateur interpretations connected to theskills <strong>of</strong> weaving, embroidery and knitting,involving textile and fibre artists (for example,Pēteris Sidaris, Egīls Rozenbergs andothers). As a result, knitted items, textilesand souvenirs from plastic and other modernfibres will be created. By organisingmaster workshops and screening a videodocumentary demonstrating the skills <strong>of</strong>craftsmen met on expeditions organisedby Serde and inviting artists to demonstratea creative approach to the use <strong>of</strong>material, we invite city-dwellers and visitorsto think <strong>of</strong> the best ways <strong>of</strong> using skills andtake up residence in Vērmanes Garden.During the event, children will be <strong>of</strong>feredcreative workshops and a concert, as wellas opportunity <strong>of</strong> taking part in many differentcampaigns and activities.What: Creative workshops, events programme,concert in Vērmanes Garden.Where: Vērmanes Garden, 14 institutions<strong>of</strong> interest-related education and primaryschool Rīdze.When: End <strong>of</strong> May and end <strong>of</strong> August,early September.Concept author: Māra Vilciņa.Organisers: <strong>Riga</strong> City Council, Department<strong>of</strong> Education, Youth and Sport, Division <strong>of</strong>interest-related education.Cooperation partners: 14 institutions <strong>of</strong>interest-related education and primaryschool Rīdze, NGO’s that provide interestrelatededucational programmes.contemporary materials more inventivelyand to create their own souvenir.What: Interactive event with an ecologicalapproach.Where: On the ancient <strong>Riga</strong> street in thetrading centre “Galerija Centrs”.When: May.Concept authors AND organisers: IlgaReizniece, Interdisciplinary Art GroupSerde, www.serde.lv.Cooperation partners: Pr<strong>of</strong>essionals, artists,craftsmen and amateurs, studios <strong>of</strong>weaving and traditional applied art, StateAgency <strong>of</strong> Intangible Cultural Heritage.64 65

living pictures fromdomestic scenes<strong>of</strong> centuriesHow have we survived through centuries?Where is our – <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitants’– strength hidden? The answers maybe sought in the testimonies <strong>of</strong> history,skills and knowledge, which we haveknown how to use and preserve.The history <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> will be demonstratedin a theatrical manner at practical workshops,where anyone may step into a specificperiod <strong>of</strong> time or character, such as abaroness, washerwoman, smithy, cobblerand others.A staged environment conjures up <strong>Riga</strong>with scenes from the 17 th century and thentransports us through the ages up to today.The multicultural environment rooted in theevents <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s history is marked with itsdifferent social groups - Latvians, Russiansand Hebrews, rich and poor, ordinary inhabitantsand aristocrats. The ‘survival kit’<strong>of</strong> each <strong>of</strong> these ethnic and social groups isquite different. What is important for one isnot always seen as suitable by the others.This is confirmed by different eating traditions,festivals, clothing, customs, songsand jokes. A person cannot live from breadalone. At times long-forgotten wisdom oran old joke helps save us from seeminglyhopeless situations.What: Theatrical performance with practicalactivities.Where: Museum <strong>of</strong> the History <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> andNavigation, National Museum <strong>of</strong> Art, or theMentzendorff’s House, or the House <strong>of</strong> theBlackheads, Latvian Ethnographic OpenAir Museum, the Centre for Children andYoung Adults Rīgas skolēnu pils.When: May.Concept authors: Dina Liepa, Valdis Egle,Ināra Jankovska – Rīgas skolēnu pilswww.rsp.lv.Organisers: <strong>Riga</strong> City Council, Department<strong>of</strong> Education, Youth and Sport, Division<strong>of</strong> Interest-related education, Rīgasskolēnu pils.Cooperation partners: Museum <strong>of</strong> theHistory <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Navigation, theMentzendorff’s House, National Museum<strong>of</strong> Art, Latvian Ethnographic Open AirMuseum, Association <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s Castles,Palaces and Manors, the school andmuseum <strong>of</strong> Vendem (Holland), RostockCentre for Children and young adults(Germany).teaching talentswith no boundariesWithin their lifetime, each person acquiresknowledge, skills and values.Everyone has a talent – a field in whichthey excel. Talent draws out creativeenergy, and can be useful as a “survivalkit” in many different conditionsand situations.The creative festival “Teaching TalentsWith No Boundaries” invites city dwellersfrom different countries to come together,with one thing in common – teaching, butalso something that is different – theirtalent. Talent helps us to creatively resolvedifferent situations in life both on a dailybasis and to resolve future tasks.By watching and taking part in the displays<strong>of</strong> different talents, members will be ableto understand their significance today. Itcould be the ‘survival kit’ in each person’s‘travel bag’, to be passed on to futuregenerations.The festival’s aim is to promote the creativeactivities <strong>of</strong> teachers, as well as their selfinitiativeand self-expression. Teachersdemonstrate their talents. Potential types<strong>of</strong> participation: drama, vocal art, musicalperformances, poetry, recitations, dance,folklore, applied art, fine art, photographyetc. During the festival, demonstrations <strong>of</strong>creativity, talent shows and performanceswill take place. In 2013 the festival will takeplace in <strong>Riga</strong>’s partnership towns, but in<strong>2014</strong>, the best participants will meet in <strong>Riga</strong>at the joint talent festival “Talent Knows NoBoundaries”.What: Displays <strong>of</strong> creativity, talent shows,performances.Where: <strong>Riga</strong>’s Centre for Education andInformative Methodology, www.riimc.lvWhen: 2013–<strong>2014</strong> in <strong>Riga</strong> and thepartnership towns, November <strong>2014</strong> -culmination in <strong>Riga</strong>.Concept authors: <strong>Riga</strong>’s Centre forEducation and Informative Methodology,www.riimc.lv.Organisers: <strong>Riga</strong>’s Centre for Educationand Informative Methodologywww.riimc.lv.Cooperation partners: <strong>Riga</strong>’s partnertowns.68 69

ancient sign –ancient rigaIf we imitate the environment in whichour ancestors once lived, can we imaginetheir understanding <strong>of</strong> the world,their way <strong>of</strong> thinking and feeling?Just as in childhood, by putting on aknight’s mask, we can practically feelthe horse’s back. By learning longforgottenskills and roaming along theancient settlement paths with the experience<strong>of</strong> today, we tie the past andthe present into a knot.On the site <strong>of</strong> ancient settlements on theEsplanade or the green territory <strong>of</strong> Zaķusala(Hare Island), an ancient settlement is beingexplanatory dictionary<strong>of</strong> the sciences andesoteric sciencesBoth the material and the esotericworld with their laws are an invincibleforce that man tries to exploreand reveal. Attempts to understandthe world’s conformity to natural lawsis the eternal impulse in a person’slife, which also allows for the perception<strong>of</strong> the preconditions <strong>of</strong> individualexistence.Within the framework <strong>of</strong> the project, closecooperation will take place between artistsand scientists to create works <strong>of</strong> arttogether, based on scientific experiments,attempting to explain the so-called obvious,but unbelievable. The artist’s point<strong>of</strong> view and vision would be connectedto experiments <strong>of</strong> physics and chemistry,established, made up <strong>of</strong> wooden buildings,the tents <strong>of</strong> craftsmen and traders, trainingground <strong>of</strong> ancient combatants, games,competitions, trading, animals, etc. In one<strong>of</strong> the fields, international competitions inaxe throwing and archery are taking place,or contests between masters <strong>of</strong> trickery withfire. Ancient craft workshops allow visitorsto try their hand at pottery, forging, leatherwork,weaving etc. Viking ships are mooredin the River Daugava.In the market place haggling is going on,goods are praised in turn with jesting.Alongside ecological products, traditionalLiv and Latvian items may be bought –blankets, socks, forged items, woodencarvings, etc. Culinary competitions takeplace and food prepared according to ancientrecipes may be sampled.as well as elements <strong>of</strong> other sciences, intrying to explain the events <strong>of</strong> the worldaround us.In the public parks <strong>of</strong> the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, 10objects – stained glass windows – willbe installed. In each <strong>of</strong> these a scientificexperiment model will be displayed. Themodels will be created by groups <strong>of</strong> scientistsand artists. Scientists and artists fromLatvia and abroad will be invited to takepart in the project.What: Exhibition in the public space.Where: Vērmanes Garden, KronvaldaPark, Esplanade.When: May.Concept authors: Inga Bodnarjuka, GintsGabrāns, Aigars Bikše, Kristaps Gulbis.Organisers and cooperation partners:Art Management and Information Centre.In parallel, the game “Unravel the tale <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>” is played, with the opportunity <strong>of</strong>guessing and uncovering various factsand details from the history <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>. Thegame is constructed as a series <strong>of</strong> tasks,also partly as an orienteering game, a test<strong>of</strong> resourcefulness and knowledge withanagrams and secret texts. The winnersare awarded amusing prizes.What: Ancient skills in the open-air, market,competitions.Where: Esplanāde or Zaķusala.When: Summer.Concept authors and organisers: JulgīStalte, the <strong>Riga</strong> Group <strong>of</strong> the Liv Union.literary food rationsThe “Survival Kit” contains the literaryvalues <strong>of</strong> Latvia, Europe and the worldthat will be ‘read’ throughout the year.Each country will create spiritual foodrations from their country’s literary baggage.From the literary works <strong>of</strong> theircountry, writers will select and createa unique ‘survival kit’ <strong>of</strong> literature thatcould help man to overcome existentialconditions, and face everyday problems.Regular literature readings are anticipated,in which prose-writers from Latvia <strong>of</strong> differentgenerations and nationalities willenvironment unitesThe surrounding environment is one<strong>of</strong> the components forming a person’spersonality. This project is a challengeto people to create their own environmentin which they live, making thecommon city-environment their own,investing their own work, ideas and energy.To show how it is done and inviteothers to participate.The “Design For All” movement throughoutEurope promotes the tidying <strong>of</strong> theenvironment and an understanding aboutthe involvement <strong>of</strong> different social levelsand social groups in creating a tidy environment,which also facilitates theirinclusion in the social circuit. Within theframework <strong>of</strong> the “Design For All” programme,creative workshops, seminars,conferences and a competition to improvethe city environment are organized.Designers and architects from abroad,for example, the French Association Bruitdu frigo, are involved in developing individualcreative workshops and the issue<strong>of</strong> the urban environment.take part, as well as authors from abroad.Writers will read their own works and those<strong>of</strong> their colleagues, including the classics.It is planned to invite not just writers to perform,but also authors involved in poetry,journalism and other sectors <strong>of</strong> art, who,for example would be involved in events like“Short Breakfast Story” or “Long Stories forEvening Sittings”.The events will reveal the newest works andtrends in literature developing in Latvia andEurope; will promote an interest in Latvianliterature to a wide audience; allow visitorsto compare works <strong>of</strong> Latvian literature withinteresting examples from abroad; will givethe opportunity for different generations <strong>of</strong>Initially, designer and architect groups in<strong>Riga</strong>’s catchment areas will carry out asurvey to determine the issues that needresolving. Society is involved through varioussurveys, for example, about the necessityfor footpaths, waste bins, informationboards, lighting, public transport stops,children’s playgrounds and other issues.Based on the results collected, an appropriatesolution will be sought.Every month for one weekend, an educationaland practical creative workshop linked withdesign will take place in one <strong>of</strong> the catchmentareas, led by designers, revealing ways inwhich anyone can change the surroundingenvironment with minimum resources.A street drawing competition will be organisedin which new designers and graffitiartists, as well as local inhabitants will beinvited to participate. Such cooperationpromotes an understanding by the inhabitants<strong>of</strong> catchment areas about thebroad range <strong>of</strong> options for humanizing theenvironment.A travelling Latvian design store“DesignDrive” will be unveiled, displayingwriters to perform with readings <strong>of</strong> new and,mostly, unpublished works or their fragments.Writers’ debates about the role andposition <strong>of</strong> literature in Europe are planned.What: Literary readings.Where: <strong>Riga</strong>’s cafés, small theatre stages,artist premises, museums, etc.When: January – November <strong>2014</strong> (twice amonth), culmination in December <strong>2014</strong>.Concept authors: Jānis Oga, MarikaPapēde, Arita Gutāne, www.literature.lv.Organisers: “Latvian Literature Centre “.Cooperation partners: <strong>European</strong> literaturecentre network Literature Across Frontiersand <strong>European</strong> Writers Unions and others,www.lit-across-frontiers.org.and selling items by new designers. Thecampaign will take place in parallel to variouscultural events or in catchment areasnear department stores and at annual markets,assembling a new target audienceand acquainting the greater part <strong>of</strong> societywith design.What: Creative workshops, campaigns,seminars, art in the public space.Where: <strong>Riga</strong> city environment, catchmentareas, cafés and clubs, recreational andshopping centres, young adult informalmeeting places.When: April-October.Activities already begin in 2010.Concept authors: Design Innovation Centrein cooperation with Design InformationCentre, www.dic.lv.Organisers and cooperation partners:Design Innovation Centre in cooperationwith Design Information Centre, unions<strong>of</strong> new designers, “Tasty”, “Rijada”and “Directdesign” and others., nongovernmentalyouth organisation Sinergyfonds, Latvian and Russian schools fromPļavnieki, trading centres “Rimi”, “Jysk”,Health centre Pļavnieki, Children’s socialcare centre Pļavnieki and others.70 71

72road map

oad mapThe greater part <strong>of</strong> mankind lives in cities. The conditions createdby the urban environment form the dense weave <strong>of</strong> everydayrituals and participate in forming the signification <strong>of</strong> privateand public space. A city is not only made up <strong>of</strong> buildings andcarriageways, but rather by containers <strong>of</strong> meaning, flows <strong>of</strong>information, language grids and vectors <strong>of</strong> varied pressure.Cities are like living organisms that can grow dynamicallyand aggressively, as well as being helpless, confused anddiminishing. They can be led by the dynamics <strong>of</strong> the explosivedevelopment <strong>of</strong> ‘generic cities’ (Rem Koolhaas) groundedin the pragmatism <strong>of</strong> capitalism. Or, it might be the globalcity defined by Saskia Sassen, in which the local is found inconstant interaction with the global. It may be assumed thata city grows by itself.The language <strong>of</strong> a city is determined by the urban rituals, navigationalsigns and gestures that are integrated and brought to lifein the complex social network. Cities create a multitude <strong>of</strong> platforms,<strong>of</strong>fering a common living space for individuals <strong>of</strong> differentcultures and identities, activating the transformation <strong>of</strong> the privateand public space, catalysing the collision <strong>of</strong> differing positionsand nursing the spirit <strong>of</strong> resistance.Just as in the recipe <strong>of</strong> a refined dish meal, a multitude <strong>of</strong> ingredientsblend together in the language <strong>of</strong> the city, the proportiondetermining each city’s unique flavour. The “mental” cartography<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> is formed by the historical architecture <strong>of</strong> the Old Town,the Jugendstil <strong>of</strong> Albert Street and the pavilions <strong>of</strong> the CentralMarket - the former zeppelin hangars. It is also formed by the urbanarchaeology <strong>of</strong> Soviet times, the so-called “high-rise areas” <strong>of</strong>the city, allotments in the city centre, the annual trek to Bolderājaby the members <strong>of</strong> the Unprecedented Sensations RestorationWorkshop, the Art Day demonstrations in the station tunnels, thecreative dynamics <strong>of</strong> Andrejsala and Spīķeri, the silhouettes <strong>of</strong>the Sun Stone building and the Ministry <strong>of</strong> Agriculture, the 9 th Maygatherings by the Victory Monument and singing people returningfrom the Song Celebration on the night-time trams.“Road Map” is an alternative plan, which allows everyone to findhis or her own <strong>Riga</strong>, hidden under the city facades and found inthe minds <strong>of</strong> people – a <strong>Riga</strong> that has passed, forgotten due tonew historical, social and political grounds. “Road map” is a planand at the same time a detour from the usual sights observed bytourists. The road map idea is the integration <strong>of</strong> inhabitants in thecreation <strong>of</strong> new routes that would not just be roads in the physicaland direct sense. They would reveal and create a new circulationsystem for the city. “Road Map” incorporates short-termand long-term objectives. The short-term objective is to open uporiginal city locations for cooperation and accessibility, neighbourhoodstories, memories and events. The long-term objectiveis to develop <strong>Riga</strong> as a city with many active centres, each onestanding out with its unique character and originality.“Road Map” invites local inhabitants, city researchers and gueststo seek their own <strong>Riga</strong>, not by confronting the city centre with itssuburbs, but trying to find and highlight the specific local featuresand unique atmosphere <strong>of</strong> each place.At times the inhabitants <strong>of</strong> the suburbs live a completely parallellife to the city centre. These are people for whom going to the citycentre once a week is to “go into town”, whose daily lives are spentmoving around within the borders <strong>of</strong> catchment areas, from workto the shop and from the shop back home, and whose eveningsare spent working on the allotment or chatting to the neighboursin the yard. The suburbs are also occupied by the inhabitants <strong>of</strong>the so-called high-rise areas, who crowd into the public transportshelters to travel to the city centre and return to their homes late inthe evening, and therefore never finding out who lives in the nextdoor apartment.“Road Map” tries to address the inhabitants <strong>of</strong> the suburbs andoutskirts <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, surprising them like a force majeure in their familiarpaths from the shop to their home, and by integrating intothe various forms <strong>of</strong> the area’s infrastructure, trying to address thesection <strong>of</strong> society that might never wander into an art gallery ormuseum or attend any other alternative cultural event, and involvethem in the processes <strong>of</strong> culture.Marginal territories are drawn into the centre <strong>of</strong> attention andthe anthropological texture <strong>of</strong> the local environment becomes asource <strong>of</strong> inspiration for well-known directors. Instead <strong>of</strong> “Hamlet”,the “Tales <strong>of</strong> Bolderāja” are produced, the inhabitants <strong>of</strong> high-riseblocks unnoticed until now, become the heroes <strong>of</strong> books and theinhabitants <strong>of</strong> buildings are invited to find out more about the differentcultural traditions <strong>of</strong> their neighbours and discover a newdimension <strong>of</strong> experiences. Road map invites you to find out moreabout each other and get to know each other better. Torņakalnsgoes visiting Ķengarags and the Centre visits Purvciems.Guests to the city who wish to look at <strong>Riga</strong> from another angle arealso invited to head for the suburbs, to see what happens outsidethe representative part <strong>of</strong> the city centre and to get to know its‘secret places’. It is an invitation to go on a psycho-geographicaljourney, similar to the flâneur formulated by Walter Benjamin, succumbingto seemingly aimless wandering around the city or usingthe dérive method favoured by situationists, which describes thespontaneous propulsion through various zones <strong>of</strong> the city.“Road Map” in these journeys serves as a guide, as a type <strong>of</strong>compass that is pointed towards a different <strong>Riga</strong> each time.These might be excursions that illuminate the different segments<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s history – the Soviet period in <strong>Riga</strong>, communal apartments,interiors, air raid shelters, the industrial heritage <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>,old factories, specific architecture and manufacturing facilities,Hebrew <strong>Riga</strong>, a city that has arranged itself around more than 40islands, Bohemian <strong>Riga</strong>, design city, a cyclist’s <strong>Riga</strong>, etc. “RoadMap” not only invites you to get to know previously little knownparts <strong>of</strong> the town, but also to briefly open the door to rooms wherepeople are not usually allowed, such as water towers, weatherstations, the backstage <strong>of</strong> theatres, etc.Poetry, music and city noises that transform into the art <strong>of</strong> sounds,literature that allows you to take on the role <strong>of</strong> a book characterand see the city with different eyes, are all instruments used forthe exploration <strong>of</strong> the city and the search for unusual viewpoints.Local libraries, interest-related educational institutions, local culturalcentres and schools wake up as vital epicentres for culture.New creative platforms are also created, which for a time come tolife as testing laboratories in various city quarters and, with the cooperation<strong>of</strong> artists, actors and musicians, together with the localinhabitants, create a new <strong>Riga</strong> – a city whose main and invincibleforce will be culture.74 75

filmforce majeure. rigaThe documentary made by a team <strong>of</strong>9 <strong>European</strong> documentary film producers,will be a tale about <strong>Riga</strong> as <strong>Riga</strong>itself would never see it, and a taleabout <strong>Riga</strong> as the world has neverseen or heard it. It would be the first21 st century anthropological film collectionabout <strong>Riga</strong> that has the potentialto be shown at documentary filmfestivals and in cinemas, as well as ontelevision throughout the world.By nature, the <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitant is active,educated and loves the cinema, but moreas an observer. He becomes curious whena film is shot at the start <strong>of</strong> the 21st centurywhen the film camera is no longersomething exclusive, because anyone canfilm themselves and their surroundingsusing their mobile phones and show it tothe world straightaway; we have arrivedat the inflation <strong>of</strong> documentary pictures.Slow and rooted in reflection, documentarycinema is a contemporary alternativethat Latvian inhabitants in their time havelearned about through their school <strong>of</strong> documentarycinema: Ivars Seleckis “Sidestreet”(Šķērsiela), Herc Frank’s “Older byten minutes” (Par desmit minūtēm vecāks).The poetic documentary cinema style <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong> has entered <strong>European</strong> history as evidence<strong>of</strong> fearless cinematography.“Force Majeure. <strong>Riga</strong>” is a project thatwill be developed by 9 documentary filmmakers recognised in Europe, including 7<strong>European</strong> documentary film directors togetherwith Latvian documentary cinemaclassics, Ivars Seleckis and Herc Frank, witheach one creating a story about a specificpart <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, group <strong>of</strong> inhabitants, socialor cultural phenomenon, encompassingas wide and diverse geographical, socialand cultural territory as possible. The filmproject would take shape over three yearsand see Latvian socio-anthropologists cooperatingwith the most striking <strong>European</strong>documentary film producers¸ cameramenand Latvian producers. The aim <strong>of</strong> theproject is to make use <strong>of</strong> cinema not justas an art form, but as a partnership form,with the Latvian socio-anthropologists involvedcarrying out field studies as part <strong>of</strong>the project in various parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, <strong>of</strong>feringthe <strong>European</strong> producers material fora documentary anthropology <strong>of</strong> man andlocation, on condition that the producersand socio-anthropologists involve a widerange <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitants in creating thefilm, revealing their life stories, lifestylesand historical and contemporary nuances.It is planned to involve well-known <strong>European</strong>film directors such as Andreas Veiel fromGermany, Arunas Matelis from Lithuania,Heddy Honigman from Holland, ViktorKosakovsky from Russia, Nicholas Philibertfrom France, Jorgen Leth from Denmark,Molly Dineen from Great Britain, Herc Frankand Ivars Seleckis (Latvia). Each directorwould create a 15 minute long documentaryfilm as part <strong>of</strong> the documentary film projectForce Majeure. <strong>Riga</strong>.The film’s premiere would take placein September <strong>2014</strong> during the “BalticDocumentary See” forum, showing the filmin special screenings in those parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>where the film project was filmed. The result<strong>of</strong> the film, Force Majeure. <strong>Riga</strong> will bean international art and science project –several new documentary films created bypr<strong>of</strong>essional anthropologists together withthe best directors and cameramen in thisgenre. The films are meant for Latvian andinternational audiences, which in autumn<strong>2014</strong>, in addition to screenings in <strong>Riga</strong>, willbe shown at film festivals worldwide, distributingit to foreign television. The projectwould in its way be a type <strong>of</strong> testimony <strong>of</strong>an era, creating a new type <strong>of</strong> cinema ata time when there is talk <strong>of</strong> the simplification<strong>of</strong> cinema language - with involvementand a love <strong>of</strong> cinema typical <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong>identity.What: Anthropological documentarycinema.When: 2011-2013 film creation, <strong>2014</strong> – filmpremiere.Concept author: Student <strong>of</strong> anthropologyGundega Laiviņa.Organisers: Latvian National Film Centre,“Mistrus Media”, Environmental FilmStudio, Juris Podnieks Studio.76 77

alternative city guideTo find the city within the city. To goon psycho-geographical wanderingsand get lost in one’s city, discoveringa completely different, as yet unknownplace. Accompanied by an experiencedguide, an urban guru, discover the city’shidden zones, sneak behind the lining<strong>of</strong> the city and get to know the localfolklore.Cities as labyrinths <strong>of</strong> meaning and polygons<strong>of</strong> adventure have always temptednot just curious inhabitants but also cityguests. Not in vain has the movement <strong>of</strong>city diggers and waders recently developed;the wish to discover the city from adifferent angle has been activated.One <strong>of</strong> the thematic lines <strong>of</strong> the activitiesby the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art(LCCA) which over time has been developedin several projects, is the city, urban space,its mapping and study (“City. Tales about<strong>Riga</strong>”, 2002, re:publika 2004, “Urbanologic”,2007 etc). Several thematic tours have beenorganised and a guidebook has been published.Therefore, LCCA in cooperation withcity researchers, experts, artists and othercreative people will expand the initiated progressionand organise a cycle <strong>of</strong> excursionsto unknown places in <strong>Riga</strong>, as well as issuingan alternative <strong>Riga</strong> guide.These unique excursions will introducethe different faces <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, reveal the citywithin the city, going on tours along pathsthat have never been included in the usualtourist routes. There will be an opportunityto discover Soviet <strong>Riga</strong>, whose imprint canstill be found on the interiors <strong>of</strong> several cafes,Spilve Airport and others; participantswill experience the charm <strong>of</strong> communalapartments and drink a glass <strong>of</strong> tea in thekitchen, while listening to the host’s tales<strong>of</strong> former times. Small groups <strong>of</strong> interestedparties will be <strong>of</strong>fered exclusive visits to thehouses <strong>of</strong> interesting characters.Another <strong>Riga</strong> will be sought, both getting toknow the multicultural history <strong>of</strong> the city andhighlighting its social texture. Guests couldget to know Hebrew <strong>Riga</strong>, take a walk throughthe Russian <strong>Riga</strong> in the Moscow district, visitthe Grīziņkalns workers’ area and track the territory<strong>of</strong> the Vārnu Street republic. During captivatingtrips, excursions round the industrialheritage zones would be <strong>of</strong>fered, which, justlike a history book, recount the city’s life story,confirming that the Ērenpreiss Company,design map“Design Map” is an alternative plan forre-discovering the unknown <strong>Riga</strong>, industrial<strong>Riga</strong>, the third largest industrial centre<strong>of</strong> Russia in the early 20 th century, themanufacturing and design pride <strong>of</strong> theLatvian state and the USSR, the achievements<strong>of</strong> the renewed Latvia. The designmap will introduce Latvian achievementsin design in the past and today.The design map will show the <strong>Riga</strong> thatthinks <strong>of</strong> its citizens, their comfort, so thatthey all might feel good in their city. Barsand cafes with contemporary interiors, historicallypreserved design statements, smallarchitectural forms and city environment,designer hotels and shops, innovative gastronomyand high class service design, anew library with its proposed opportunities.Places and people that are associated withdesign. The city creates its maps. We <strong>of</strong>fera design map <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> that includes designobjects and places, the city’s creative areas– Kalnciems Street area, Berga Bazārs,Spīķeri, innovative gastronomy options, etc.It is a map that serves both as printed materialand as an interactive option. Objects andplaces are marked with special symbols.Throughout the year, with its culminationĶuze sweet factory or VEF and others are notjust forgotten trademarks. Many <strong>of</strong> the excursionswould be summarised in small guidebooksthat would be regularly updated andform the ‘collected works’ <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.It is also planned to publish a large alternativeguidebook <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> with the participation<strong>of</strong> artists (Ieva Epnere, Līga Laurenoviča,Ēriks Božis and others), writers (AgneseKrivade, Margita Zālīte, group Orbīta), sociologistsand others, in its creation. Theguidebook would be created as a valuableinterdisciplinary project and would includeduring the “Design Days” in October <strong>2014</strong>,a string <strong>of</strong> exhibitions will take place in themuseums <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>:• Each museum will create an exhibition inthe museum or exhibition hall about achievementsin the sector <strong>of</strong> manufacture and design,starting from the Latvian car manufacturingindustry and VEF (State Electro-technicalFactory), to porcelain, designer workshops(e.g. “Baltara” porcelain in the memorialapartment <strong>of</strong> Romans Suta and AleksandraBelcova, or the activities <strong>of</strong> today’s mostwell-known designers in Latvia). For the DollMuseum this might be creative doll workshopsfor children and pr<strong>of</strong>essional designersin cooperation with the Latvian PuppetTheatre and children’s theatre studios.• In the largest exhibition halls – thematicdesign exhibitions.• In the new Castle <strong>of</strong> Light an impressivedisplay <strong>of</strong> graphic design that includes bookgraphics, applied graphics – posters, cataloguesand informative publication graphicsand other visual forms <strong>of</strong> communication. Thehistory <strong>of</strong> Latvian graphic design up to today.• An exhibition about the creation <strong>of</strong>Latvian manufacturing or industrial design,as a base area choosing one <strong>of</strong> the mostdeveloped sectors <strong>of</strong> Latvian manufacturing– the furniture or textile industry. The exhibitionwill reflect the development <strong>of</strong> furnitureoriginal excursion routes, interviews withinhabitants, local folklore, writers’ essays,urban poetry, photographs etc.What: Guidebook <strong>of</strong> excursions.Where: Starts in March, guidebookpresented in November.When: All year.Concept authors: Latvian Centre forContemporary Art (LCCA).Organisers: Latvian Centre for ContemporaryArt (www.lcca.lv), Jānis Borgs, IndustrialHeritage Fund (www.i-mantojums.lv),www.urbantrip.lv, www.bradajumi.lv.through different periods <strong>of</strong> time – the work<strong>of</strong> craftsmen, manufacturing opportunities,contemporary manufacturing, the trainingprocesses for specialists in design, technology,economics and business management,the work <strong>of</strong> experimental design laboratories,new product testing, the path <strong>of</strong> aproduct from the idea to the finished product,showing that good design is one <strong>of</strong> theinstruments used for raising the quality <strong>of</strong> lifeand an added value indicator for goods.• Exhibition location – unused premises inthe city centre or any <strong>of</strong> the former productionunits.What: Displays, exhibitions, seminars,conferences. Creative fields in the urbanenvironment <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>. City mapping.Where: <strong>Riga</strong> museums, galleries, exhibitioncentres, educational establishments, designbureaus and salons, manufacturers, designinstitutions and internet portals.When: All year.Concept authors and organisers: DesignInnovation Centre, Design InformationCentre, www.dic.lv.Cooperation partners: <strong>Riga</strong> CityCouncil, Latvian Ministry <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>,Latvian Ministry <strong>of</strong> Economics, LatvianInvestment and Development Agency,<strong>Riga</strong>’s museums and exhibition halls,businesses, design salons and bureaus.78 79

poetry mappingUntraditional city mapping, capturingstreets, courtyards, places with poetryand visual image traps.Local poets, musicians, video artists andcomputer programmers will participate inthe project and with the aid <strong>of</strong> technologyand visualisation they will create a map <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong> expressed in poetry. It is virtual migrationalong the map <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> in which thestreets and catchment areas <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> aremarked out with control points and poetrypath itineraries. All the information on themap is described in poetry, music and videoprojections. The map will be not only inLatvian, but also in Russian and English,thereby making it interesting material thatcould present <strong>Riga</strong> to guests from abroad.The “Poetry Mapping” aspires to portray<strong>Riga</strong> from a different viewpoint, namely,describing in poetical form what is typical<strong>of</strong> each street, area and location and alsohighlighting the significance <strong>of</strong> the placein the context <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s history and culture.“Poetry Mapping” experiments with poetryreading and its perception. If poetry isusually perceived as vertically readabletext, then under this project, the traditionalpoetry form is unravelled and exploredhorizontally.The ‘poetry map’ <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> will be createdboth in printed and virtual form. Its presentationwill take place as a performance– a virtual map will be projected on a videoscreen with parallel poetry readings (by theauthors <strong>of</strong> the map’s poetry) taking place.What: Performance.Where: <strong>Riga</strong>.When: September1 st -14 th , <strong>2014</strong>.Concept authors and organisers: IngaBodnarjuka, Artūrs Punte, LatvianAssociation <strong>of</strong> Writers, text group Orbīta.my catchment area’sgrand concertIf a spectator won’t go to the music, thenthe music will go to the spectator.It is usual that popular open-air musicevents for young adults take place mostlyin the centre and that young adults fromthe catchment areas head for the centre.With the help <strong>of</strong> the project “My CatchmentArea’s Grand Concert”, it is hoped to ‘shiftthe centre’ by changing the habits <strong>of</strong> localinhabitants – taking young adults fromZolitūde to Purvciems or to show inhabitantsin the centre that <strong>Riga</strong> does not stopoutside the centre, to bring the cachmentarea’s to life, which will also be interestingto visitors to the city.“My Catchment Area’s Grand Concert” isplanned as a body <strong>of</strong> several events – theperformances <strong>of</strong> popular musicians in thecourtyards <strong>of</strong> Pļavnieki high-rise blocks,dance music night in Zolitūde, Ķengaragsreggae – anything that might be popularand appealing to young adults in <strong>2014</strong>.12 concerts are planned in 12 cachmentarea’s:1. Zolitūde2. Ziepniekkalns3. Imanta4. Purvciems5. Pļavnieki6. Čiekurkalns7. Ilģuciems8. Ķengarags9. Bolderāja10. Mežciems11. Vecmīlgrāvis12. Sarkandaugava.What: Concerts.Where: Catchment areas <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.When: May-August.Concept author: “Untitled” Ltd.riga’s islandsand watersThe project presents the opportunity<strong>of</strong> learning about the more than 40 islands<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> that until now have beenlittle known territories, to meet with localinhabitants and hear many storiesfrom the primary source.The project <strong>of</strong>fers an excursion itineraryover several days along the islands <strong>of</strong> thelower reaches <strong>of</strong> the Daugava, gettingaround on foot, by bicycle, yacht and otherfloating vessels. At the stopping pointsalong the route participants get to knowthe life <strong>of</strong> the Daugava islands:• Mangaļsala – fishermen and other watergoers, mode <strong>of</strong> life, history.• Kundziņa island – community, interpretation<strong>of</strong> creative history.• Daugavgrīva – sculptors Pauls Jaunzemsand Imants Polis in Vakarbuļļi, a picnicby the Lielupe, swimming in the seaand a look into the wealth <strong>of</strong> Daugavgrīva’snature reserve, lighthouse, Cometfort;• Daugavgrīva fortress – a look at militaryhistory and its creative interpretation;• Bolderāja – the historical woodenbuildings <strong>of</strong> Bolderāja, unknown parks,Textile Park, the former Hertvigs – Peitānsworsted production unit; Barracks – riflemen– artists – concerts and an exhibitionin the Bolderāja School <strong>of</strong> Music and Arts.Parallel to this an information centre is beingopened in the restored netting shed inBolderāja opposite Mīlestības island (Loveisland), which operates as an exhibition halland information centre, organising regulartrips to the island, creative workshops, filmscreenings and exhibitions.Regular excursion routes reveal the industrialheritage <strong>of</strong> the lower reaches <strong>of</strong> theDaugava; known and unknown fortificationsalong the Daugava - Mangaļsala,Daugavgrīva, Daugavgrīva fortress, otherfortifications and fortification remains.Military games, exhibitions and concertsare organised.What: Excursions, exhibitions,interdisciplinary events.Where: Islands <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.When: July–September.Concept authors and organisers: Bolderājagroup.riga’s hamletThe leading <strong>European</strong> and Latviandirectors are invited to produce performancesin untraditional playingareas, encompassing the peripheryand linking performances to specificgeographical sites <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and thehistorical or social aspect. All invitedartists in cooperation with local artistscarry out a timely study <strong>of</strong> the city, itsgeography, history, inhabitants andsocial environment, in order to selecta theme and focus for their performance.As a result, instead <strong>of</strong> “Hamlet”or “The Cherry Orchard”, “Small tragedies<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>” or “Tales <strong>of</strong> Bolderāja”will be produced.For spectators, each performance will becomenot just a top-class feast <strong>of</strong> art butalso a trip around the city, <strong>of</strong>fering newexperiences at different levels both for theexisting theatre audiences and for the widestcircle <strong>of</strong> inhabitants. This level <strong>of</strong> newproduction by artists will also attract theinterest <strong>of</strong> international communities.Example: Romeo Castellucci and SocietasRaffaello Sanzio (Italy) create a show – aninstallation in the water tower <strong>of</strong> Āgenskalnsor in an abandoned place <strong>of</strong> worship,Rimini Protokoll (Germany) <strong>of</strong>fer their taleabout <strong>Riga</strong>’s inhabitants in the Spilve airportbuilding, French acrobats and light artistsfrom the company Trans Express takeup residence at the Daugavgrīva fortressor the forts <strong>of</strong> Mangaļsala, environmentalartist Kristo is invited to create an environmentallyfriendly installation on Mīlestībasisland (Love Island), but Alvis Hermanis andhis actors inhabit a multi-apartment block inĶengarags with their stories. Parallel to this,several smaller forms <strong>of</strong> theatre, dance andcircus projects are created.The aim <strong>of</strong> this project is to achieve maximumcooperation <strong>of</strong> artists and inhabitants,both in creating performances andproposing them to various parts <strong>of</strong> the city,cultural centres and parks, attempting toconsolidate the most varied communities,starting with the family, classroom, artistcommunities, the inhabitants <strong>of</strong> one streetand finishing with society as a whole. Inthis programme, special emphasis wouldbe placed on performing arts such as thetravelling circus, muppet and object theatre,street theatre and dance, as well asinterdisciplinary projects.What: Theatre, circus shows,performances.When: Starting in April.Where: Untraditional performancelocations.Concept authors and organisers: NewTheatre Institute <strong>of</strong> Latvia.80 81

iga for all,riga for everyoneSince its foundation <strong>Riga</strong> has beenopen to representatives <strong>of</strong> various nations.The Road Map invites everyoneto head on a journey to a personallyundiscovered <strong>Riga</strong> – the <strong>Riga</strong> <strong>of</strong> other<strong>Riga</strong> inhabitants, increasing his or herknowledge with the skills rooted in thetraditions <strong>of</strong> other people.The scenes <strong>of</strong> the lives <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s nationalgroup inhabitants flow together ina unified whole and form a joint portraitcharacterised by its fascinating diversity.Performances by ethnic minority traditionalculture groups will take place in theriga – at the crossroads<strong>of</strong> europeIs it possible to travel around Europein a couple <strong>of</strong> days? Of course it is!This time this time it will be the youngadults from <strong>Riga</strong>’s centres <strong>of</strong> interestrelatededucation who will take care<strong>of</strong> it, having carefully studied culturaltraditions, history and contemporarycurrent events <strong>of</strong> different <strong>European</strong>countries, they will develop a uniqueinquiry-based creative programme.Each interest-related educational institutionselects its country or region, studies itscultural heritage, prepares performances,drawings or a photo exhibition etc. On thechosen day, <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitants and guestsare invited to visit the interest-related educationalinstitutions that are open throughoutthe day to <strong>of</strong>fer a creative approachto the interpretation <strong>of</strong> Europe’s culture, ahistorical parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> that are linked withthe histories <strong>of</strong> the largest ethnic communitiesand investment in the joint portrait <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>: in the Moscow quarter, Russian folkloregroups will demonstrate Whitsuntidetraditions, Polish groups will perform Polishsongs at the Polish Gate, but on the openair stage in Vērmanes Garden, a dancemarathon <strong>of</strong> ethnic minorities could takeplace, one after the other demonstratingthe variety <strong>of</strong> cultures.The ‘survival kit’ <strong>of</strong> today’s <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitant,alongside the purely pragmatic everydayskills, also includes emotions, attitude andknowledge about our ancestors who developed<strong>Riga</strong> as we see it today – varied,multicultural and unique. Every person’s‘travel bag’ contains more or less carefullypreserved traditions and a lifestyle takenjourney full <strong>of</strong> imagination and adventures.Any individual visiting a centre <strong>of</strong> interestrelatededucation, will for a couple <strong>of</strong> daysbe able to get to know or travel around‘Europe’.The aim <strong>of</strong> the project would be not justto promote the diversity <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> cultureand motivate the young generation toinvestigate the cultural heritage <strong>of</strong> Europe,but also to promote interest-related educationalinstitutions in <strong>Riga</strong>.What: Open door day.Where: In 14 interest-related educationalinstitutions in <strong>Riga</strong> and the primary schoolRīdze.When: End <strong>of</strong> May–early JuneConcept authors and organisers: GuntaAndersone, <strong>Riga</strong> city in cooperation withinterest-related educational institutions.Cooperation partners: 14 interest-relatededucational institutions in <strong>Riga</strong> and theprimary school Rīdze, together with theircooperation partners from abroad.over from our ancestors, native language,lullabies, festivals and favourite places inthe city. This is the supplementation <strong>of</strong> theindividual ‘survival kit’ with the skills <strong>of</strong> othernations rooted in tradition.What: Ethnic minority festival Latvijasvainags in the open air.Where: Vērmanes Garden open-air stage,Polish Gate (Old Town), the Moscowquarter – Maskavas Street, the corner<strong>of</strong> Mazā Kalna Street. This place ishistorically known as Krasnaja gorka.When: June <strong>2014</strong>.Concept authors/organisers: Irina Viņņika,Aleksandrs Brandavs, Irina Žuravlova,Renāte Miseviča, Irina Vasiļjeva, Ethnicminority programme Zelta kamoliņš.literary walk“get to know your city”Literary excursion routes through severalparts <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> allow the city to beseen through the eyes <strong>of</strong> book characters,to get a sense <strong>of</strong> different erasand situations.The excursion routes are based on quotesfrom works <strong>of</strong> fiction and literary descriptionsabout specific objects on the chosenroute or about historical events in <strong>Riga</strong> thatare linked to a specific excursion route.Literary excursions, seeking out the relevantworks, are led by a library employeefrom <strong>Riga</strong> Central Library or a pr<strong>of</strong>essionaltour guide and during these, pr<strong>of</strong>essionalactors are invited to quote the works andtheir fragments. The literary walks not onlyspot the monumentThe bicycle as a method <strong>of</strong> transportationand a sign <strong>of</strong> an alternative lifestyle,also becomes a kind <strong>of</strong> instrumentfor discovering the city’s history,this time looking for one <strong>of</strong> the mostvoluminous signs <strong>of</strong> collective memory– monuments.Monuments are significant witnesses tothe history <strong>of</strong> a city and its developmentand with changing times and priorities,the attitude towards them also changes.Often they are forgotten, but at the moment<strong>of</strong> their erection they were all verymeaningful.The aim <strong>of</strong> the “Spot the Monument”bicycle orienteering game is to draw attentionto long-forgotten monuments inthe city, created by different powers andintroduce <strong>Riga</strong>, but also provide a glimpseinto the literary heritage <strong>of</strong> Latvia and aninsight into Latvian fiction.Potential routes for these walks could bethrough the Old Town, Pārdaugava andGrīziņkalns. Connoisseurs <strong>of</strong> Latvian literaturemight find literary walks interestingthat are based on specific works, for example,“A Visit To The Vārna Street Republic”,“Along The Paths Of The “Green land”” (inPārdaugava) and others.Literary walks lasting 1–1 ½ hrs wouldbe planned for pedestrians (Old Town,Grīziņkalns), or as a tour by bus (Pārdaugava).By <strong>of</strong>fering literary walks t<strong>of</strong>oreign guests, the translation <strong>of</strong> literarywork fragments into English and Russianshould be anticipated, since relatively littleLatvian fiction has been translated into otherlanguages.times. The game will invite its participantsto find 11 Communards, Vilis Lācis, theSong Celebration colossus, 1905 monumentand others.The aim <strong>of</strong> the “Spot the Monument” bicycleorienteering game is also to promotethe bicycle as a method <strong>of</strong> transportationin the city. Compared with other <strong>European</strong>cities, transportation by bicycle in <strong>Riga</strong> isgaining popularity slowly. The infrastructure– bicycle paths, bicycle racks – hasonly recently begun to develop. However,an increasing interest about this mode <strong>of</strong>transportation is observed.What: Bicycle routes.Where: Entire city territory.When: August.Concept authors: x-aģentūra.Cooperation partners: <strong>Riga</strong>’s Agency forthe Protection <strong>of</strong> Monuments, MonumentAgency.A small guidebook would be prepared forthe literary walk routes showing the routemap, indicating the included objects <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>, as well as a list <strong>of</strong> the literary worksand their fragments used during the literarywalks, and individual significant quotesabout <strong>Riga</strong>.Quotes from the literary works would beplaced around the city several city objects,announcing some intriguing informationabout the selected locations, aswell as quotations about historical eventsin <strong>Riga</strong>, associated with the specific part<strong>of</strong> the city.What: Literary excursions.Where: <strong>Riga</strong> urban environment.When: All year.Concept authors and organisers: <strong>Riga</strong>Central Library (RCL).82 83

open door dayOne-day transformations <strong>of</strong>fering everyoneaccess to places that are usuallylocked. Open, Sesame!The idea <strong>of</strong> “Open Door Day” is a simpleone. However, this time we want to opendoors that are usually locked to visitors.Who has never thought – I wonder what thewater tower looks like inside, the weatherstation, backstage at the theatre or the telecommunicationexchange. To implementthe campaign “Open Door Day” 30 suchplaces, that are usually locked to inhabitantsand therefore so enticing, will be selectedand their doors opened to visitors.In its way the campaign “Open door day” issimilar to the already well-known “MuseumNights”. Routes will be developed and foreach place an artistic formation will besought – orchestra concerts, performances.However, the objects themselves will bethe force majeure <strong>of</strong> the campaign – none<strong>of</strong> these have been developed as publiclyaccessible tourist site and none will everbecome that in the long-term. These willbe one day transformations that will reveala world unknown until now to visitors.What: Campaign.Where: 30 different event locations.When: September.Concept author: <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group.Cooperation partners: x-aģentūra,managers <strong>of</strong> selected objects, <strong>Riga</strong> cityamateur art groups.map <strong>of</strong> creative riga<strong>Riga</strong> is full <strong>of</strong> various points <strong>of</strong> creativeenergy, idea geysers, that can convertdaily events into festivals. Maybe youhave already noticed a hairdressingsalon, library or fashion boutique inwhich good films are shown, a caféin which artists are invited to preparefood? If not, we will show you.The world is flooded by poor quality, impersonal,aesthetically and materially worthlessproducts and unified services andpeople live according to the rules <strong>of</strong> a‘throwaway’ society, resulting in a degradation<strong>of</strong> values. In times <strong>of</strong> personal, economicand social trauma the realisation<strong>of</strong>ten dawns on people and they look forthe way back to what is real, personal andcreative. The Society <strong>of</strong> Design Workersbelieves that <strong>Riga</strong> accumulates a hugecreative potential, and therefore proposesan alternative road map, which, if followed,will take the traveller to the city’s creativedimension. The historically powerfulbolderājaThe map <strong>of</strong> creative education institutionsin Bolderāja outlines the specificcharacter <strong>of</strong> the area and the uniqueatmosphere that is expressed not onlythrough the testimonies <strong>of</strong> history, butalso through the process <strong>of</strong> the creation<strong>of</strong> new work and cognition.The educational and cultural road map <strong>of</strong>Bolderāja will reveal the opportunities forinterest-related education for children andyoung adults in Bolderāja. Every day anevent is planned in one <strong>of</strong> Bolderāja’s educationalestablishments with a culturallyeducational programme. It will end with ajoint celebration in Daugavgrīva’s fortress.traditions <strong>of</strong> craftsmanship and appliedarts are an excellent basis for the development<strong>of</strong> Latvian contemporary design andfashion.In 2009 project organisers are collectinginformation about extraordinary places in<strong>Riga</strong> – local designer shops, craft workshops,cafės, clubs and other creativeprojects – to which friends and acquaintanceswould be taken and that are notincluded in traditional tourist guides, andare not widely known to the local audienceeither. Within the project, a graphic map <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong> will be published with “Creative <strong>Riga</strong>”objects. The aim <strong>of</strong> the project is to promotethe interest <strong>of</strong> local and foreign audiences(read: consumers) in unique, originaland creative high quality local productsand services, helping creative industries todevelop (textile industry and others).Before and during <strong>2014</strong>, it is intended toregularly organise ‘open’ performancesin Creative <strong>Riga</strong> objects. For example,street fashion shows open to everyonenear designer shops, inviting musiciansWhat: Cycle <strong>of</strong> events throughout the week.Where: ‘Bolderāja’ Children’s and youngadults’ centre, Bolderāja School <strong>of</strong> Artand Music, <strong>Riga</strong>’s 33rd secondary school,<strong>Riga</strong>’s 19 th secondary school, Daugavgrīva’ssecondary school, the seaside nature parkand Daugavgrīva’s fortress.When: May.Concept authors and organisers: ‘Bolderāja’Children’s and young adults’ centre.Cooperation partners: Bolderāja School<strong>of</strong> Art and Music, Bolderāja Library,Daugavgrīva’s secondary school, <strong>Riga</strong>’s19 th secondary school, <strong>Riga</strong>’s 33 rdsecondary school, the Young Guards’group Junga.to participate, organising food-tastingsand involving members <strong>of</strong> the Association<strong>of</strong> Design Workers and other creativepeople.What: Performances, informative material.Where: <strong>Riga</strong>, virtual space.When: 2009–<strong>2014</strong>.Concept authors and organisers: Society <strong>of</strong>Design Workers84 85

winter carnivalIn addition to a merry hustle and bustle,along with the scent <strong>of</strong> white snow,forests and fields, the approach <strong>of</strong> acolourful and loud group <strong>of</strong> maskedrevellers also brings blessings to eachhome and family. The “Winter Carnival”will be a fun series <strong>of</strong> events takingplace throughout the city territory. Theywill unite the carnivalesque traditions<strong>of</strong> various nations with the characteristics<strong>of</strong> a contemporary carnival.riga – force majeureNew Year’s festivities in <strong>Riga</strong> will ringin the year <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong><strong>Culture</strong>.New Year’s Eve – it can safely be said thatthis holiday is celebrated by everyone. Thecollective ringing in <strong>of</strong> the New Year in the<strong>Riga</strong> city centre has become a stable tradition.A countdown <strong>of</strong> the last seconds <strong>of</strong>the passing year takes place and the NewYear is seen in with festive fireworks. Joyand merriment prevail; everyone joins inThe idea <strong>of</strong> a masquerade, based on ancientfertility rites, has historically been familiarto many nations. For the ancient Indo-<strong>European</strong> peoples, the New Year’s Eve wasat the beginning <strong>of</strong> what is now February,and within the Meteņi (Shrovetide) festivities,the ancient traditions <strong>of</strong> seeing <strong>of</strong>f theold year have been retained. Like all thewinter holidays, it included going on mummery(ķekatas) and visits to neighbours. Afeast, gifts and giving presents to the mummersare also the ingredients <strong>of</strong> an ancientritual through which it was hoped to gainprosperity for the home, health for the people,and fertility for cattle and fields.Meteņi is the period in February before fasting,when meat is not eaten and food is muchplainer, therefore the table to mark this prefastingfestival is laid plentifully. The maskedprocessions begun on either Miķelis’ Dayin September or Mārtiņš Day in November,wind up on Meteņi, which for Latvians, alsomarks the mid-way point between the wintersolstice and the spring equinox. Usually,masks portray the spirits that their wearerswant to butter up or affect in some way.Mummers, the jolly assurers <strong>of</strong> fertility andblessings, make their last rounds from houseto house, spreading fertility in every farmsteadthey visit. The masks are the sameshared songs and dances. The culturalinstitutions <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> will be open to its townspeopleand visitors, while events at differenttastes will <strong>of</strong>fer a diversity <strong>of</strong> choices forgroups <strong>of</strong> friends or families over severaldays, on the basis <strong>of</strong> the themes outlinedin the <strong>European</strong> Year <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> event programme.A videoconference with <strong>Riga</strong>’scooperation partners in various <strong>European</strong>cities will take place.If <strong>Riga</strong> is chosen to be the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong><strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>2014</strong> promises to be a year filledwith surprising events, unexpected discoveriesand new experiences for everyone.traditional ones – the gypsy, the crane, thebear, the billy-goat, the poor man, the Jew,women dressed as men and men as women.The masks have one purpose – to ensurefertility with singing and dancing, and banishevil through magical goings-on.Maslenitsa is an ancient Orthodox holiday,celebrated seven days before the great fast,or Lent. For seven days, tambourines jangle,the sound <strong>of</strong> accordions can be heard andeveryone is dressed in colourful clothing.Market stalls sag under the weight <strong>of</strong> assorteddelicacies, while pancakes – the symbol<strong>of</strong> the sun – are especially honoured. Duringthe maslenitsa period, everyone should enjoythemselves, and daily visits to other housesor receiving guests in one’s own home are expected.To take advantage <strong>of</strong> the last days <strong>of</strong>winter, everyone must go sledding, ride carousels,play games, sing chastushkas (Russianfolk songs) and endlessly play the fool. One<strong>of</strong> the main types <strong>of</strong> entertainment is the masquerade,where everyone must be dressedup to be completely unrecognizable.What: Winter carnival.Where: Throughout the entire city.When: February <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author and organiser:<strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group.For this reason, the New Year’s celebrationsmarking the beginning <strong>of</strong> the year <strong>2014</strong> willalso be special. A magnificent multimedialight and laser show will sketch the vision <strong>of</strong>a future <strong>Riga</strong> – <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>.What: Ringing in the New Year andprogramme events that last several days.Where: Throughout the entire city.When: December 31 st –January 2 nd 20014..Concept author: <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task groupCooperation partners: <strong>Riga</strong> City CouncilDepartment <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>, <strong>Riga</strong> culturalinstitutions and hotels.gourmet paradise‘Where have we come from? Where arewe going? And what are we having forlunch?’ once asked the Austrian comedian,Josef Hader, regarding theseas the three most important questionspreying on the minds <strong>of</strong> contemporaryman. The growing selection <strong>of</strong> newtypes <strong>of</strong> food, services and range <strong>of</strong>eating recommendations means wetake many individual decisions everyday. Therefore, a special challenge is todrop in on <strong>European</strong> countries troughthe ‘kitchen door’ and discover what isinteresting and practical in the culinarypropositions <strong>of</strong> different countries.The gastronomy festival is a celebration <strong>of</strong>taste and a journey <strong>of</strong> discovery into thesecrets <strong>of</strong> the menus <strong>of</strong> different <strong>European</strong>countries. During the festival, presentations<strong>of</strong> food preparation traditions fromdifferent countries will be demonstratedin <strong>Riga</strong>’s restaurants and special menuswill be created. It is anticipated that chefswill be invited from different countries tocirque du soleil in riga?<strong>Riga</strong> is the only city in the Baltic Statesto have its own winter circus. Thepublic’s interest in the circus is unflaggingand spectators await new programmeswith great anticipation.Built more than 100 years ago (in 1888), the<strong>Riga</strong> Circus building stands today as it hasalways stood. Throughout its long life, circusperformances have continually been shownhere. Visits to the circus are one <strong>of</strong> the mostpopular types <strong>of</strong> family entertainment.The Cirque du soleil was created in 1984by a group <strong>of</strong> street artists from Quebec,promote a further exchange <strong>of</strong> experience.The closing <strong>of</strong> the festival is plannedas a sophisticated culinary experience for<strong>Riga</strong>’s inhabitants and guests. In KronvaldaPark (Kronvalda parks) near the CongressHouse (Kongresu nams), chefs will demonstratetheir skills and <strong>of</strong>fer samples fortasting. The chefs will work in the open airand during the event, votes will be cast forthe most entertaining chef, the most originalserving method and <strong>of</strong> course, the besttastingfood. On stage, an auction <strong>of</strong> thechefs’ work will take place. There will alsobe a special category <strong>of</strong> food preparation –dishes from different nations prepared fromhealthy products locally grown in Latvia.An Organic Market will take place alongsidethe demonstrations <strong>of</strong> chefs’ skills.The Organic Market – whose initiatorand patron is Mārtiņš Rītiņš, Director <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>’s Vincents restaurant and president<strong>of</strong> Latvia’s Slow Food Association – in cooperationwith the Latvian Association <strong>of</strong>Biological Agriculture, takes place everyyear in several places in <strong>Riga</strong> and hasearned growing interest from <strong>Riga</strong>’s inhabitants,especially devotees <strong>of</strong> healthy food.and its performances have been watchedby almost 40 million people in 90 citiesthroughout the world. But not yet in <strong>Riga</strong>.Why not in <strong>Riga</strong>?What/Where/When: To be announcedfollowing coordination.Concept author: <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group.What: Culinary festival and campaigns in<strong>Riga</strong>’s restaurants.Where: Congress House square.When: June <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author: Sarma Freiberga, MārtiņšRītiņš.Cooperation partners: Association <strong>of</strong>Hotels and Restaurants in Latvia, Chefs’Club, Latvia’s Slow Food Association,Latvian Association <strong>of</strong> BiologicalAgriculture, x-aģentūra.90 91

midsummer nightbonfires (līgo)Not so long ago, the summer solsticewas a solstice festival for the entire nation.This celebration marks the longestday and shortest night, it is the daywhen the sun has reached its highestpoint in the sky, when the flow <strong>of</strong> timeappears to stop for a moment. To prolongthe effect <strong>of</strong> light, bonfires are lit.At the <strong>2014</strong> solstice, <strong>Riga</strong> will inviteyou to celebrate the shortest night <strong>of</strong>the year, to come together and uniteneighbours from near and far, travellingfrom bonfire to bonfire.The origins <strong>of</strong> the summer solstice celebrationsreach back into the immeasurablepast – in the sun cults <strong>of</strong> the farmingpeople. Its origins can probably be datedat least to the era <strong>of</strong> the Indo-<strong>European</strong>community – 4000 or 5000 B.C. In the 12 thcentury, when German crusaders landedon the eastern Baltic shores, they were notin the least bit surprised by the revelriesand joy, by the bonfires flickering in thedark <strong>of</strong> night.During the 16 th and 17 th centuries on thenight <strong>of</strong> 24 th June, Midsummer bonfiresburned throughout Europe, starting fromthe British Isles and extending as far as theUrals. In Italy they were called San Giovannibonfires, in France – the Saint Jean bonfires.They are also burned in honour <strong>of</strong>Yan, John, Juan, Hans, Johannus, IvanKupala and, <strong>of</strong> course, Jānis. These bonfiresare lit on the highest hills everywhere,but in large villages and cities – in the centralsquare. Paris used to have a bonfire oneach city block, and the King <strong>of</strong>ten tookpart in the ceremony by lighting the SaintJean bonfire himself.It could safely be said that the summersolstice is the most popular Latvian celebration– lights, joviality, songs and thepeak <strong>of</strong> fertility. Of all the seasonal songs,Latvians have more Līgo songs than anyothers – particularly sonorous songs thatare sung at the midsummer solstice andwhich differ from other folk songs with theirspecific refrains: ‘līgo’, ‘rotā’ or ‘rūto’, dependingon the region in Latvia.It is said that on the night <strong>of</strong> the summer solstice,the sky opens and a fern blossomswith golden flowers – those who witnessthis can make a wish and it should cometrue. The flowering fern also has eroticsignificance – to search for the floweringfern means to select your other half on thisfertility night. Above all – Jānis’ mother (thehostess) makes cheese and Jānis’ father(the host) brews beer. The singing neverstops.In the city squares, there will be opportunitiesto learn about some <strong>of</strong> the festivaltraditions by going from bonfire to bonfirein several locations in the city. Folkloreand dance groups will involve everyonein songs devoted to the shortest night.They will also teach various dance steps,similar to <strong>Riga</strong>’s 800 th anniversary celebrationsin 2001, when tens <strong>of</strong> thousands <strong>of</strong>people actively participated in a truly upliftingemotional experience. Throughout theLīgo, also called Jāņi celebrations, an unconsciousjourney through different Indo-<strong>European</strong> traditions will be discovered inall regions <strong>of</strong> the city.What: National festival.Where: Throughout the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and inSigulda.When: 21 st June <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author and organizer: <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECCtask group.Cooperation partners: Folklore groups,craftsmen, dance groups.the great riga gameTo know and recognise <strong>Riga</strong>, to rediscoverit, to be oneself in one’s owncity. Or to get to know and discover anew <strong>Riga</strong>. An event for inquisitive andactive people.The “Great <strong>Riga</strong> Game” is an exciting orienteeringgame for grown-ups and childrenand is a traditional activity <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s annualCity Festival. It is not just recreational innature, but also educational and has beendeveloped at several levels.In one <strong>of</strong> these levels, the “Great <strong>Riga</strong>Game” invites its players to orienteer notjust through the city, but also through thecenturies. Polish times, Swedish times,Russian or Tsarist times, times <strong>of</strong> the1 st song celebrationfor spectatorsSong celebrates a grand day today, all<strong>of</strong> the spectators are singing!Chorus singing traditions in Latvia areancient and strong. The Latvian SongCelebration takes place every fiveyears, and in between – the Youth SongCelebration. The choral movement is stillactive even in the years between the SongCelebrations. Begun during the festivities<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s 800 th anniversary, spectator singalongswith choirs have become a populartradition. During Song Celebrations as wellas other large, urban events. The Songunites!The main idea behind the “1 st Song CelebrationFor Spectators” is to switch the customaryroles, bringing the spectator to theNational Awakening – various stages <strong>of</strong>history and changes experienced by thecity. To know the pace <strong>of</strong> history, to recognisea period by a characteristic historicalfact and connect it to a specific place inthe city – this is a challenge for both oldand young.When did the Calendar Unrests take place?Which public place was established inconnection with the Nystad Peace Treaty?Which is <strong>Riga</strong>’s first water tower? When didthe ‘good old Swedish times’ begin?Because answers to these questions atthis level will also be accessible on theInternet in foreign languages, anyone interestedin <strong>Riga</strong> will be able to take part.However, it will only be possible to play theentire game on the spot, as there are controlpoints to be visited and express tasksforefront. To place the spectators on themain Song Celebration stage platform, toallow each spectator to feel and experiencethe simultaneous responsibility andelation felt by choir singers during SongCelebration concerts. Anyone can becomea soloist at the 1 st Song Celebrationfor Spectators – the concert director givesthe microphone to a freely chosen singerand the spectator becomes a soloist onthe Mežaparks open-air stage.In order to achieve the full effect <strong>of</strong> a SongCelebration, there are plans to organize aspectator rehearsal, thereby providing thefeel <strong>of</strong> what it means for a choir to workwith a conductor, as well as introducing thespectator to the evening concert’s repertoire.Additionally, concert spectator andco-singer rows will be augmented by pr<strong>of</strong>essionalmusicians and choir singers.What: Concert rally after the Great Talka.Where: Mežaparks open-air stage.to be carried out.After visiting the many control points in differentlocations in <strong>Riga</strong>, the weary playerswill arrive at the Laboratory <strong>of</strong> Flavours on11. novembra Embankment. Taste budswill be challenged and delicious prizesawarded for correct answers.The grand prize will be won by those whohave completed the full set <strong>of</strong> tasks at alllevels <strong>of</strong> the game.What: Interactive game.Where: Throughout the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>,cultural institutions.When: August <strong>2014</strong>, during the <strong>Riga</strong> CityFestival.Concept author and organizer: x-aģentūra.Cooperation partners: <strong>Riga</strong> Central Libraryand its branches, <strong>Riga</strong>’s museums.When: July <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author: “Untitled” LtdCooperation partner: League <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>Choirs92 93

music inspirationlandscapeEurope is diverse. Dozens <strong>of</strong> countries,hundreds <strong>of</strong> languages and accents.Are we so different? Not if we examineour roots. Song, one <strong>of</strong> the most ancientforms <strong>of</strong> human self-expression, leadsus to the same sources. For example,the drone bass has been preservedin the Balkans, the Baltics, Georgiaand the Pyrenees. This unique form<strong>of</strong> singing shows that we, <strong>European</strong>s,have a common past, but the process<strong>of</strong> this first international choir festivaland the response from its participantsassure us that there will also be a commonfuture for new cooperation, at thebase <strong>of</strong> which are the open minds <strong>of</strong>people from different nationalities, anopen smile and the wish to get to knowone another.“Music Inspiration Landscape” seeks uncultivatedterritories, friends not yet metand songs not yet sung. The principalactivities <strong>of</strong> the international choir musicfestival and competition “Music InspirationLanscape” will be an international choircompetition, joint singing, master classes,concerts, a day devoted to Latvia’s regionsand “<strong>European</strong> Song Day” – an open-airconcert with a united choir, orchestra,soloists and ethnic singers taking part.The festival week – with the choirs <strong>of</strong> differentcountries singing songs <strong>of</strong> the summersolstice, which are very different from eachother but at the same time similar in theiressence – will reflect the unity <strong>of</strong> Europe’smember states and strengthen further internationalcooperation through the process<strong>of</strong> cultural exchange.“Music Inspiration Landscape” invites usto experience the festive joy <strong>of</strong> the summersolstice, as well as the ritual <strong>of</strong> extendingthe period <strong>of</strong> light into the night throughburning bonfires.The “<strong>European</strong> Song Days” event isplanned at the largest open-air concertvenue in the Latvian capital <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> – theMežaparks open-air stage, which is enclosedby a pine-tree forest from all sides.Beacons will be lit and bonfires will burn.Līgo songs will be sung. Meditative silencewill alternate with ancient songs. With theaid <strong>of</strong> a satellite video, participants <strong>of</strong> theinspiration landscape will be able to followthe movement <strong>of</strong> the sun around the earth,until this celestial body returns to us oncemore at sunrise, when it gently brushes thetips <strong>of</strong> the pine trees and the eyes <strong>of</strong> theLīgo revellers.The language spoken by Latvians belongsto the Indo-<strong>European</strong> family tree and togetherwith the Lithuanian language, itforms the Baltic language group. These arethe only surviving Baltic languages, bothconsiderably ancient. In common with, forexample, the Celts, nowadays the number<strong>of</strong> the Balts can only be counted as a fewmillion people, which is what makes theopportunity <strong>of</strong> encountering such lesserknownlanguages and the traditions <strong>of</strong> livingcollective memories so special.What: “<strong>European</strong> Song Day”, Internationalchoir festival and competition .Where: Countries <strong>of</strong> the Baltic Sea region,EU member states that agree to participatein the preparation <strong>of</strong> festival concertsand the development <strong>of</strong> master classes.The main location will be <strong>Riga</strong>.Regions <strong>of</strong> Latvia, with focus on Vidzemeregion. The festival’s closing concertwill take place in Piebalga, where all thechoirs from the member states will singtogether.When: 20 th to 25 th June, <strong>2014</strong>.20 th June–Goodday: Festival opening and<strong>European</strong> Dance Evening.21 st June – Inspiration day: Mclasses andcreative workshops.22 nd June – championship day: Choircompetition and choir review.23 rd June – solstice celebration: concertsin Latvia’s regions and joint concert.24 th June – Līgo farawells.Concept authors: Agita Ikauniece, UģisBrikmanis, Orests Silabriedis, Diāna Čivle,Zanda Ķergalve.Organisers: Concert Organisation Ave Sol;<strong>Riga</strong> City Council, Department <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>.It is planned to establish cooperation with<strong>European</strong> Union funds for financing, aswell as the <strong>Riga</strong> City Council, the LatvianMinistry <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> and Latvian Ministry <strong>of</strong>Foreign Affairs.Cooperation partners: Pr<strong>of</strong>essional choirsfrom the EU member states and traditionalart choirs, as well as institutions devotedto the preservation <strong>of</strong> their countries’national cultural heritage and to thepromotion <strong>of</strong> amateur group activities. Incooperation with partner organisations,basic principles will be established, bywhich the master class programmes andthe criteria and rules <strong>of</strong> the amateur choircompetition will be developed.94 95

saxophonia – saxomaniaAchingly sensitive phrases, coaxedfrom a shiny instrument by a musicianon a street corner in <strong>Riga</strong>’s Old Town,come together in a multi-headed saxophonejoint-choir.Today, the saxophone is one <strong>of</strong> the mostrecognized and revered sources <strong>of</strong> musicalsound, a language <strong>of</strong> communicationwithout borders. Could the Belgian musicalinstrument master Adolf Sax, demonstratinghis newest invention in Paris in1842 – the saxophone – have imagined thepopularity and affection that this instrumentwould gain? Over time, this instrument hastraversed from military and symphony orchestrasto cafes, jazz clubs and streets,and back to the symphony orchestra andsolo stage.riga hip-hopFive days <strong>of</strong> public workshops led bypr<strong>of</strong>essionals and a grand closing concertwill help youths to spend their freetime in a meaningful way, discoveringand developing their talents, learningabout the existing programs for afterschoolart, music, film, extreme andother sports.The youth organization Avantis, in cooperationwith the modern music school “RhythmInstitute”, will organize the master classes<strong>of</strong> the festival’s first three days. The classeswill cover various hip-hop culture genres– DJ, Graffiti, BeatBox, Break dance, film,etc. These master classes will be gearedtowards pr<strong>of</strong>essionals, in order to developand popularize hip-hop culture in their countries.This will also be a good platform forfuture cooperation for the formation <strong>of</strong> jointprojects, festivals and exhibits.At the same time, it seems that no instrumenthas received such contradictory reviews asthe saxophone. In the mid-19th century itstembre was described as howling, shriekingand croaking, but nowadays – as velvety,sensitive and elegant... Saxophonist ArtisSīmanis, the rector <strong>of</strong> the Latvian Academy<strong>of</strong> Music, recalls that when he first played thesaxophone at churches, he was sometimesmet with a negative reaction. Everyone associatedthe saxophone with entertainment andjazz, but now there is a completely differentattitude — the program “Songs <strong>of</strong> David” wasnominated for a Latvian Grand Music Awardas Best Concert <strong>of</strong> the Year in 2008.The “Saxophonia – Saxomania” music festivalwill present itself, maintaining a perfectbalance between academic, contemporaryand jazz music. High class performerswith interesting and unique programs willparticipate, providing impeccable pr<strong>of</strong>es-The last two days <strong>of</strong> the festival will be devotedto everyone who attends, and willtake place at the Grīziņkalns Skate Park.The workshops will be open to the publicand will be free <strong>of</strong> charge for all youths.Attendants will be able to learn more aboutthe various hip-hop culture forms - DJ,BeatBox, Graffiti, extreme sports, etc. Theworkshop masters will work in cooperationwith various artists. At the end <strong>of</strong> the secondday, a grand closing concert will beorganized, with the participation <strong>of</strong> hip-hopartists (from Latvia and other countriesparticipating in the project).What: a hip - hop festival and masterclasses.Where: Grīziņkalns Skate Park, CongressHouse.When: April <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author and organization: Avantis,“Rhythm Institute”.sional concert performances and unexpected‘jam sessions,’ some <strong>of</strong> them in excitinggroup ensembles. The festival will bea celebration <strong>of</strong> sound for music lovers inconcert halls and churches. It will provideexcitement in the streets and parks <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.Musicians will plan joint projects, while atthe same time, young and up-and-comingmusicians will gain knowledge in masterclasses.What: Music festival.Where: Concert halls in <strong>Riga</strong> andthroughout Latvia, <strong>Riga</strong> streets and parks.When: February <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author and organiser: NationalConcert Agency Latvijas Koncerti.Cooperation partners: Latvian Ministry<strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>, Latvian State <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>Capital</strong>Foundation, Embassies <strong>of</strong> Norway, Estonia,Sweden and Germany, as well as FrenchCultural Centre in <strong>Riga</strong>.sunny soviet film eventSeveral generations in Latvia grew uptogether with Soviet-era, sunny, joyfulfilms. Those, who are only in theirtwenties or younger also appreciatethese historical films and their music.Hence, a special film soiree entitled “Sunny,Soviet Film Event” will take place at the foot <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>’s controversial Victory Monument, whichwas built to commemorate ‘the liberation <strong>of</strong>Soviet Latvia by the Soviet Army from Germanfascism.’ The film screenings will take placeat the beginning <strong>of</strong> May, when celebrationsare traditionally held to mark the end <strong>of</strong> theSecond World War. Thus, time and place <strong>of</strong>this film event were not chosen by chance.porta <strong>2014</strong>“Porta” is a true world music port that willbring the sounds <strong>of</strong> the world to <strong>Riga</strong>.“Porta” is the only regular world music festivalin Latvia. Throughout the years, goodcooperation has developed with <strong>European</strong>producers and musicians. Previous projectshave brought outstanding musiciansto Latvia from France, Great Britain,Norway, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Portugal,Austria, Belarus, Georgia and othercountries.Event programme description:• For three to four days at the premises<strong>of</strong> Sapņu Fabrika, world music concertswill be provided by outstanding <strong>European</strong>world music groups and musicians.• Each evening, the concert will feature apreviously successful cooperation projectas the main attraction (Georgian/Latvian,Moldovan/Latvian, Polish/Latvian etc.)• Before the concerts, Sapņu FabrikaOne <strong>of</strong> the goals <strong>of</strong> the film soiree “SunnySoviet Film Event” is to gather together those,who usually do not frequent the VictoryMonument, for this unique cultural event.An eclectic public gathers to sit at tables litup by old, Ilyich light bulbs. Quiet conversationstake place in a jovial atmosphere...the audience has been transported backinto the sunny Soviet film era. The screeninglocation, with its particular historicalbackground, provides the backdrop for apeculiar cultural environment and works torestore the feel <strong>of</strong> long-gone days and traditions.Barriers are broken down to the accompaniment<strong>of</strong> Soviet film music. The goal<strong>of</strong> the film soiree “Sunny Soviet Film Event”is to create multicultural friendships.and cinema K. Suns will show documentaryfilms about world folk music and traditions,selected in cooperation with theAustrian company, IZM.• Every day, visitors will be <strong>of</strong>fered traditionalcuisine from various world nations.• Traditional world music master classes,presented by several guest groups, will takeplace at the Latvian Academy <strong>of</strong> Music.• During the festival, an internationalseminar will be held for <strong>European</strong> producers,concert organizers, music journalistsand other specialists <strong>of</strong> the musicindustry. They will be introduced to theLatvian music environment and will attendthe festival’s evening events.• The festival culmination will be a concertby world music pioneer, British musician,Peter Gabriel, at one <strong>of</strong> the largeconcert halls in <strong>Riga</strong>.What: Concerts, master classes, filmscreenings, seminarsWhere: Sapņu Fabrika, www.sapnufabrika.lv.When: 5 th -8 th November, <strong>2014</strong>.Concept authors: Gita Lancere, Ilze Apsiņa,Film excerpts will be shown on an inflatablefilm screen all evening long – completewith songs from some <strong>of</strong> the mostoutstanding Soviet era films including the“Circus”, “Moscow Does Not Believe InTears”, “The Happy Boys”, “Volga, Volga”.We hope that there will be much dancing,laughter and pleasant conversing. Anyneed to ask how “Sunny Soviet Film Event”can change people and the atmosphere <strong>of</strong>the place where they have gathered?What: Dance event to the accompaniment<strong>of</strong> film music and film excerpts.Where: <strong>Riga</strong>’s Victory Park (Uzvaras parks).When: 1 st or 8 th May <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author: Mārcis Gulbis.Cooperation partners: Cinema archivesand community organizations.www.festivalporta.lv.Organizers: Association Pasaules Mūzika.Cooperation partners: In Estonia – theproducers’ association ERP music,in Germany – the publisher andproducers’ association Jaro, in Portugal –Management Gateirs de Lisboa,in Austria – IZM.96 97

in bed with the sun kingThe dramatic art <strong>of</strong> the Baroque period,the inclination to heightenedcontrasts, the propensity for splendourand decor, the exuberance, passionand dynamics – as opposed tothe Renaissance ideals <strong>of</strong> gravitariposata (inclination toward rest andtranquillity).fontage caps, accordion-pleated (frilled)collars, lace, wigs and fans will be used inaccordance with established guidelines thathave been recorded in today’s reflections <strong>of</strong>Baroque. Stylized painting mock-ups, thescenes <strong>of</strong> which will be a joint creation <strong>of</strong> today’sartists and city dwellers, will bring tolife the Baroque atmosphere, which comesto us today through the poses and gesturescaptured in artworks from times gone by. Itis with these manifested poses and gesturesthat humans strive to live on in future generations,thereby becoming immortal.A concert by joint ensembles from variouscountries will take place in the DomeSquare, along with a costume parade, to beconcluded with a final dance performance.This will include various acted and dancedBaroque scenes that contain hidden eroticism.Richly dressed characters from thattime provoked greater erotica than the nakedness<strong>of</strong> the Renaissance. Human being,who during the Renaissance was anatomicallybeautiful, now acquired sexual beauty:under decorous and modest draping wasliving, breathing flesh.and balls. Theatrical fashion performanceswith frequent costume changes lasted fromearly morning until late at night.From Dome Square in the heart <strong>of</strong> Old <strong>Riga</strong>,everyone will be invited to continue onward tothe Rundāle Castle, where the annual EarlyMusic Festival concludes with a Baroque operaperformance and authentic Baroque fireworks.What: Music, dance and fashionperformance.Where: <strong>Riga</strong>’s Old Town, Rundāle Castle.When: Mid-July <strong>2014</strong>.Concept authors and project organisers:National Concert Agency LatvijasKoncerti.Cooperation partners: Latvian Ministry<strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>, Latvian State <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>Capital</strong>Foundation, French Cultural Centrein <strong>Riga</strong>, Embassies <strong>of</strong> Sweden andGermany, Rundāle Castle.a different type<strong>of</strong> “vienna classic”The words “Vienna Classic” usually referto Austrian classical music masterpieces,but in <strong>Riga</strong> in <strong>2014</strong>, they will alsoherald some new and unique musicalexperiences. Along with the classicalworks <strong>of</strong> such traditional Viennese composersas Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven,the audience <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s “Vienna Classic“music festival will also get to hear theunusual works <strong>of</strong> three 20 th -centuryAustrian composers. In addition, theywill be able to watch classic moviesabout various <strong>European</strong> composers.The “Vienna Classic” festival is primarily devotedto the music <strong>of</strong> three Viennese mastercomposers – Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart,whose works form part <strong>of</strong> the golden heritage<strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> culture and still captivatelistening audiences to this day. The festivalwill <strong>of</strong>fer chamber music and orchestraconcerts in <strong>Riga</strong> and other places in Latvia,as a sign <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s close link with the rest <strong>of</strong>Europe’s musical culture and traditions, andplacing <strong>Riga</strong> squarely among Europe’s othermusical capitals. Such symphony works asWolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sunny andinspiring Symphony No. 40 or Ludwig vanBeethoven’s passionate overture aboutLeonora and Prometheus always drawcrowds wherever they are performed. Theperformance <strong>of</strong> Georg Friedrich Handel’s“Messiah” (revised by Mozart) in <strong>Riga</strong>’sDome Cathedral promises to be no lessexciting. This time, the “Vienna Classic”music festival’s traditional concert programme+ will be supplemented with acompletely different kind <strong>of</strong> music fromAustria, featuring works by the 20th-centuryAustrian composers Alban Berg, AntonWebern and Arnold Schoenberg. Berg’s“Violin Concerto”, Webern’s “Six PiecesFor Orchestra”, Schönberg’s “TransfiguredNight”, “Moonstruck Pierrot” and “Variations”for orchestra will provide the audience withunusual examples <strong>of</strong> atonal music, serialismand musical expressionism.An additional film programme will be <strong>of</strong>feredto movie buffs in <strong>Riga</strong> and all <strong>of</strong>Latvia, featuring several screen worksabout musical composers:Frederick Delius – Song <strong>of</strong> Summer(1968), director Ken Russell;Marin Marais – Tous les matins du monde(1991), director Alain Corneau;Georg Friedrich Handel – Farinelli (1994),director Gerard Corbiau;Jean-Baptiste Lully – Marquise (1997),director Vera Belmont;Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Amadeus(1984), director Milos Forman.What: Music festival.Where: <strong>Riga</strong>, as well as concert halls andmovie theatres elsewhere in Latvia.When: March <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author and organiser: NationalConcert Agency Latvijas Koncerti.Cooperation partners: Latvian Ministry <strong>of</strong><strong>Culture</strong>, Latvian State Cultural <strong>Capital</strong>Foundation, Embassy <strong>of</strong> Austria,Cinema Rīga.The authentic performance traditions <strong>of</strong>Renaissance and Baroque music havebeen cultivated in many countries. Latvia’sEarly Music pr<strong>of</strong>essionals and “EarlyMusic” festival traditions have broughtabout people’s ever-increasing interest.The Old Town <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> will transform into theepicentre <strong>of</strong> eras long past, where everythingbecomes theatre; even nature, whichwill be allotted a dramatic compositionalcharacter (complete with artificial cliffs andwaterfalls). Improvised stages will play hostto French Renaissance music, Italian andLatin-American Baroque. Parades throughthe Old Town will showcase various Baroqueand Renaissance-era costumes.It will be a graceful social game, in which suchfashion elements as hoopskirts, (skirt)trains,Ornate beds were created in Baroque interiors,beds that acquired the form <strong>of</strong> a tentmade from lavish curtains and draperies,thereby practically concealing the woodenconstruction. The traditions <strong>of</strong> organizingshowy bedrooms with ornate beds developedduring the reign <strong>of</strong> Louis XIV. Wakingand slumber for the Sun King were accompaniedby resplendent ceremonies,with the royal bedroom transformed froma place <strong>of</strong> relaxation to a celebration hall.Gradually, the king’s bedroom began toplay the role <strong>of</strong> reception hall. The SunKing received his guests while lying downor during an intricate dressing ceremony.Funds for garments, accessories and courtinteriors were spared no expense. Ladies’wardrobes contained special clothes for virtuallyevery occasion, especially for strolls“summertime” in jūrmalaLatvia’s world famous opera soloistInese Galante has demonstrated manytimes that singers with an academiceducation can still provide masterfulperformances in practically any musicalgenre. In <strong>2014</strong>, Inese Galante and anelite group <strong>of</strong> world class singers andmusicians will perform several genres <strong>of</strong>music at the city <strong>of</strong> Jūrmala’s DzintaruConcert Hall, as well as at other concerthalls and churches in <strong>Riga</strong>.The annual “Summertime” music festivalis eagerly awaited each year and in <strong>2014</strong>,opera singer Inese Galante and pianistInna Davidova will set up a unique musicalprogramme as a special tribute to the city<strong>of</strong> Jūrmala. Each year, the festival attractsworld class orchestras and opera soloists,featuring a kaleidoscopic array <strong>of</strong> chambermusic, jazz, light music and world music.While the festival’s main concerts will be heldat this resort city’s open-air stage, severalperformances will also take place at variousconcert halls In <strong>Riga</strong>. Unlike many other musicalfestivals that are devoted to one, particularmusical genre, “Summertime” standsout with the wide array <strong>of</strong> musical styles thatcan be heard at its concerts. During one unforgettableweek, opera and jazz masters,chamber music singers and soloist instrumentalists,as well as choirs, orchestras,ethnographic ensembles and vocal groupswill enthral the festival’s audience underJūrmala’s starry, August skies.The Dzintari Concert Hall was one <strong>of</strong> the firstopen-air concert halls to be built in Latvia.Its acoustic qualities have been praised bypr<strong>of</strong>essionals and its open sides (i. e. nowalls) help it to blend in with the surroundingscenery <strong>of</strong> Jūrmala’s beach dunes andpark.What: Concert series featuring variousgenres <strong>of</strong> music.Where: Jūrmala’s Dzintaru Concert Hall, aswell as various concert halls and churchesin <strong>Riga</strong>.When: 2 nd and 3 rd week <strong>of</strong> August.Concept author and project implementation:Hermanis Brauns Foundation.98 99

from classicalto avant-garde<strong>Riga</strong>’s International “Baltic Ballet Festival”has brought in new impulses tothe aesthetic development <strong>of</strong> Latviandance. The festival’s goal is to addsome missing, yet potentially significantthemes to Latvia’s dance scene,to qualitatively and quantitatively influencethe dance art scene and to expandthe art horizons <strong>of</strong> dance in Latvia.The ballet festival’s central events will be:A new multimedia project – an original balletperformance based on the motives <strong>of</strong>Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” – in cooperationwith cultural institutions and creativepersonalities from the Nordic countries.The basis <strong>of</strong> the project’s content isa reflection <strong>of</strong> contemporary value scales,based on the Norwegian author’s immortal,classic work.A symphony orchestra concert entitled“Ballet music chefs d’oeuvres”. The programmewill consist <strong>of</strong> international classicaland modern ballet music. The vastarray <strong>of</strong> ballet music to choose from willprovide the performing orchestra withample means to further expand the styles<strong>of</strong> music that it plays.• Guest performances in <strong>Riga</strong> by a classicalballet troupe from St. Petersburg,Russia. The Saint Petersburg ballet schooland troupe continue to maintain timeless,classical ballet traditions and to producesuperb ballet dancers, whose performancesare inspiring and provide an upliftingartistic experience.• Guest performances by outstandingmodern dance companies from <strong>European</strong>d the USA.• Festival opening and closing events at<strong>Riga</strong>’s central railway station and in <strong>Riga</strong>city squares.• Gala concert with the participation <strong>of</strong>some <strong>of</strong> the world’s brightest dancing stars— a programme <strong>of</strong> classical and moderndance.• Latvian dance marathon — a democraticdance event with the participation <strong>of</strong>the audience, as well as Latvian moderndance groups and invited guests fromLithuania and Estonia.• Master dance classes for practicingdancers, in order to promote the exchange<strong>of</strong> ideas and experience and to expand thedance teaching platform in Latvia.• Exhibitions on the theme <strong>of</strong> dance withthe participation <strong>of</strong> artists from various<strong>European</strong> countries.Where: <strong>Riga</strong> theatres and concert halls,other outdoor venues in the city, as wellas the Latvian cities <strong>of</strong> Ventspils, Valmiera,Preiļi and Jelgava.When: April and September <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author: Lita Beiris, www.balletfestival.lv.Organisers: „Litas Beires Dance ArtCentre”.Cooperation partners: Office <strong>of</strong> the NordicCouncil in <strong>Riga</strong>, Danish Cultural Institute,French Cultural Centre in <strong>Riga</strong>, GoetheInstitute in <strong>Riga</strong>, Latvian National Opera,Latvian Modern Dance Association andLatvian Fashion Dance Studio.new music +New musical compositions will be composedespecially for this unique festival,incorporating a wide range <strong>of</strong> musicalgenres ranging from electroacousticto symphony music. These works willbe created in conceptual cooperationbetween the composers and their newpartners from the visual and stage arts,film, science and other fields.In 2008, the Latvian Composers’ Unionlaunched the annual “Latvia’s New MusicDays” festival. Its principal goal is to providelive venues for musical works thathave been penned during the past fewyears by composers from Latvia. Therange <strong>of</strong> music performed at this festivalis very wide, ranging from electroacousticmusic to large format symphony andvocal symphony works. Starting in 2010,the festival plans to introduce a more activesynthesis <strong>of</strong> various art forms, includingdance, stage and visual art within theframework <strong>of</strong> the festival. The possibility <strong>of</strong>organizing the “Latvia’s New Music Days”festival within the framework <strong>of</strong> the <strong>2014</strong>ECC <strong>2014</strong> programme would provide theopportunity to continue and to expand thisinnovative festival’s activities.Outline <strong>of</strong> “Latvia’s New Music Days” in <strong>2014</strong>:• Musical performances in conjunctionwith other fields <strong>of</strong> art, such as dance,stage art, cinematography, visual art, aswell as science (for example, Latvia’s nationalchamber orchestra “Sinfonietta Rīga”is currently cooperating with composerKristaps Pētersons, who is composing amusical piece to accompany the screening<strong>of</strong> the Latvian silent film “Bearslayer”. Apremiere performance, with the chamberorchestra performing Pētersons’ work whilethe movie is screened, would be possiblewithin the framework <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC <strong>2014</strong>programme).• Performances by some <strong>of</strong> Europe’smost outstanding musical artists, ensemblesand conductors in the presentation<strong>of</strong> new musical works by composers fromLatvia (for example, “Ensemble Modern”,the Concertgebouw chamber orchestra,“Rambert Dance Company”, HeinzHolliger, etc.).• Along with indoor concert performances,the range <strong>of</strong> concert venues wouldbe expanded. For example, in cooperationwith multimedia artists, ‘musical objects’(electroacoustic music + installations andvideo art) would be created in conjunctionwith <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC <strong>2014</strong> thematic frameworkand would be displayed outdoors in variousparts <strong>of</strong> the city.What: Music festival.Where: New <strong>Riga</strong> Theatre, Cinema Rīga,<strong>Riga</strong> Art Space, Small Guild in <strong>Riga</strong>’sOld Town, as well as a number <strong>of</strong> nontraditionalconcert venues: <strong>Riga</strong> airport,<strong>Riga</strong> central train station, shoppingcentre Galerija Centrs, various parks in<strong>Riga</strong> and Port <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.When: March <strong>2014</strong>.Concept authors and creative group:the composers Kristaps Pētersonsand Gundega Šmite. Gundega Šmitealso chairs the board <strong>of</strong> the LatvianComposers’ Union, www.lks.org.lv.Organizers: Latvian Composers’ Union.Potential cooperation partners: NationalFilm Centre <strong>of</strong> Latvia, Latvian Union <strong>of</strong>Artists and Latvian Science Centre.100 101

the opera <strong>of</strong> goodhumouredfantasiesAny phenomenon has two sides: thevisible and the invisible, the knownone and the imperceptible one. Usuallythey do not dwell on the same plane,but there are exceptions. And the City<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> is one <strong>of</strong> such exceptions. In<strong>Riga</strong> there exist two parallel worlds,each only surmising the existence <strong>of</strong>the other. We have a chance to changethis situation and we have to begindoing it today. We have to pull downseveral barriers built by language andsocial differences.The idea has inspired a large-scale performancein Arēna Rīga. It will be a sumptuousfantasy show which will combineelements <strong>of</strong> opera, ballet, modern dance,circus and athletics. But what is evenmore important, this performance will be ateamwork <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essional artists and varioussocially vulnerable groups <strong>of</strong> society:children with special needs, street childrenand youth, retired pr<strong>of</strong>essional actors,ballet-dancers and opera soloists who <strong>of</strong>tenfeel forgotten once the prime <strong>of</strong> theirlives is over and their brilliant careers havecome to an end.The premises <strong>of</strong> the Arena allow to expandthe opera genre into broad spatial terms,turning it into a multi-dimensional show by,for example, staging the reflections <strong>of</strong> fantasyin Mozart’s Zauberflöte in a new waythat has not been seen in <strong>Riga</strong> yet in orderindirectly to address the most importantaspect: even if only for a moment to mergethe realities <strong>of</strong> our daily lives to change thestandardized concepts. Such dynamic,high-quality show permeated with kindnessand cordiality will appeal to the culturalexperience <strong>of</strong> new audiences.A team <strong>of</strong> high-level pr<strong>of</strong>essionals will beset up to bring to life this grand-scope idea.In 1212 the working group <strong>of</strong> the multimediashow will start addressing the potentialparticipants, trying to identify them in theplaces <strong>of</strong> gathering <strong>of</strong> ‘disadvantage’ childrenand youth in <strong>Riga</strong> dwelling districts.Pr<strong>of</strong>essional choreographers and teachers<strong>of</strong> music will work with these children andyoungsters until September <strong>2014</strong> to trainthe potential participants for the show.Approximately 1200 participants are expectedto take part in the show.Where: Arēna Rīga, video broadcast to alldwelling districts <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.When: Beginning <strong>of</strong> September.concept author and organisation: <strong>Riga</strong>’sECC task group, National Concert AgencyLatvijas Koncerti.Cooperation partners: Latvian NationalOpera, <strong>Riga</strong> Circus.Participants: Artistic manager AndrisNelsons; soloists Maija Kovaļevska,Egils Siliņš, Aleksandrs Antoņenko;head <strong>of</strong> choreographers’ group MikhailBarishnikov; Latvian National SymphonyOrchestra, pr<strong>of</strong>essional Latvian choirs,children and youth <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and otherparticipants.european christmasA Christmas market with culinary wondersfrom various <strong>European</strong> countries;performances by magicians and streetmusicians in <strong>Riga</strong>’s Dome Square duringthe day; concerts by musical ensemblesfrom all over Europe in concerthalls and churches during theevening. These events will signal theopening <strong>of</strong> the “<strong>European</strong> Christmas”festival, which will reveal the colourfulChristmas traditions <strong>of</strong> many <strong>European</strong>countries.It will look like a picture from a storybook: amarket square with wooden stalls, staffedby jovial people <strong>of</strong>fering Christmas toysand roasted chestnuts for sale, with thefragrant smell <strong>of</strong> gingerbread cookies andhot wine in the air... This will be a sure signthat the “<strong>European</strong> Christmas” festival hasbeen launched in <strong>Riga</strong>’s Dome Square.There, one will be able to learn about theChristmas traditions that are practiced inmany <strong>European</strong> countries.In accordance with English traditions, askating rink will be set up in the marketsquare and traditional Christmas carolswill be sung in <strong>Riga</strong>’s Old Town squares.The world’s most famous Christmas song,“Silent Night”, which originated in Austria,will be performed in <strong>Riga</strong>’s Old Town indozens <strong>of</strong> languages.The Scandinavian countries will be representedin full force during a mythologicalmasked parade – complete with Vikings,elves, trolls, goats and devils. The delegationfrom France, for its part, will show howto make tasteful store and <strong>of</strong>fice decorationswith apples, paper blossoms and ribbons.They will also demonstrate a game devotedto the birth <strong>of</strong> Christ, complete with a manger,the Virgin Mary and Joseph, to remindus all about the roots <strong>of</strong> Christianity.At the German Christmas market stalls, onewill be able to try out a glass <strong>of</strong> traditionalwinter hot wine, along with gingerbreadcookies, fried sausages and potatoes.Glass and wood decorations, wooden toysand German Christmas pyramids will alsobe on display.<strong>Riga</strong> has its own, special Christmas legend,which states that the practice <strong>of</strong> decoratingChristmas trees began in <strong>Riga</strong> in 1510and gradually spread around the worldto become an enduring Christmas tradition.Some Latvians still practice anotherancient tradition <strong>of</strong> dragging a log aroundtheir homestead on the day <strong>of</strong> the wintersolstice, thus drawing out all evil, and thenburning the log in a fire.All these <strong>European</strong> traditions and more willbe seen in <strong>Riga</strong>’s Old Town during the day,while during the evening, various pr<strong>of</strong>essionalmusicians and ensembles (“HilliardEnsemble”, the string quartet Euphonia,the <strong>Riga</strong> Dome Boy’s Choir, the baroqueorchestra Collegium Musicum <strong>Riga</strong>, theLatvian Radio choir, the Estonian bell choirArsis) will perform in a number <strong>of</strong> concerthalls and churches. The central musicalevent will be a mixed choir concert,in which two to three singers from eachparticipating country will join together withtheir neighbouring colleagues to form aunited, <strong>European</strong> choir and to sing traditionalChristmas carols.The <strong>European</strong> Christmas festival will providea splendid opportunity for everyone tolearn about the Christmas traditions in theirown and in their neighbouring <strong>European</strong>countries.What: Musical and other performances atChristmas markets and concert halls.Where: <strong>Riga</strong>’s Old Town, Dome Square,concert halls and churches in <strong>Riga</strong> andother Latvian cities.When: December <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author and organiser: NationalConcert Agency Latvijas Koncerti.Cooperation partners: Latvian Ministry <strong>of</strong><strong>Culture</strong>, <strong>Riga</strong> City Council, Department<strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>, Latvian State Cultural <strong>Capital</strong>Foundation, Embassies <strong>of</strong> Italy, Spain,the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden,Denmark, Germany and the FrenchCultural Centre in <strong>Riga</strong>.102 103

104amber vein

Amber embodies a paradox. On the one hand, it is an inertrock and a component <strong>of</strong> inorganic nature. But on the otherhand, amber is a relic <strong>of</strong> the living past, a piece <strong>of</strong> organicmatter, and the lifeline <strong>of</strong> plant life. As a mineral, amber, likeall stones, is eternal, quite unlike the transitory elements<strong>of</strong> human existence. But as a prehistoric plant extract, amberreawakens in our modern-day consciousness a sense<strong>of</strong> eternal return, traditional cycles <strong>of</strong> reawakening – likethe seasons, the path <strong>of</strong> the sun, and the spiral <strong>of</strong> humanlife, which repeats the same model for generations. Amberhas a new symbolic value in the consciousness <strong>of</strong> today’sidentity, aware <strong>of</strong> traditions that aren’t just dead and gonebut, rather, are tangible pro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> something indestructiblyalive. 1“Amber Vein” is a thematic line that will reveal those scientific andcultural achievements that are valuable both as excellent accomplishmentsand as remarkable contributions to the global community.This is <strong>Riga</strong>’s and Latvia’s investment in world culture andthe development <strong>of</strong> human creativity. As part <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> programme, the “New Amber Route” will bea <strong>European</strong> cultural cooperation network created by the city <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>, which will unite the cities in the ancient amber trade route ina new, interdisciplinary partnership. Why did we choose amber forthis thematic section? What’s so special about this natural mineralthat people living along the Baltic coast have grown so accustomedto in everyday life? Amber is a virgin element that containsthe code <strong>of</strong> evolution.Amber: A ‘Child <strong>of</strong> Nature’ created under the influence <strong>of</strong> aclimatic force majeureDzintars, the Latvian word for ‘amber’, comes from the Latinsuccinus; the English word ‘amber’ stems from the ancient Persianambare. Amber has been given many other beautiful names in variouslanguages: in Latvian, dzintars is the ‘sun stone’; in Russian,alatir is ‘sea incense’; and in Finnish, Estonian, and Arab, amber is‘sea stone.’ People in various time periods have always believedin the mysterious powers <strong>of</strong> amber, regardless <strong>of</strong> what they calledit. Amber is usually yellow with various other subtle colour tones,from yellowish red to yellowish brown. White, green, and blackamber may also be found. Researchers have claimed that ambercan come in 216 different colours.The first written testimony <strong>of</strong> amber appeared in Assyrian cuneiformcharacters, in 1000 B.C. The first person to mention the plantorigin <strong>of</strong> amber was the ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder(23–79 AD), who concluded that amber was composed <strong>of</strong> resinthat had hardened in the cold. Now most researchers agree that,about 50–60 million years ago, when the Scandinavian Peninsulawas attached to the eastern shore <strong>of</strong> the Baltic Sea, the foreststhat gave rise to amber grew on the coast <strong>of</strong> the North Sea. Atthat time, the climate in this region was similar to that <strong>of</strong> moderndayAfrica, and the subtropical and tropical forests were homemostly to palms, cypresses, oaks, chestnuts, pines, and firs. Inthese forests, pine trees (pinus succinifera) secreted a wealth <strong>of</strong>resin. During storms and other atmospheric disturbances, thisresin ended up in the water, where it hardened and was eventuallycarried south. What we call amber is no longer primordial resin; itis a mineral that has formed over a long period <strong>of</strong> time.As the earth’s climate changed and the temperature rose, plantsin extreme conditions began to produce more and more succinicacid, which found its way into resin. More developed organismstried to use external sources to make up for the deficiencies in thissubstance. This is perhaps why many insects were instinctivelyattracted to liquid wood resin, where they drowned and in whichthey have been preserved to the present day.Amber on the scale <strong>of</strong> valuesThe Romans valued Baltic amber so highly that a piece <strong>of</strong> amberthe size <strong>of</strong> a child’s fist was worth more than a healthy youngslave. Their predecessors the Villanovans and Etruscans (1200–600 B.C.) considered amber more valuable than gold. And duringthe Bronze age, 3,500 years ago, Baltic amber was consideredthe main precious mineral in all Mediterranean civilizations – theGreeks, the Minoans, and the Egyptians. A few examples: WhenHeinrich Schliemann discovered the ruins <strong>of</strong> Troy he also found10,000 amber beads. In 1922, when Howard Carter found thetomb <strong>of</strong> Tutankhamen, he had no idea that the dull brown resinin the middle <strong>of</strong> the golden ‘heart scarab’ (the single most importantjewel on the pharaoh’s mummy) was amber, the ‘sun stone’,as was the necklace in his casket. In the Old Testament, KingSolomon’s ring was made <strong>of</strong> amber, and Baltic amber beads havebeen found in archaeological sites in the Near East dating from3500 and 4200 B.C. 2Healing propertiesThe Ancient Egyptians knew that amber had unique healingpowers. In Ancient Egypt, resin was an ingredient in embalming substances.The Egyptians also prepared a drink from amber groundinto powder, which they then mixed with wine and honey and usedto strengthen the heart and other organs. Pliny the Elder (23–79A.D.) wrote that Italian women wore amber around their necks, toprotect against an enlarged thyroid gland and other throat diseases.These so-called ‘health necklaces’ – uncut amber threaded on alinen thread – are still worn today by women in the Baltic States. InBelarus, amber was used to treat insomnia; pieces <strong>of</strong> uncut amberwere placed beneath the pillow or hung at the head <strong>of</strong> the bed. Tothis day, amber spirit extract is used to treat and prevent colds, variousheart conditions, and circulation problems.The transformation <strong>of</strong> amber in new scientific discoveriesAmber has its own DNA. By analyzing the chemical componentsand radioactive carbon data <strong>of</strong> a piece <strong>of</strong> amber, scientists candetermine whether the amber comes from the Baltic coast or otherlocations. Scientists call amber from the Baltic region succinites.Inga Ļašenko, a researcher at the Biomaterial and BiomechanicsInstitute at <strong>Riga</strong> Technical University, is the most outstandingspecialist in modern ‘amber science’ well beyond <strong>Riga</strong> andLatvia’s borders. She has won two prestigious awards: a GoldMedal for Innovation and a Gold Medal for Science from theWorld Intellectual Property Organization. These medals provethe importance <strong>of</strong> I. Ļašenko’s work in the development <strong>of</strong> newinnovations and confirm its great practical significance. Thescientist conducts experiments in the construction <strong>of</strong> amber bloodvessels, which may someday be used in heart and blood vesselsurgery. At the Egyptian National Library in Cairo, I. Ļašenko discovereda manuscript that tells <strong>of</strong> Egyptian efforts to make bloodvessels from amber, two thousands years ago. I. Ļašenko’s firstdiscoveries show that an amber electron donor with a negativeelectric charge considerably lessens the formation <strong>of</strong> thrombi inblood vessels, which is the problem with traditional implants. Shehas also created composite amber threads that can be used bothfor medical purposes and for textile products. Likewise, Pr<strong>of</strong>essorĻašenko has developed a line <strong>of</strong> amber-based natural cosmetics,which provide surprising effects.The eternal art <strong>of</strong> amberFor centuries, amber has served both as an object <strong>of</strong> beauty andpro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> one’s social status: the more ornate the amber decorationson a person’s clothing and jewellery, the more influential he or shewas in society. At the end <strong>of</strong> the Stone Age, people most <strong>of</strong>ten usedamber to make necklaces; this is confirmed by archaeological discoverieson the Baltic coast, in Scandinavia, and in a few regions<strong>of</strong> Ukraine. In the late Stone Age, amber was carried farther intoEurope, where the craft <strong>of</strong> amber processing was established – thepractice <strong>of</strong> cutting, boring, and polishing. During this time amberwas also brought into Egypt, where it was used to make jewelleryand other cult objects.106 107

Latvian scientists have unearthed world-class archaeologicaldiscoveries at the marshes <strong>of</strong> Lake Lubāna, in the eastern part<strong>of</strong> Latvia, where amber workshops were in operation more thanthree thousand years before our era. Thanks to internationally recognizedarchaeological research by Latvian scientist Ilze Loze,the mid-Neolithic amber workshop in the Lake Lubāna marshes<strong>of</strong> Eastern Latvia, discovered in 1960 and studied until the earlynineties, has given us the oldest amber necklaces found inEurope.Among the many other valuable artifacts found at Lake Lubāna,archaeologists also discovered a necklace typical <strong>of</strong> Afghanistanand Egypt from the period 5,000–3,000 B.C. Another necklace,found in nearby Zvidze, is incomparably older than the jewellery<strong>of</strong> the Egyptian Old Kingdom period and the artifacts foundamong the strings <strong>of</strong> necklaces in the Sumerian royal family’stomb in Ur. The Afghan-style necklace was made <strong>of</strong> alabaster,and the Zvidze necklace was made <strong>of</strong> gold and orange cornelian.For purposes <strong>of</strong> comparison, the Egyptian Old Kingdom periodlasted from 2650–2300 B.C. and the Zvidze necklace dates from3611–3523 B.C. Another unique feature <strong>of</strong> the more than 4,000-year-old amber workshops at Lake Lubāna is the amber crafting‘innovations’ and advanced technological methods employedby the people <strong>of</strong> that time. Spherical amber necklaces, whichare only one millimetre short <strong>of</strong> ideal globular form, have turnedout to be unexpectedly ancient. The ancient amber practitioners<strong>of</strong> the Lake Lubāna marshes were not only craftsmen, they alsointroduced new technologies. In the late Neolithic period theyperfected their techniques and introduced special amber jewellery,including circular pendants also characteristic <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong>south-eastern territories, made <strong>of</strong> gold, silver, or copper with astem-like top for boring special holes (‘stemmed rings’, to useMarija Gimbutas’s phrase). The latter were also characteristic <strong>of</strong>the ancient Varna Necropolis on the coast <strong>of</strong> the Black Sea inBulgaria, which is filled with golden accessories and which isstill considered older than most ancient burial places in Egyptor Mesopotamia.Button-like amber necklaces were introduced by the craftsmenat the amber centre in Sambia 3 and could have initially only appearedin Europe as a result <strong>of</strong> bartering. They are not characteristic<strong>of</strong> Western or even Central Europe.Today, amber necklaces and other art objects are still craftednot only by <strong>Riga</strong>’s craftsmen and women, but also those livingelsewhere along the Baltic coast. In turn, the Polimoda School<strong>of</strong> the Versace fashion house has expressed an interest in IngaĻašenko’s amber threads.History <strong>of</strong> the Amber RouteHistorians refer to the Amber Route as belonging to the ‘highestleague’ <strong>of</strong> ancient <strong>European</strong> trade routes, to borrow a term fromthe world <strong>of</strong> sports. Amber is mentioned as a valuable currency inwritten sources dating back to the Stone and Bronze Ages. Moreancient pro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> the existence <strong>of</strong> the Amber Route may be found intexts from the era <strong>of</strong> the Roman Empire and, later, from ChristianRome. During this time, the ruling powers documented evidence<strong>of</strong> their period and their achievements in various fields, includingthe significance and impact <strong>of</strong> trade routes on the life <strong>of</strong> powerfulRomans and ordinary citizens.One <strong>of</strong> the most fascinating quotations about the ‘top five’ in theRoman trade route’s ‘highest league’ comes from a geographicanalysis by C. R. Beazley. Though his text seems like a very simplifieddescription <strong>of</strong> the era, when compared with contemporarygeographic studies, the citation nevertheless reveals the range<strong>of</strong> the trade route and the place therein occupied by the Baltics:‘What were the trade routes in the Roman world when that worldbecame Christian? What routes did Christian Rome inherit frompre-Christian times? These roads existed unchanged through theentire early Middle Ages, but were, <strong>of</strong> course, overseen by differentnations. For the most part, these routes went from east towest or from west to east. There weren’t many trading opportunitiesto the north, beyond the Elba and Carpathian Mountains, orto the south, beyond the Saharan and Arabian deserts, except fortwo exceptions: amber trading on the Baltic coast, and the trading<strong>of</strong> gold, elephant bone, and slaves on the coast <strong>of</strong> Zanzibar, onthe other side <strong>of</strong> Cape Guardafui. These routes moved like enormousmountain ranges, or geographic latitudinal lines, across theOld World.’ 4This information is further confirmed by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, whowrote: ‘The new discovery <strong>of</strong> the Silk Route up to the Stone Towerin Tashkurgan, after Emperor Trajan’s war campaign in the direction<strong>of</strong> the Tigris River, and Julian’s dispatching <strong>of</strong> a noble agentto Baltic shores…can be listed among the highest achievementsin Roman commerce.’ 5Cambridge University Pr<strong>of</strong>essor, Māra Kalniņš, author <strong>of</strong> “AncientAmber Routes”: From <strong>Riga</strong> to Byzantium, emphasizes that ‘<strong>Riga</strong>,with its New Amber Route cooperation proposition has two verystrong arguments:1 The Geographical Argument:Since the end <strong>of</strong> the last Ice Age, the Gulf <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> has been thestarting point for an amber trading network that spanned theentire <strong>European</strong> continent and beyond. All cultures, civilizations,peoples desired the ‘sun-stone’ and the amber trade could beseen (quite legitimately) as the first example <strong>of</strong> a pan-<strong>European</strong>market, a kind <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> Union (only the trade in flint occursearlier in human history).2 The Temporal Argument:Firstly, there is the documented importance <strong>of</strong> amber in historicaltimes from the 13 th century, when the Teutonic Knights secured amonopoly on the substance (which was so valuable that the revenuesfrom amber paid for the entire annual costs <strong>of</strong> the Order) tothe great Medieval and Renaissance amber guilds which createdwonders for the courts <strong>of</strong> princes and kings, popes and bishops,to modern times (e.g., the fabulous “Amber Room” <strong>of</strong> Peter the1Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. Proceedings <strong>of</strong> the 4 th International Conference on Amberin Archaeology, Opening address, Talsi, Latvia, 2001//Latvian History InstitutePress, <strong>Riga</strong>, 2003.2Dr. Māra Kalniņš. Letter to the <strong>Riga</strong> application task group/20093Sambia (Semba, in Lithuanian, or Samland, in German), also known as theSambian Peninsula, was a Prussian territory on the peninsula between theCuronian Lagoon, the Baltic Sea, and the Prussian Lagoon (now the VistulaLagoon). Due to its wealth <strong>of</strong> amber and favorable geographical position, Sambiawas the first Prussian territory to become known to Western traders (Mugurēvičs,1995, pp. 24–27).4Beazley, C.R.. The Dawn <strong>of</strong> Modern Geography, vol. 1, p. 178 (London, 1897).5Sir Wheeler M. Rome beyond the Imperial Frontiers. London, 1954, p. 155.6Dr. Māra Kalniņš. Letter to the <strong>Riga</strong> application working group, 2009.Great and, in our own time, the wonderful Amber Altar in Gdansk,being made by Mariusz Drapikowski, which when completed willbe the largest amber artifact ever created, larger even than the“Amber Room”).Secondly, it is the story <strong>of</strong> Baltic amber in pre-history. (We alreadymentioned the great value that the Romans saw in amber and thejewel status it possessed in Greek, Minoan and Egyptian civilizations).Amber was, if anything, even more important in the StoneAge, to which research on amber workshops in Eastern Latvia,in the surroundings <strong>of</strong> Lake Lubāna, testifies. These workshopswere the crossroads between the western amber sources and theeastern (Moscow river basin) lands which produced flint 6 ”.108 109

expedition insearch <strong>of</strong> the newamber route 1After considering <strong>Riga</strong>’s possible contributions,as <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>,to the contemporary <strong>European</strong> culturalcommunication network, we have chosento follow the historic Amber Route,uniting Northern and Southern <strong>European</strong>d transgressing the traditionalboundaries that we call Europe. Muchhas been written about the role <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>in various time periods as a member <strong>of</strong>the Western-Eastern route, but the role<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and the rest <strong>of</strong> Latvia in the implementation<strong>of</strong> the Northern-Southernaxis has been forgotten, and continuesto be shrouded in mystery.In the application for <strong>Riga</strong> as ECC <strong>2014</strong>,the modern Amber Route signifies a newcultural cooperation network between<strong>European</strong> cities located on a Northern-Southern axis. This was inspired by the ancientAmber Route and the significance <strong>of</strong>amber in various cultures and fields <strong>of</strong> life.However, the “New Amber Route” encompassesmore than just amber. Its centralgoal is to bring about a new contributionto the network <strong>of</strong> human and cultural connections,within the framework <strong>of</strong> the aforementionedgeographic axis.The creation and renewal process <strong>of</strong> this cooperationnetwork is an expedition that willattempt to disclose the secrets, keys, andessence <strong>of</strong> the modern Amber Route, bringingtogether people from various cultural,scientific, and business fields, so that theymay learn together and transfer acquired informationand experience to their activities.The expedition is the main project in thisthematic line; it unites representatives fromvarious fields in a single team, which will visit110 111

the cities <strong>of</strong> the ancient Amber Route. Thissharing <strong>of</strong> experience and knowledge willlead to an act <strong>of</strong> cohesion, surprising thoseinvolved and contributing to the creation <strong>of</strong>new achievements and cultural events.Pliny once wrote about a Roman nobleman(eques), who was sent by the patricianJulian to Prussian shores in order to bringback large amounts <strong>of</strong> amber. Scholarshave argued about whether this Roman noblemantravelled to Prussia simply to bringback amber, or whether he also went thereto discuss the introduction <strong>of</strong> a unified customsduty, which would lessen the manycustoms duties imposed over the course<strong>of</strong> the long journey. 2 <strong>Riga</strong>’s “New AmberRoute” partnership project is an attemptto break down the boundaries erected bystereotypes (the ‘typical’ Northerner, or the‘typical’ Southerner), and to bring togetherpeople from various spheres for new culturalexperiences and events. The projectalso aims to create, through new culturalnetworks, a type <strong>of</strong> modern cultural ‘currency’:high-quality partnership projects,which are marked by excellence and theability to fascinate the minds <strong>of</strong> many andimprove the quality <strong>of</strong> life.Cities in the “New Amber Route”cooperation network 3Cities in the Northern-Western-SouthernAmber Route partnership:<strong>Riga</strong> – Liepāja – Klaipēda – Kaliningrad(Königsberg) – Gdansk – Lübeck – Bruges– Vienna – Aquileia in the province <strong>of</strong> Venice– Rome – Athens.1The working group based its studies <strong>of</strong> the AmberRoute on research by Latvian and internationalhistorians. Of particular assistance were the studiespublished by the International Conference onAmber in Archaeology, in Talsi, Latvia, in 2001, andthe highly acclaimed book “Ancient Amber Routes”Waterways: Baltic Sea, Vistula – Morava –Danube; Elbe – Rhine – Rhone.Cities in the Northern-Eastern-SouthernAmber Route partnership:<strong>Riga</strong> – Rēzekne (in association with the nearbyLake Lubāna marshes) – Daugavpils –Sevastopol (formerly Chersonesus) – Istanbul.Waterways: Daugava – Dnieper – Black Sea.Different fields in the “New Amber Route“cooperation network and expedition<strong>Culture</strong> – Inspired by the many uses <strong>of</strong> amberin various cultures throughout history,the “New Amber Route” opens up the opportunityfor projects in and between variouscultural sectors, including, but certainly notlimited to, the fields <strong>of</strong> art, fashion, design,music, textile art, archaeology, literature, andphilosophy.Business – The Amber Route, as has beenmentioned several times, ensured the lifelinefor commercial transactions in varioustime periods, throughout the <strong>European</strong> continent.The “New Amber Route” <strong>of</strong>fers tocollaborate in the process <strong>of</strong> sharing economicknowledge and supporting creativeindustries.Science and medicine – Scientists haveconfirmed the healing properties <strong>of</strong> thisvaluable mineral. Artwork and cultural experiencesinspired by physics are currentlyvery actual in the world <strong>of</strong> art and multimedia.In this context, the relationship betweenculture, medicine, and chemistry has a future,especially taking into account society’sgrowing interest in ‘eternal youth’ and othermatters related to public health.and the Geographic Discovery <strong>of</strong> the Eastern Baltics(Zelta ābele: Stockholm, 1962), by Pr<strong>of</strong>essor ArnoldsSpekke. We would like to express our gratitude toIlze Loze, <strong>of</strong> the Latvian History Institute, and Dr.Māra Kalniņš, pr<strong>of</strong>essor at Corpus Christi College,University <strong>of</strong> Cambridge, for their generous support.Climate Change – The conditions thatbrought about the creation <strong>of</strong> amber highlightthe importance <strong>of</strong> climate change. Itseems as if the relationship between cultureand climate change could heat up, asglobal discussion and activity regardingclimate change and environmental issues inthe twenty-first century continue to grow.Person to Person – This dimension <strong>of</strong> the“New Amber Route” provides for closer contactbetween individuals. It also foresees theeradication <strong>of</strong> superficial impressions anderroneous stereotypes about people in thenorthern and southern parts <strong>of</strong> the continent.The results <strong>of</strong> other projects in the afore-mentionedfields reach their culmination, their ‘dayin the limelight,’ by involving a wide range <strong>of</strong>people from local society. This perspectivereflects, in modern form, the people by theBaltic Sea described in ancient Roman texts,as well as their unique customs and rituals.Schedule for the “New Amber Route”cooperation network2009–2010 – Research <strong>of</strong> possible cooperationprojects and initial contact with cities.2011 – Basic development <strong>of</strong> projects; reinforcement<strong>of</strong> direct contacts with peopleinvolved in projects; budget approval.2012–2013 – Project development and finalization.<strong>2014</strong> – Project implementation, withinthe framework <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong><strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> programme, in <strong>Riga</strong> and othercities involved in the “New Amber Route”project; exploration <strong>of</strong> future possibilitiesfor the project; contact with upcomingECC cities.2Spekke, Arnolds. Ancient amber routes andthe geographic discovery <strong>of</strong> the Eastern Baltic.Stockholm, 1962. p. 58.3Other cities may become involved over the course<strong>of</strong> the project.one day in europeA single 24 hr period in the life <strong>of</strong><strong>European</strong> member states, which issimultaneously recorded, in all theparticipating countries, through thelenses <strong>of</strong> thousands <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essionalphotographers and hundreds <strong>of</strong> thousands<strong>of</strong> amateur photographers.After the campaign, the photographswill be featured in many travelling exhibitions,thereby strengthening theinternational connections forged duringthe campaign.The international photo campaign “One Dayin Europe” is a photo project <strong>of</strong> unprecedentedscale in Europe. It will not only provide achance to create and strengthen an internationalcooperation network in the photographyfield, but will also inspire <strong>European</strong> citizensto look at the distinctive features <strong>of</strong> theirhome country through the camera lens. Thisproject not only tears down boundaries andunites practitioners and enthusiasts fromthe photography field, it also provides inspirationto record and appreciate that which isdifferent about each specific place, as wellas to repeat this unique experience after fiveor ten years.The photo campaign “One Day in Europe”<strong>of</strong>fers a chance to record, through thecamera lens, the peculiarities <strong>of</strong> theAmber Route, on each stage <strong>of</strong> its path.The campaign unites practitioners <strong>of</strong> thephotographic arts by tearing down andexpanding existing boundaries, inspiringand attracting young talent, and creatingan international and enduring culturalproject. In this project, Latvia is not just amember state and <strong>Riga</strong> is not just a city;they are both the initiators and organizers<strong>of</strong> the project and the centre <strong>of</strong> the action.This is an international photography campaignthat will combine both pr<strong>of</strong>essionaland amateur photographers.Like the photo campaigns “One Day inLatvia,” organised in 1987, and “One Dayin Latvia: Twenty Years Later,” in 2007, theaim is to record or document a single day –24 hrs in the lives <strong>of</strong> the participating countriesthrough the camera lens, accordingto previously established methodologicalprinciples. If all goes according to plan, thecampaign will be repeated after five or tenyears. In this way, the project will achievenot only artistic results but also a historicallysignificant documentary <strong>of</strong> a specifictime, revealing the individuality and distinctiveness<strong>of</strong> each nation.What: International photo campaign.Where: Planned campaign locations include:a) all countries in the Baltic Sea region,b) all <strong>European</strong> Union Member States.The number <strong>of</strong> states participating in thecampaign is largely dependent on the capacities<strong>of</strong> the partner organizations andthe amount <strong>of</strong> EU funding.The organizational and principal coordinationpoint <strong>of</strong> the campaign will be <strong>Riga</strong>. Incollaboration with the partner organizations,the organizers will formulate basicprinciples according to which routes willbe planned for the pr<strong>of</strong>essional photographersand themes will be developed forthe amateur photographers.When: The international photo campaign isplanned in two stages:1. Pilot Project.One 24 hr period in the year 2011, sometimebetween May and September. Followingthe pilot project, the photo archive accumulatedduring the event will be used tocreate a travelling photo exhibition and topromote publicity for the <strong>2014</strong> photo campaign.2011 marks the sixtieth anniversary<strong>of</strong> the founding <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> Union.2. International photo campaign “One Dayin Europe”The time period for the campaign is a single24 hr period in <strong>2014</strong>, sometime betweenMay and September. Project participantswill include pr<strong>of</strong>essional photographers,amateur photographers, and photo enthusiastsfrom the participating countries.Photography pr<strong>of</strong>essionals from each participatingcountry will be given previouslyplanned routes, and the photographers willbe divided into two groups:Group 1 will record events in a participatingcountry other than their own during the24 hr period (similar to the pilot project).Group 2 will record events in their owncountries during the 24 hr period.Photo enthusiasts and amateurs will recordevents in their own country over a 24-hour period,choosing one or more <strong>of</strong> the previouslydeveloped themes. After the photo campaign,all the photo materials will be collectedfrom each participating country; these materialswill then be processed and systematizedand used to create the exhibitions.Concept authors: Ilmārs Znotiņš, ViestursKoziols, and Daiga Livčāne. AssociationViena Diena.lv.www.vienadiena.lv.Organisers: Association Viena Diena.lv.In addition, in preparing the campaign,cooperation will be established with<strong>European</strong> Union financing foundations, aswell as with <strong>Riga</strong> City Council, Ministry <strong>of</strong><strong>Culture</strong> and the Ministry <strong>of</strong> Foreign Affairs.Cooperation Partners: Pr<strong>of</strong>essional photoorganizations, city and state institutions, andbusinesses in the participating countries.112 113

amber experienceIn the consciousness <strong>of</strong> the new generation,amber is <strong>of</strong>ten connectedwith stereotypes about things relatedto the past or rooted in national traditions.The dance music show “AmberExperience” attempts to break thispreconception.This project <strong>of</strong>fers the new generation a futuristicstory about amber, which looks backat the origins <strong>of</strong> this mineral through theprism <strong>of</strong> climate change and examines thehealing properties <strong>of</strong> amber from the viewpoint<strong>of</strong> scientific discoveries. Today, artworkand cultural experiences inspired by physicsare extremely topical in the world <strong>of</strong> artand multimedia. Scientist Inga Ļašenko hasdiscovered a way to use amber as a screencoating, which can create an unexpectedeffect. This proves once again that amber isa storehouse <strong>of</strong> timeless knowledge.World-famous DJs have frequently visited<strong>Riga</strong> during their concert tours and dancemusic shows have <strong>of</strong>ten been staged inthe city, much to the delight <strong>of</strong> local audiences.In <strong>2014</strong>, “Amber Experience” will bea grandiose dance music show and thefirst original production <strong>of</strong> its kind in Latvia.The production will feature original decorations,specially designed costumes, anda light show, whose central motif will beamber.Quality performances by local disc jockeysand famous <strong>European</strong> DJs, combinedwith a psychedelic amber colour spectrumreflected in the lights, costumes, and decorations,will make for an unprecedentedand surprising extravaganza!What: Original dance music show.Where: Arēna Rīga.When: October.Concept authors: <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group.the organ at theriga dome cathedralresoundsThe organ at the wonderfully acoustic<strong>Riga</strong> Dome has an inimitably beautifultone. The instrument leaves a greatimpression on the listener, enchantsmany visitors, and attracts music loversfrom all over the world. ‘It’s a divineinstrument, which merges acoustically,emotionally, and philosophicallywith the grandiose structure that givesit a home,’ says organist J. Ļisicina.The organ at the <strong>Riga</strong> Dome is consideredone <strong>of</strong> the most valuable historic organs in theworld. The instrument was built in 1883/1884by E. F. Walcker & Co., and is counted amongthe greatest achievements in late-Romanticperiod organ construction. The organ is <strong>of</strong>the highest technical and artistic quality, andcan surely be mentioned alongside otherremarkable examples <strong>of</strong> organ craftsmanshipsuch as the Silbermann organ, at theFreiberg Cathedral, or the Schnitger organ,at St. Jacobi’s Church in Hamburg.The organ at the <strong>Riga</strong> Dome has 124 registers,4 manuals and pedals, and 6,718pipes <strong>of</strong> various sizes and materials, whichare arranged on 26 wind chambers. Thepipes were built <strong>of</strong> various kinds <strong>of</strong> wood(pine, fir, maple, oak, beech, and pear) aswell as from metal – a tin and lead smeltingin various proportions. The pipes come ina range <strong>of</strong> sizes: the largest is 10 meters,and the smallest is only 13 mm long. Fiveorganists will be invited to this series <strong>of</strong> organmusic concerts, along with Latvian organistswho live and work in Europe (suchas Ligita Sneibe and Iveta Apkalna). Theprogramme will include pieces by various<strong>European</strong> composers, which are frequentlyperformed at the <strong>Riga</strong> Dome, and worksby Latvian composers, which are frequentlyperformed in Europe.What: Concert series.Where: Dome Cathedral, www.doms.lv.When: Second half <strong>of</strong> May.Concept authors: Guntars Prānis, musicaldirector <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong> Dome, music@doms.lv;Silvija Zaķe, administrator <strong>of</strong> organ concertsat the <strong>Riga</strong> Dome, koncerti@doms.lv.Organisers: “<strong>Riga</strong> Dome Administration” Ltd.riga’s musical amberFor ages, amber has been a valuablematerial brought from the Baltic coastto <strong>European</strong> cities as far away as Rome.To this day, musical gems are born hereand then travel to <strong>European</strong> capitalsand cultural centres (Elīna Garanča– Vienna, Milan, London, New York;Mariss Jansons – Munich, Amsterdam;Andris Nelsons – Birmingham, London,Vienna, and others.)For many years now, the State Choir Latvijahas been the leading performer <strong>of</strong> largescalevocal works in the Baltic States. Thechoir and the “Sacred Music Festival” havebrought to <strong>Riga</strong> such renowned figures asSir John Tavener, S<strong>of</strong>ia Gubaidulyina, GijaKancheli, and Douglass Webster, amongothers. The 17 th International “Sacred MusicFestival” will focus attention more on BalticRegion cooperation partners and outstandingpersonalities and, by <strong>of</strong>fering world premieresand performances <strong>of</strong> renowned Western<strong>European</strong> vocal pieces, introduce <strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> guests and <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitantsto the excellent performance skills <strong>of</strong>cooperation partners from the Baltic States.WHAT: Concert series.WHEN: August 14 – September 9, <strong>2014</strong>.WHERE: Latvian National Opera, St. Peter’sChurch, <strong>Riga</strong> Dome Cathedral, Great GuildConcert Hall.Concept authors: Māris Ošlejs, MārisSirmais.Organisers: State Choir Latvija.Cooperation partners:Latvian National Symphony Orchestra,www.lnso.lv;Estonian National Symphony Orchestra,www.erso.ee;Estonian Concert Association, www.concert.ee;Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra,www.lvso.lt;Camerata Klaipeda was formed by theworld renowned virtuoso violinist VilhelmasČepinskis. This string orchestra brings togethermusicians who have performed withmany world-class orchestras, such as the<strong>European</strong> Union Symphony Orchestra, inLondon, and the Gustav Mahler Orchestra,in Vienna. Camerata Klaipeda also featuresmusicians from Gidon Kremer’s famousensemble Kremerata Baltica.amber fantasyWhat kind <strong>of</strong> cinema is relevant in theterritories <strong>of</strong> the ancient Amber Route?This question will be answered by the“Fantasy Film Festival”.In <strong>2014</strong>, the festival will collaborate withseveral important <strong>European</strong> film festivals inorder to study what kind <strong>of</strong> fantasy voyagesare glimpsed by today’s filmmakers andviewers in Europe’s Northern-Southernaxis. A particular partner is the largest fantasyfilm festival in Scandinavia: the LundFantasy Festival. A special film screeningwill be organized, along with guest lecturesand seminars, which will analyze thethemes that are essential to filmmakers inthe region.What: Film screening, guest lectures,seminars.Where: <strong>Riga</strong> and <strong>European</strong> cities.When: March.Concept author: Sonora Broka.Organizer: Arsenāls Film Forum.Cooperation partners: Film festivalorganizers in other <strong>European</strong> countries.114 115

116european dimension

During the creation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s application, Latvia is celebratingthe 5 th anniversary since the largest expansion <strong>of</strong> the<strong>European</strong> Union to date. In <strong>2014</strong>, it will be a round anniversary– 10 years, which Latvia will celebrate with the <strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> project. An additional benefit to the accentuation<strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> perpendicular in public perceptionis Latvia’s anticipated presidency <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> Union in2015. <strong>Culture</strong>, in this context will have a doubly importantrole – as a messenger <strong>of</strong> public diplomacy, focusing attentionon the vector <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> unified values before thearrival <strong>of</strong> matters on the political agenda onto the stage, andoutlining the significance <strong>of</strong> each country, each person inthe development <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> dimension.It is currently estimated that in 2012 the single <strong>European</strong> currency,the Euro will be put into circulation in Latvia, with inhabitants makinga full transformation to a unified <strong>European</strong> currency for the settlement<strong>of</strong> their accounts. The introduction <strong>of</strong> the Euro into circulationwill be more than just a technical activity. It will be linked tothe way <strong>of</strong> thinking <strong>of</strong> people, with a more direct awareness <strong>of</strong> the<strong>European</strong> single market and a more direct practical and also mentalcontact with the <strong>European</strong> Union. This is another argument determinedby circumstances, which envisages an important role forculture, explaining the changes in the lives <strong>of</strong> each person associatedwith Europe, through the prism <strong>of</strong> cultural events. During thistime the eyes <strong>of</strong> the inhabitants <strong>of</strong> the entire country will be moreintensely turned towards <strong>Riga</strong>, where the major national institutionsare located, and therefore the preparation time for the <strong>Riga</strong>as <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> project is a particular challenge,so that, using the potential <strong>of</strong> culture, a better understanding andsense <strong>of</strong> the advantages <strong>of</strong> a unified Europe can be achievedduring this psychologically sensitive time for society.This outlook <strong>of</strong> the near future not only makes us think about theopportunities <strong>of</strong> a unified market, but also remember the plusesand minuses that previous eras have meant to our ancestors regardingmarket relations with other <strong>European</strong> countries. One <strong>of</strong>the first Baltic ‘businesses’ or ‘gold currents’ that allowed for thedevelopment <strong>of</strong> culture and the achievement <strong>of</strong> a higher standard<strong>of</strong> living was trading with amber. And thus within the context <strong>of</strong><strong>2014</strong>, <strong>Riga</strong> will look to the ancient amber route, creating a newcooperation network and looking for today’s cultural ‘currency’within it. Thereby, in the historically tested paths <strong>of</strong> Europe we createimpulses for new cooperation content.In the context <strong>of</strong> a common Europe, however, the terms ‘old’ and‘new’ Europe implemented in his time by Donald Rumsfeld, theformer US Secretary <strong>of</strong> Defence, tend to dominate. Admittedly,since 2001 no new descriptions have arisen for the countries thathave now confirmed their status as full-fledged members <strong>of</strong> a unifiedEurope after 5 years within it. This division <strong>of</strong> ‘the new’ and‘the old’ Europe continues to live in the consciousness <strong>of</strong> peopleand continues the discussion in society about the divisional linesin Europe. <strong>Riga</strong> also perceives the search for new terms to describevarious groups <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> countries as its task on its wayto the year <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> project.One <strong>of</strong> the basic objectives <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>project is the internal integration <strong>of</strong> Europe, exchange <strong>of</strong> experience,knowledge and different cultural experiences. It wouldappear that ‘good old’ Europe (that in politics is called ‘Europewhole and free’) has to incorporate an openness perspectivein relationships with the remaining cultural world. The <strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> project allows us to realise how small Europeis, to what extent each nation within it is a relative and neighbourto the rest, and, on the other hand, confirms that by retaining ouroriginality, we can be interesting both to each other, and to othersin the world.Europe is united in its diversity. The countries forced to live behindthe ‘Iron Curtain’ were isolated. As we know, traditions anddifferences in languages and accents <strong>of</strong>ten survive in a certain,enclosed territory and also, for example, in Latvia, many traditionshave survived that are typical only to us or that have been typicalto many <strong>European</strong> nations, but that have now died out. It wouldappear that in this regard the isolationism defect can be transformedinto an effect, and traditions, different skills and knowledgecan be presented in a contemporary and surprising way,and as an opportunity for the <strong>European</strong> to experience somethingnew or long forgotten.The experience <strong>of</strong> renewed independence <strong>of</strong> almost 20 years allowsus to position ourselves as partners <strong>of</strong> equal value in Europe,who might not always have such long institutional experience invarious respects, but do, however, have ideas to <strong>of</strong>fer. This is confirmedby successful cooperation initiatives already begun.cooperation aspect in project implementationIn establishing cooperation on a <strong>European</strong> scale, <strong>Riga</strong> will <strong>of</strong>fer anew cooperation network initiative “New Amber Route”, developthe existing cultural cooperation networks, as well as creating newconnections through projects supported by <strong>European</strong> Funds.Thereby, the scope <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s <strong>European</strong> dimension in terms <strong>of</strong> acooperation network is as follows:1 Cooperation network “New Amber Route” initiated by <strong>Riga</strong>;2 Participation in cooperation networks;3 Participation in <strong>European</strong> projects;4 The hosting <strong>of</strong> large <strong>European</strong> forums in <strong>Riga</strong>;5 <strong>Riga</strong>’s partnership towns;6 <strong>Culture</strong> in motion – artist mobility and cooperation betweencultural institutions.1 New amber routeWithin the framework <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s candidacy we propose a newcooperation network initiative, with which to strengthen the understanding<strong>of</strong> Europe’s common values and <strong>Riga</strong>’s contributionto the communication <strong>of</strong> citizens across the borders. <strong>Riga</strong> andLatvia’s territory in general has for many centuries been a territorialpoint <strong>of</strong> intersection for the flow <strong>of</strong> people, ideologies, goodsand services not only, as is usually said, between the West and theEast, but also between Northern and Southern Europe. This is thehistorical Amber Route that has to become the new Amber route.Currently, the Northern dimension has been developed in the<strong>European</strong> Union, as well as cooperation between Baltic SeaStates, within the framework <strong>of</strong> the Council <strong>of</strong> the Baltic SeaStates, the first real drafts marked out for cooperation betweenthe Baltic States and Black Sea States within the framework<strong>of</strong> cross-border cooperation, and in the Southern part –Mediterranean cooperation networks. <strong>Culture</strong> has also beenallocated its niche within this cooperation network. However,the Task Group for <strong>Riga</strong>’s candidacy is convinced that the newAmber route cooperation developed within the context <strong>of</strong> the<strong>2014</strong> <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> could serve as a wonderfulmeans <strong>of</strong> achieving new inspiration for the synergy <strong>of</strong> cultureand other sectors in the cooperation <strong>of</strong> Northern and Southern<strong>European</strong> countries and cities, transgressing the borders traditionallycalled Europe. In addition, as on the ancient route, so ourroute <strong>of</strong> today has two directions:• From the basin <strong>of</strong> the Latvian Baltic Sea through Lithuania,Poland, Germany, Austria, Italy, the Mediterranean basin;• From Latvia along the River Daugava, the Dnieper right up tothe basin <strong>of</strong> the Black Sea, Greece, Turkey and even further to theEast, to India.Our selection alone confirms that Europe has not only its historictrading routes but also routes entwined with secrets on the map,which today still captivate the minds <strong>of</strong> people and whose contemporarycontribution could be, as the economists would say,competitive on the circuit <strong>of</strong> global culture today.The “New Amber Route” does not envisage just an amber theme.Its main essence is to create a new contribution in the communication<strong>of</strong> people and culture within the specified geographicaxis, through the prism <strong>of</strong> culture activating cooperation projectsin entrepreneurship, environmental and climate-change issues,in science and medicine, and a citizens’ dimension. This cooperationnetwork could be called an expedition, which must revealthe secrets <strong>of</strong> today’s amber route. This expedition with new culturalcontacts has to create the cultural ‘currency’ <strong>of</strong> today – highquality cooperation projects, which are characterised by excellence,and the ability to captivate the minds <strong>of</strong> many people, improvingthe quality <strong>of</strong> life.2 Participation in cooperation networksThe city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> is an active member <strong>of</strong> various <strong>European</strong> andglobal city cooperation networks, including in the field <strong>of</strong> culture.“Cities On The Edge”<strong>Riga</strong> plans to be included in the “Cities On The Edge” cooperationnetwork, which includes cities such as Marseilles, Napoli, Istanbul,Liverpool, Gdansk and Bremen. Aware <strong>of</strong> the overall problems thatare typical <strong>of</strong> harbour cities, for the development <strong>of</strong> post-industrialterritories and for a multicultural society (in <strong>Riga</strong>’s case, a bilingualone), it is hoped to develop a chain <strong>of</strong> interdisciplinary events <strong>of</strong>various formats in <strong>Riga</strong>, which would mark out the interaction <strong>of</strong>culture, urban development and the social aspect.A biennial <strong>of</strong> interdisciplinary contemporary culture that would markout a regular artistic event whose focus would be the city. The biennialswould take place on various territories <strong>of</strong> the city, focusing attentiononto the city suburbs, integrating local inhabitants, developingthe infrastructure <strong>of</strong> peripheries, promoting the decentralisation<strong>of</strong> culture and <strong>of</strong>fering visitors a thrilling psycho-geographicaljourney along the lesser known territories <strong>of</strong> the city. The biennialswould introduce a string <strong>of</strong> events that would mark out the interaction<strong>of</strong> urban culture and art (seminars, conferences, exhibitions,artist residences and creative workshops).A body <strong>of</strong> interdisciplinary educational events that are geared towardsan increase <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essional capacity, as well as the education<strong>of</strong> a broad section <strong>of</strong> society. It is hoped to create an internationalart critic and art curator study programme that would fill thecurrently empty educational niche and promote the preparation<strong>of</strong> competitive specialists that could raise the quality <strong>of</strong> the sectorand promote integration into the international cultural space. It isalso hoped to organise a regular cycle <strong>of</strong> lectures and discussionsabout art, culture and interdisciplinary themes, to which all118 119

interested parties would be invited. Audience participation, engagementin talks and discussions about the theme under reviewand current events would be encouraged within the events.In the EUROCITIES cultural forum, where issues regarding the<strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong>s <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> are in focus, the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> leadsone <strong>of</strong> the four forum sub-groups with the title “Cultural Accessand Entitlement”. The group has representatives from Dublin,Krakow, Berlin, Vilnius, Leipzig, Goteborg, Warsaw, Lublin, Bergen,Nottingham, Birmingham, Geneva, Malmo, Edinburgh, Turku,Antwerp, Prague, Bordeaux, Dortmund, Helsinki and Tallinn.<strong>Riga</strong> is an active informal cultural network partner <strong>of</strong> the Parisinitiated <strong>European</strong> “White Nights”, together with Rome, Brussels,Madrid, Bucharest and Valletta. In autumn 2009, within the framework<strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong> “White Nights” programme, reacting to the currentsocial and economic situation, a pilot project for the concept<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> ECC <strong>2014</strong> project Force Majeure will take place. The aim <strong>of</strong>the “White Nights” cooperation network is to activate the participation<strong>of</strong> inhabitants in contemporary art activities and to promotean understanding <strong>of</strong> contemporary art in society.3 <strong>European</strong> projectsIn latter years, especially following the accession <strong>of</strong> Latvia to the<strong>European</strong> Union, <strong>Riga</strong>’s involvement in projects co-financed by<strong>European</strong> Union funds has been activated.“Creative Metropolis” project: public policy and tools forthe support <strong>of</strong> creative industriesThe city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> is the initiator for the project “Creative Metropolis:public policy and tools for the support <strong>of</strong> creative industry”, whichhas united 11 <strong>European</strong> cities – <strong>Riga</strong>, Helsinki, Oslo, Tallinn,Vilnius, Stockholm, Warsaw, Birmingham, Amsterdam, Barcelonaand Berlin. The main task <strong>of</strong> the “Creative Metropolis” project isfor the local governments <strong>of</strong> cities to create an effective long-termsupport policy for the creative industry sector and, at events forknowledge exchange, to learn the most successful tools for supportin promoting a creative economy.In the course <strong>of</strong> three years, 11 cities will implement a string <strong>of</strong>scientific and experience exchange events for the achievement <strong>of</strong>goals. The cities involved in the project have a very varied amount<strong>of</strong> experience in the area <strong>of</strong> supporting creative industries – somecities demonstrate notable achievements and have developedtargeted strategies, for example Amsterdam, Barcelona andBirmingham, while others have only initiated talks in the last yearabout the significance <strong>of</strong> creative industries.Project implementation is envisaged over a period <strong>of</strong> three years –from October 2008 to September 2011, and 2.44M EUR has beenawarded for implementation from the “Interreg” programme financedby the <strong>European</strong> Commission. The implementation <strong>of</strong> the“Creative Metropolis” project also coincides with the <strong>European</strong>Year <strong>of</strong> Creativity and Innovation, whose aim is to promotesociety’s understanding about the importance <strong>of</strong> creativity andinnovation for personal, social and economic growth.“Music for everyone”, <strong>Riga</strong>, Tallinn, Helsinki<strong>Riga</strong> is the initiator for the project “Music for everyone” supportedby “Interreg” IV A, whose aim is to promote the teaching <strong>of</strong> musicto handicapped children. The methods developed as a result<strong>of</strong> the project will be summarised in a handbook that will helpother music schools and educational establishments to involvethese children in a full value process <strong>of</strong> learning music. It is alsoplanned to arrange a children’s camp in which children from different<strong>European</strong> countries will play music together.4 The hosting <strong>of</strong> large <strong>European</strong> forums in <strong>Riga</strong>The city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> supports and organises representation and activeparticipation in the most significant international cultural events– art exhibitions, festivals, forums, annual markets and competitions.The organisation <strong>of</strong> significant international cultural eventsin the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> is purposefully supported. In the preparationperiod for the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> year, the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> willcontinue to support long-term and regular cooperation with thecultural institutions and pr<strong>of</strong>essional cooperation partners <strong>of</strong> variouscountries and regions, to ensure the creation <strong>of</strong> high-qualitycultural products for the ECC programme in <strong>2014</strong>. One <strong>of</strong> the possiblecooperation projects is the World Choir Olympics that couldtake place in <strong>Riga</strong>. <strong>Riga</strong> City Council and the Latvian Ministry <strong>of</strong><strong>Culture</strong> have <strong>of</strong>ficially confirmed their readiness to organise thisevent in <strong>Riga</strong> in <strong>2014</strong> to the World Choir Olympics organisationalcommittee.5 Friendship towns<strong>Riga</strong> has 29 friendship towns worldwide, and support for thecandidacy <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> has been expressed by all the active cooperationpartnership towns, confirming the wish to cooperate in specificprojects. Similarly, <strong>Riga</strong> has received support from all citiesthat operate in the <strong>Riga</strong>-led working group in the cultural forumEUROCITIES.6 <strong>Culture</strong> in motion – artist mobility and cooperationbetween cultural institutionsThe cooperation principles <strong>of</strong> Latvian and <strong>European</strong> cultural institutionsare formed by general human and <strong>European</strong> values, aswell as national interests in the cultural sector. Based on these,international cooperation links are maintained both at internationallevel and between local governments and non-governmentalorganisations, as well as between private companies andcorporations.In the “Festival Mobility Project” partners from participatingcities in the international cooperation network “Baltic Metropolis”:<strong>Riga</strong>, Helsinki, Tallinn, Vilnius and Warsaw, will work together toimprove the creative and organisational field <strong>of</strong> festivals. The aimis to create a festival cooperation network, promote the internationalcooperation <strong>of</strong> various festivals, to support the internationalmovement <strong>of</strong> artists and producers and to improve the combinedunderstanding and knowledge <strong>of</strong> festival organisation.120 121

cooperationwith sweden <strong>2014</strong>Nanophotography <strong>of</strong> Dust | Ēriks Božis122

‘good old swedish times’The cooperation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Latvia with Sweden is <strong>of</strong>ten characterisedby the phrase inherited from generation to generation ‘thegood old Swedish times’. It might appear surprising that since thebeginning <strong>of</strong> the 17 th century, when the so-called ‘Swedish times’historically began in <strong>Riga</strong> and in the territory <strong>of</strong> today’s Vidzeme,people still remember these times. During its existence, an erathat began as the conquest <strong>of</strong> a territory was characterised byprogress in many sectors, promoting the welfare and self-confidence<strong>of</strong> the farming classes.The facts speak for themselves: the first schools for country folkwere opened during the ‘Swedish times’, and together with that theword ‘school’ has entered the Latvian language from the Swedishlanguage. A large investment into education was the founding <strong>of</strong>Tartu (Tērbata) University in 1632. Tartu was the first university inthe Baltics and became the educational centre <strong>of</strong> its time, wheremany distinguished Latvian cultural workers also studied. The opportunity<strong>of</strong> education was definitive in the further processes <strong>of</strong>self-determination and development <strong>of</strong> self-confidence <strong>of</strong> countrypeople, that later led to the processes <strong>of</strong> national awakening in themid-19 th century. The fact that <strong>Riga</strong> was once the capital city <strong>of</strong>Sweden will always remain in the nation’s consciousness.Below are some facts that are linked to the ‘Swedish times’ in <strong>Riga</strong>:1600–1629 Polish-Swedish War – a battle for control <strong>of</strong> the tradingroute in the Baltic Sea.1611 Sweden occupies <strong>Riga</strong>, led by King Gustav II Adolf.1621 A strong city fortification system is established – rampartheight 9–11m, 5 bastions are raised, a citadel enclosed by rampartsand bastions. The fortification system is in operation until1857. The old city wall that is gradually covered with houses,serves as the second line <strong>of</strong> defence (a section <strong>of</strong> wall can beseen today in John’s Courtyard). One <strong>of</strong> the main fortificationtowers, Powder Tower, or Sand Tower as it was known until theXVI century, has remained until today. During this period <strong>Riga</strong>’smunicipal authority decides to cobble all the streets the same –all farmers entering the city had to bring with them at least twogranite stones.1622 The first water-pipe is installed in <strong>Riga</strong>, the water being takenfrom the Daugava with the aid <strong>of</strong> a pump.1625 179 books are printed: 126 – in Latin, 48 – in German, 3 – inLatvian, 1 – in Swedish, 1 – in Finnish.1628 The King <strong>of</strong> Sweden, Gustav Adolf proclaims <strong>Riga</strong> the secondcapital city <strong>of</strong> Sweden.1638 German minister, Georgius Mancelius, compiles a German-Latvian dictionary, which is the first written Latvian lexiconcollection.1680 By order <strong>of</strong> Swedish King Karl XI the first periodical ispublished – the socio-political newspaper in German, RigischeNovellen.1685–1689 – Ernst Glück translates the entire Bible into Latvian.1690 Following a fire in St. Peter’s Church, Rupert Bindenschucreates a unique wooden steeple construction in Baroque style,as well as the church’s western façade with Baroque portals. Thechurch retains this appearance until 1941. Today the church’s appearancereflects that <strong>of</strong> the XVII century.1696 The house <strong>of</strong> timber merchant E. Dannenstern, on MārstaļuStreet 21, is built in Swedish baroque style. Travelling comediansperform their numbers in this house. 1700–1721 Great NorthernWar. Russia’s Tsar, Peter the Great forms a coalition with Denmarkand Saxony for joint battle for outlet in the Baltic Sea, the main opponent– Sweden. 1709–1710 Under the leadership <strong>of</strong> Count BorisSheremetjev <strong>Riga</strong> is enclosed by Russian military forces. 94 % <strong>of</strong>inhabitants <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s surroundings die in the plague epidemic, theplague spreads to the Russian army and the inhabitants <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.1710 Capitulation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>. <strong>Riga</strong> comes under the subordination<strong>of</strong> Russia.1721 The Treaty <strong>of</strong> Nystad formally enforces the new borders <strong>of</strong>Russia.The ‘Swedish times’ have left a legend in <strong>Riga</strong> about a love story.The Swedish Gate that can still be seen in the Old Town todaywas built at the end <strong>of</strong> the 17 th century, to link the inner city withthe houses and barracks built outside the wall. Similarly to othergates <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, they were opened upon sunrise, and closed at sunset.It is said that a girl from <strong>Riga</strong> had her eye on a young Swedishboy. Although maidens were strictly prohibited from meeting withsoldiers, the lovers secretly met by the gates. However, <strong>Riga</strong>inhabitants surprised the couple and were so angry that as punishmentthey walled the girl up at the scene <strong>of</strong> the crime. Theunhappy maiden’s whispers <strong>of</strong> “I love him!” are said to be heardat the Swedish Gate at midnight. In truth, it is only heard by peoplewho are able to love unconditionally.On celebrating 800 years <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, a jubilee coin was dedicatedto the “Swedish times”, which reflects <strong>Riga</strong>’s coat <strong>of</strong> arms froma coin forged at the time <strong>of</strong> the rule <strong>of</strong> Gustav II Adolf, as well as<strong>Riga</strong>’s fortification plan from the first half <strong>of</strong> the 17 th century.a contemporary tale <strong>of</strong> cooperation with swedenThe historical ‘Swedish foundations’ serve for the close cooperation<strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Swedish cities – from the political, financial andeconomic sector to science, the environmental field and web <strong>of</strong>contacts in the cultural sector. In accordance with informationfrom the Bank <strong>of</strong> Latvia, today Sweden is the second largest investorin Latvia. Quick-witted analysts, when talking about thisfact, call these the ‘new Swedish times’.A considerable contribution by Sweden to the educational development<strong>of</strong> Latvia and the Baltics is the establishment <strong>of</strong> theSchool <strong>of</strong> Economics in <strong>Riga</strong> and <strong>Riga</strong> Graduate School <strong>of</strong> Law.Various schools have cooperation with Swedish universities. Thepartner organisations <strong>of</strong> the Latvian Academy <strong>of</strong> Science arethe Swedish Royal Academy <strong>of</strong> Science and the Swedish RoyalAcademy <strong>of</strong> Humanitarian Sciences, History and Artefacts. TheNordic Centre <strong>of</strong> the Latvian Academy <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> implements cooperationbetween Latvia, Sweden and other Northern countriesin the cultural sector, promoting Nordic studies and research inLatvia.Cooperation with Sweden in the cultural sector is very active. Asignificant event in 2008 was the participation <strong>of</strong> Latvia in the status<strong>of</strong> main guest country at the Annual Book Fair in Goteborg inSeptember. The National Concert Agency Latvijas koncerti haslong-standing cooperation with Rikskonserter – the concert agencynetwork for Scandinavian-Baltic countries. The participation<strong>of</strong> the Latvian National Opera at the Dalhalla opera festival hasbecome a tradition. Other areas <strong>of</strong> cooperation: traditional art, archives,library sciences, museums, cultural education, monumentprotection. Latvia takes part in film and theatre festivals takingplace in Sweden.‘new swedish times’Cooperation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> with Lund and Umeå in the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong><strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> project.During the preparation period <strong>of</strong> the application, <strong>Riga</strong>’s taskgroup has met with representatives from Lund and Umeå, agreeingon the main directions for city cooperation under the <strong>2014</strong><strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>. The cities have agreed that regardless<strong>of</strong> which city obtains the honour <strong>of</strong> organising ECC, the initiatedcontacts should be implemented at least in some <strong>of</strong> theindividual projects.riga and umeå1. <strong>Riga</strong> and Umeå are proud <strong>of</strong> their indigenous inhabitants, theLivs and the Sami people, two nations that belong to the group<strong>of</strong> Finno-Ugric languages. Over 800 years ago <strong>Riga</strong> was foundedon the site <strong>of</strong> the Liv settlement, but today in <strong>Riga</strong> there is still acommunity <strong>of</strong> Livs, even though they are maybe just a few dozen,that have united in the <strong>Riga</strong> Union <strong>of</strong> Livs and are actively involvedin the project development with Umeå. In turn, Umeå is proud<strong>of</strong> its Sami heritage and the contemporary contribution <strong>of</strong> Samitraditions by Sami inhabitants <strong>of</strong> the city. <strong>Riga</strong> and Umeå haveagreed as follows:• By <strong>2014</strong> to initiate a Sami and Liv 3 generation exchangeprogramme within the framework <strong>of</strong> family summer camps. Eachyear on the Liv coast at Mazirbe, a Liv family camp takes place fora week, where skills in the Liv language, songs and traditions arelearned in a relaxed atmosphere, which traditionally closes withthe Liv festival in the first weekend in August. The festival has alsobeen attended by the heads <strong>of</strong> countries <strong>of</strong> Latvia, Estonia andFinland. The friendship <strong>of</strong> Liv and Sami families at such camps inLatvia and Sweden would allow the Finno-Ugric traditions to liveon in the new generations and promote opportunities for longlastingcontact between people on both sides.• The young adults’ section <strong>of</strong> the Liv union is well known for itsmusicality, playing music both in a traditional style and in variousmodern genres <strong>of</strong> music. Similarly, there are talented young Samiadults in Umeå who perform contemporary Finno-Ugric music.Both sides are interested in the creation <strong>of</strong> a Sami and Liv musicproject for young adults.• Sami and Liv Day in Brussels: a jointly organised project dedicatedto the significance <strong>of</strong> small nations and languages in thediversity <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> culture.• An international conference for the rights <strong>of</strong> indigenous people.Each autumn in Sweden the international Human Rights Daystake place, and the Sami Society in Sweden has begun to developan idea together with the UN about the organisation <strong>of</strong> suchan international event in Umeå in <strong>2014</strong>, with the Livs as one <strong>of</strong> theguests <strong>of</strong> honour.• Traditional Sami and Liv cuisine – in the sense <strong>of</strong> ‘high art’.Cooperation with the “Slow-food Latvia” movement, representatives<strong>of</strong> the union and restaurants in both cities.• A modern Sami and Liv design cooperation project “Etn<strong>of</strong>utu”.The potential cooperation partner on the Latvian side is the DesignSection <strong>of</strong> the Latvian Academy <strong>of</strong> Art.124 125

2. Although <strong>Riga</strong> and Umeå are separated by the expanse <strong>of</strong>the sea, as <strong>2014</strong> approaches, both cities have agreed to builda bridge uniting the cities. This bridge will create the feeling <strong>of</strong> ahandshake between the inhabitants, will invite people to visit arefined concert in the other city in their slippers or play hockey,without putting their skates on. <strong>Riga</strong> and Umeå will build a virtualbridge “Digital Mirrors” using the on-line opportunities <strong>of</strong>fered bythe newest technology <strong>of</strong> ‘two screen discussions’. Thus, throughscreens somewhere in <strong>Riga</strong> and Umeå, people will be able tomake direct contact with one another. Some <strong>of</strong> the ideas for“Digital Mirrors”:• song ‘wars’ between choirs in <strong>Riga</strong> and Umeå;• broadcast from the Latvian National Opera or other <strong>Riga</strong> <strong>2014</strong>festive events, to Umeå and vice versa;• ‘Greetings <strong>of</strong> light’ marathon by people during the Festival <strong>of</strong>Light in both cities;• projects “<strong>Riga</strong> Sings a Lullaby To Umeå”, a game for hockeyfans “Let’s play hockey!” and others.3. There is great interest in cooperation between the “Festivals<strong>of</strong> Light” in <strong>Riga</strong> and Umeå. These are joyous and widely attendedfestivals in both cities, taking into account the nuances <strong>of</strong> climaticzones and dark winter time. The “Festival <strong>of</strong> Light” takes place inNovember, both in <strong>Riga</strong> and Umea. During that time the followingis planned:• an exchange <strong>of</strong> lanterns made by children;• an exchange <strong>of</strong> the most striking light projects developed bystudents;• on-line exchange with multi-media projects during the festival.4. <strong>Riga</strong>’s Central Library with its 40 branches and Umeå Libraryare very popular among the inhabitants, working in a contemporarymanner and involving various social groups. Both sideshave expressed an interest about cooperation in connection with<strong>2014</strong>. <strong>Riga</strong>’s Central Library is ready to prepare a broad exhibitionabout the connections <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Sweden through the centuries.Umeå Library is ready to provide its knowledge and experience inthe newest technology, providing library services to handicappedpeople. Similarly, interest has been expressed about involving thecity readers in joint discussion forums on the library internet sites,as well as about an internet video proposition from jointly organisedevents.5. Potential cooperation projects with Umeå VästerbottensMuseum:• an exhibition for children about freedom and war (in the aspect<strong>of</strong> the theme <strong>of</strong> 100 years since the 1 st World War);• an exhibition by <strong>Riga</strong>’s photographer, Inta Ruka, about thepeople <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.riga and lund<strong>Riga</strong> and Lund are the No.1 choir cities in their countries. Everycouple <strong>of</strong> years <strong>Riga</strong> hosts the youth and adult Song and DanceCelebrations, that unite up to 40 000 amateur participants.Prestigious Swedish national-level choir competitions take placein Lund. The fold <strong>of</strong> Lund choirs is also enlarged by the SouthernSweden Latvian choir, because most <strong>of</strong> the exiled Latvians inSweden live in this particular part <strong>of</strong> the country. Expanded cooperation<strong>of</strong> the choirs in both cities is planned within the aspect<strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> dimension:This is the participation <strong>of</strong> choirs from Lund and <strong>Riga</strong> at <strong>European</strong>level Song festivals – in the creative work forum in the area <strong>of</strong> choralmusic “Music Inspiration Landscape”. Similarly, the best choirfrom Lund will be invited to the World Choir Olympics <strong>2014</strong> in <strong>Riga</strong>(2012 is the year <strong>of</strong> approval for <strong>Riga</strong>’s candidacy).2. Lund’s scientific centres have good cooperation with theInstitute <strong>of</strong> Solid State Physics in Latvia. Several artists in <strong>Riga</strong>have developed good cooperation with the physics institute, creatingoriginal art projects, for example, dust enterprises with thehelp <strong>of</strong> nanotechnology, making people look differently at the environmentaround them and to see it with its surprising structureand atmosphere.project “science & arts & fiction”• The cities have agreed to form further cooperation <strong>of</strong> scientistsand artists and to promote project exchanges. Gints Gabrāns,Voldemārs Johansons, Ēriks Božis are some <strong>of</strong> the Latvian artiststhat have already proved themselves in this area.• Cooperation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Lund science fiction film festivals inthis aspect.3. Lund has expressed its wish to cooperate with <strong>Riga</strong> in the traditionalcuisine presentation in the form <strong>of</strong> ‘high art’ within theframework <strong>of</strong> the <strong>2014</strong> project. The “Slow-food Latvia” associationis ready to be involved with its idea propositions in this projectwhich means:• exchange between chefs <strong>of</strong> both cities and the teams <strong>of</strong> thebest culinary students, with the idea that in <strong>2014</strong> and after, restaurantmenus in the other city will <strong>of</strong>fer either a Latvian or Swedishtraditional dish in the sense <strong>of</strong> ‘high art’;• garden festivals organised within the framework <strong>of</strong> exchange,for those inhabitants <strong>of</strong> both cities who can be considered‘honourable’ from an age aspect, and who have probably neverdreamt that their birthdays might be celebrated by the wholecity.4. Contemporary revelations in the consciousness <strong>of</strong> societyabout historical cooperation links. Taking into account that historicalfacts are not widely known, particularly amongst youngpeople in Lund, the project with <strong>Riga</strong> “Good old Swedish times”could serve as a revelation to many representatives <strong>of</strong> society:• <strong>Riga</strong>’s mobile exhibition about <strong>Riga</strong>-Sweden connections;• cooperation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Lund school orchestras in the jointmusical project “Swedish Times”;• this project also allows for the incorporation <strong>of</strong> the commonpaths in the aspect <strong>of</strong> the Amber route: in <strong>2014</strong> it is planned toopen an Archaeology Museum in Lund, in which the involvement<strong>of</strong> both cities in the ancient Amber route could be on the agenda,as well as cooperation projects <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s “New Amber Route”.5. In <strong>Riga</strong> and Latvia overall there are highly developed amateurart movement principles, as well as a national support systemfor the amateur movement. <strong>Riga</strong> and Lund have considered theexchange <strong>of</strong> experience in this area:• In both cities annual night-time events take place for promotingcultural activities – in Lund this is the “Night <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>” – a24 hour marathon <strong>of</strong> amateur art events, in turn in <strong>Riga</strong> this isthe contemporary art event “White Nights”, which is included inthe Paris initiated “White Nights” festival network. <strong>Riga</strong> and Lundwill promote direct contacts with citizens through the exchange<strong>of</strong> representatives from the amateur movement and non-governmentalorganisations.6. The so-called ‘brain drain’ is a social phenomenon, encounterednot just by the new <strong>European</strong> countries but the <strong>European</strong>continent as a whole. <strong>Riga</strong> and Lund plan to work together onthe project “Brain Drain Gain”, emphasising the need to forma city that is attractive to the inhabitant, create ways to drawthe minds <strong>of</strong> departed city dwellers to the city, both in an indirectmanner and through the manner <strong>of</strong> ‘guest shows’ and‘homecoming’:• <strong>Riga</strong> and Lund are planning joint seminars. <strong>Riga</strong> will share itsexperience about its initiative in the <strong>European</strong> project “Creative<strong>Capital</strong> Cities”, with the aim <strong>of</strong> creating an effective long-term supportpolicy in the creative industry sector.7. In the event <strong>of</strong> their candidacies being approved, <strong>Riga</strong> andLund have agreed on joint activities in their marketing programmes.The cities have considered plans to develop a team practice andexperience exchange programme for both cities, with membersfrom each team gaining work experience in the other city. Thecities have considered the creation <strong>of</strong> a voluntary programme inassociation with EVS (<strong>European</strong> Voluntary Service).126 127

128city and its citizens

The category “City And Its Citizens” in <strong>Riga</strong>’s applicationis connected with a Latvian cultural project designed toinduce <strong>Riga</strong>’s inhabitants to assume an active role in raisingtheir quality <strong>of</strong> life, and with an ongoing campaign toraise people’s environmental awareness. This involves therecruitment <strong>of</strong> volunteers at schools and higher educationinstitutions, as well as the establishment <strong>of</strong> contacts withvarious interest groups, both in Latvia and in Europe as awhole.collectively raising people’s sense <strong>of</strong> responsibility• In this day and age, there are increasingly fewer issues thatpeople can resolve individually and increasingly more opportunitiesthat people can be seized best when people work together.<strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC concept places special emphasis both on individualliberty and creativity, which empowers people, and on the concept<strong>of</strong> cooperation, to seek collective solutions in a creative environment.Collective solutions are the result <strong>of</strong> global developmenttendencies, in which individuals, municipalities, countriesand society as a whole cannot be viewed apart from the numerousprocesses occurring in the world today. <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC conceptforesees collective action in the application <strong>of</strong> solutions – throughcreativity and the expansion <strong>of</strong> new frontiers by using new forms<strong>of</strong> interaction.• Besides serving as an important foundation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> as aneventual <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>, collective creativity is part<strong>of</strong> the city’s development vision, which foresees the breaking <strong>of</strong>social, territorial, and other barriers, as well as the collective resolution<strong>of</strong> assigned tasks. <strong>Riga</strong> must base itself upon ideas that aresound and socially accepted in Latvia, Europe and the world atlarge; otherwise it will find itself at odds with its goal <strong>of</strong> achievinglong-term, sustainable development.• There are many spheres in <strong>Riga</strong>, where creative minds canunfold, as long as these minds are conscious <strong>of</strong> the need for collectivesolutions – in promoting synergy between cities and theirsurrounding regions, polycentric development, the establishment<strong>of</strong> new enterprises, marketing improvements, alternative energyresources, environmental and IT technologies, the competitiveness<strong>of</strong> universities and the use <strong>of</strong> new infrastructure objects.• Individualism can be seen as a resource in the creation <strong>of</strong> collectivesolutions and in the promotion <strong>of</strong> shared responsibility.The city itself is the direct result <strong>of</strong> the creative process <strong>of</strong> collectiveparticipation. For this reason, one <strong>of</strong> the most important keywords right now is mutual cooperation – at the individual, municipal,and international levels.involving the city’s inhabitants<strong>Riga</strong>’s draft programme for <strong>2014</strong> foresees various means forproviding the city’s inhabitants with cultural ‘fishing rods’, whichwill permit them to choose which programme events to pr<strong>of</strong>itfrom and which will enrich them in the long-term with new skills,experience, contacts and the means to improve their lives.Through various attractive projects, the public will be invited to:• obtain new skills and knowledge (for example, long-forgottenpractical skills and knowledge useful for surviving in the current,modern times);• try various new things for the first time (for example, singing,dancing and visiting those parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> that they have never seenbefore);• take part in joint art events together with pr<strong>of</strong>essional artists(such as the “Cultural Cleanup” (Kultūras talka) art installation, aswell the involvement <strong>of</strong> ‘street children’ in the holding <strong>of</strong> the mainconcert)• improve the environment at their places <strong>of</strong> residence (spruceup their balconies and courtyards) and practice a healthy lifestyle(for example, by participating in the “Run For Freedom”)• establish new contacts through regional community projects,interest projects and ECC communications projects.In order to promote the participation <strong>of</strong> artists, <strong>of</strong> people who workin the social and cultural spheres, as well as the inhabitants <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>, its surroundings and other regions, a great deal <strong>of</strong> attentionwill be paid to creating a viable “Mobile Centre”, which will bestationed in <strong>Riga</strong>’s neighbouring territories by <strong>2014</strong>. As we alreadymentioned in the “Mobile Centre” section <strong>of</strong> our application, culturalworkers will conduct a study and question the inhabitants <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>’s so-called ‘sleeping suburbs’ (residential neighbourhoodsat the outskirts <strong>Riga</strong>) about the cultural events that they would liketo see in their neighbourhood. They will also recruit volunteers towork in the “Mobile Centre”. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC goals is to ensurethat such ‘Mobile Centres’ become a long-term initiative thatraises people’s awareness and that provides them with the confidenceto set up their own activities and cultural events. This goalcorresponds to <strong>Riga</strong>’s strategic, long-term planning documents.The involvement <strong>of</strong> neighbourhood schools will also be an importantfacet <strong>of</strong> the “Mobile Centre” project. From the very firstgrades, schoolchildren will develop a more firmly rooted identitywith their neighbourhood and learn how to make their lives moreattractive and interesting. Youth will acquire a greater understandingabout the essence <strong>of</strong> democracy and about such values ascivic responsibility, cooperation, respect for fellow individuals,one’s home, one’s school, one’s community, not to mention helpfulnessand kindness. <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group is convinced thatby promoting people’s access to culture in their neighbourhoods,people will be much more inclined to organize other communityinitiatives on their own, such as environmental cleanups, the moreeffective use <strong>of</strong> various public resources, charity projects, etc.In this context, one should mention the positive precedents thathave, in a sense, already launched this process. In cooperationwith the British Council’s “City Game,” the <strong>Riga</strong> City Council hasinitiated a number <strong>of</strong> discussions this year, with the involvement <strong>of</strong>all relevant social ‘actors’. For example, public discussions have alreadytaken place concerning the possible functions <strong>of</strong> a multifunctionalcultural centre that is being built in <strong>Riga</strong>’s Latgale District andthat is to be completed in two year’s time, as well as concerning thefuture appearance <strong>of</strong> the neighbourhood around the centre.<strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group also plans to involve schools and higher educationinstitutions in setting up the ECC events, thus providing additionalopportunities for internships and voluntary work. This wouldbe especially significant for those schoolchildren and students whowill graduate from secondary school or university in <strong>2014</strong>. Theywould thus enter the job market with a greater understanding aboutthe role <strong>of</strong> culture and its processes, and would be able to includethis new, practical experience in their CVs.Members <strong>of</strong> the general public will also be recruited to work asvolunteers during <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC events. A certain tradition <strong>of</strong> volunteerwork already exists in Latvia, and it was successfully put intopractice once again in 2008, during the Latvia’s legendary Songand Dance Celebration, where thousands <strong>of</strong> enthusiastic schoolchildren,students and regular members <strong>of</strong> the public volunteeredtheir services to ensure that the events run smoothly. Some individualenterprises also financed the dispatch <strong>of</strong> special workcrews as an additional contribution to the running <strong>of</strong> the festival.capturing the interest <strong>of</strong> other europeansoutside <strong>of</strong> latviaThe <strong>European</strong> Commission Representation in Latvia has <strong>of</strong>ficiallyannounced its readiness to cooperate in the realisation <strong>of</strong>a number <strong>of</strong> ECC projects, together with local partners, if <strong>Riga</strong> isconfirmed as a <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>. The <strong>European</strong> Union’sInformation Centre in <strong>Riga</strong> has also expressed a similar interest.This would be particularly important in the planning <strong>of</strong> joint eventsin <strong>2014</strong> for Europe’s inhabitants in connection with the 10th anniversary<strong>of</strong> the accession <strong>of</strong> Latvia and its neighbours to the EU.The “Amber Vein” section attests to the <strong>European</strong> dimension <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>’s application. It refers to the symbolic revival <strong>of</strong> the ancientAmber Route as part <strong>of</strong> Europe’s North-South dimension, throughjoint initiatives between <strong>Riga</strong> and a number <strong>of</strong> other <strong>European</strong> cities.This also incorporates the citizens’ dimension, with referenceto the promotion <strong>of</strong> direct contacts and cooperation, the provision<strong>of</strong> information and to the holding <strong>of</strong> public events in the ECCcontext.Plans are also being made, in cooperation with the city <strong>of</strong> Umeåin Sweden, for inhabitants <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Umeå to hold direct dailycontacts, using the latest technologies to broadcast live conversations,participation in joint ECC events, etc. This project couldbe developed as a joint ‘speaking instrument’ between <strong>Riga</strong> andUmeå, and other <strong>European</strong> cities.the talka – a voluntary cleanup operationthat has brought added value to riga and latviaTalka is a Latvian word that denotes the notion <strong>of</strong> people voluntarilycoming together to clean up or otherwise improve their environment.The latest talka, or cleanup movement, took <strong>of</strong>f in Latvia in2008 and has progressed on a geometric scale since then. Manypeople now see the talka as a vital necessity, as a manifestation<strong>of</strong> their wish to improve their lives and as an expression <strong>of</strong> theirhope for the Latvia’s continued, long-term development. We arereferring to an environmental consciousness and culture, whichoccupies a significant place in <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC concept.The first “Great Talka” was held in September <strong>of</strong> 2008, in honour<strong>of</strong> the 90th anniversary <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s independence. About 50,000volunteers spent the day picking up litter and otherwise cleaningup their surrounding environment. They amassed about 13,000tonnes <strong>of</strong> domestic waste from the country’s forests and parks.Half a year later, in the spring <strong>of</strong> 2009, Latvia initiated an evenbroader cleanup movement in the Baltic Sea region. Cleanupoperations were simultaneously held Lithuania, Estonia, Polandand the Russian city <strong>of</strong> Saint Petersburg, with varying degrees <strong>of</strong>activity among these places. In Latvia, about 110,000 volunteersspent the day cleaning up their neighbourhoods all across thecountry. Their activities were organized by more than 800 coordinators,and this does not include the numerous people who participatedindividually.One <strong>of</strong> the most outstanding features <strong>of</strong> the talka is that all <strong>of</strong>this cleanup work was entirely voluntary. Unfortunately, the largeamount <strong>of</strong> litter and garbage that was collected indicates that130 131

even today, nearly 20 years after regaining its independence,Latvia and its capital city still have their share <strong>of</strong> Soviet-era ‘scars’:abandoned factory sites, industrial waste, and a polluted environmentthat still continues to be an eyesore in a number <strong>of</strong> places.This is due, in part, to continued careless attitudes and to the lack<strong>of</strong> a sense <strong>of</strong> responsibility by a number <strong>of</strong> people for the environmentaround them.This year, the organizers <strong>of</strong> the “Great Talka” <strong>of</strong> 2009 came upwith a very ambitious goal – to continue such voluntary cleanupoperations for at least the next ten years, so that by the 100 th anniversary<strong>of</strong> Latvia’s Declaration <strong>of</strong> Independence in 2018, Latviawill <strong>of</strong>ficially have become the ‘Cleanest Country in the World’.While this may seem like a very grand plan, Latvia is a relativelysmall country. And while Latvia may not be the richest country inthe world, one <strong>of</strong> its greatest assets may one day lie in its pristinenature and tidy city streets.The cleaner our neighbouring countries become, the cleanerwe will also want to be. This applies to every country in Europe,which is why such talka events should be implemented at thewider, <strong>European</strong> level. We hope that Latvia’s talka movement willhelp to bring Europe’s people closer together in their joint workfor a cleaner environment. We also hope that our neighbouringcountries, as well as the rest <strong>of</strong> Europe and the rest <strong>of</strong> the world,will seek to follow our example and take part in a friendly competitionto hold the title <strong>of</strong> ‘Cleanest Country in the World’.The talka as a collective event, has its roots in ancient ethnographictraditions, which may be why it gained such immediateand massive acceptance in Latvian society. Traditionally, talkaparticipants sang while they worked and then celebrated the workthat they had done. While the times have since changed greatlysince those bygone days, the essence remains the same. Natureis an asset that will never belong to any one person.to bring along a stone or boulder, in order to construct a joint artinstallation – a spiritual symbol that will testify to the aspirations<strong>of</strong> the people <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, <strong>of</strong> Latvia and <strong>of</strong> other countries, for thesoundness <strong>of</strong> their souls, environment, cities and countries. Theidea for this installation stems <strong>Riga</strong>’s past history. During the firsthalf <strong>of</strong> the 17 th century, <strong>Riga</strong>’s administrators decided that all <strong>of</strong>the city’s streets should be laid with cobblestones in a uniformmanner. Thus, every peasant who visited the city had to bringalong at least two stones from the countryside for covering <strong>Riga</strong>’sstreets as an ‘entry fee’ or ‘tax.’ However, this time, the bringing <strong>of</strong>stones for the construction <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC art installation will be avoluntary affair, in line with Latvian talka traditions.After helping to build the art installation, <strong>Riga</strong>’s talka participantswill gather at <strong>Riga</strong>’s Mežaparks open-air stage, in order to celebratea job well done by singing collectively. This stage was recentlyrebuilt and can host more than 100,000 performers andspectators. There, the participants will take part in the culmination<strong>of</strong> the “<strong>Culture</strong> Talka” – the 1 st General Song Celebration forSpectators – a massive event in which the public will sing-alongwith various choirs. As we have already mentioned, for the past135 years, each <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s song celebrations has traditionallybeen attended by about 100,000 people, despite the various regimechanges that the country has experienced, and this songfestival tradition has become one <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s most potent nationalidentity symbols.Latvia’s National Television would also be involved in broadcastingthis event and has already expressed its readiness to cooperatewith <strong>Riga</strong> in preparing some <strong>of</strong> the potential ECC activitiesfor <strong>2014</strong>. One idea is to hold a tele-conference at the Mežaparksopen-air stage with cleanup organizers in other <strong>European</strong> cities,where people can exchange their impressions about their cleanupday at work and its positive results.the great talka or great voluntary cleanup operationwill also become a culture talkaThe organizers <strong>of</strong> this year’s “Great Talka” have agreed to cooperatewith <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group in <strong>2014</strong>. <strong>Riga</strong>’s application workgroup has held discussions with Vita Jaunzeme, an organizer <strong>of</strong>the “Great Talka”, on holding a “<strong>Culture</strong> Talka”, which could closethe environmental cleanup and refurbishment talka <strong>of</strong> <strong>2014</strong>.The day after they finish planting trees, collecting litter, and conductingother tasks, each the cleanup’s participants will be invited132 133

134mobile centre

The “Mobile Centre” is <strong>Riga</strong>’s proposal for promoting andenhancing communication in <strong>2014</strong>, serving as the messenger<strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> (ECC). Since the yearwill also mark the 10 th anniversary <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s accession tothe <strong>European</strong> Union, communication between <strong>Riga</strong> andother cities <strong>of</strong> Latvia and Europe will play a very importantrole in the <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> project, strengthening<strong>European</strong> values. Since Latvia is one <strong>of</strong> the easternmostcountries in the EU, the “Mobile Centre” as the messenger<strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong> project is vital to society psychologically,emphasizing the equal importance <strong>of</strong> the zone <strong>of</strong>ten consideredperipheral to the continuing development <strong>of</strong> the<strong>European</strong> Union. The ‘Mobile Centres’ will create a spacewhere citizens <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, Latvia and Europe will find a forumto communicate the values important to their towns.The <strong>Riga</strong> project for <strong>2014</strong> envisages the decentralisation <strong>of</strong> culturalevents and the broad participation <strong>of</strong> the public in the <strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> programme not only in the environs <strong>of</strong> the capitalbut throughout Latvia and with a <strong>European</strong> dimension extendingto other EU countries.To more effectively attain these goals, small groups <strong>of</strong> messengersas well as larger ‘messenger units’ will spread the project’smessage through their visual design. These <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>mobile centre units will play a significant role beyond merely marketingthe project symbolically.the University, work-related travel and attendance at major events.The ‘Mobile Centres’ will bring other towns closer to <strong>Riga</strong> as anintegral aspect <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> project’s aim to embody<strong>European</strong> values, emphasising the cultural and historical links between<strong>Riga</strong> and other towns and <strong>of</strong>fering visitors the opportunityto express their ideas, abilities and know-how.<strong>Riga</strong> has invited other towns in the region to follow the example<strong>of</strong> Sigulda and declare their readiness to participate in developingthe <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> programme’s “MobileCentre.” Formal letters <strong>of</strong> agreement have been submitted byJūrmala, Daugavpils, Jelgava, Kuldīga, Dobele, Tukums, Limbaži,Staicele, Aloja, Salacgrīva, Balvi and Ventspils. Cēsis and Liepāja,also competing to become the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>, haveagreed in writing that they are prepared to cooperate in individualprojects if <strong>Riga</strong> is chosen as the ECC in <strong>2014</strong>.At the <strong>European</strong> and Baltic Sea region levels, the focus will beon Sweden, Latvia’s ECC partner state in <strong>2014</strong>, as well as on thetowns <strong>of</strong> the “New Amber Road”, a <strong>Riga</strong> initiative. The sayingpassed down since Swedish rule in the 17 th century – ‘the goodold Swedish era’ – will be the motto <strong>of</strong> an exhibit on wheels aboutthe current and historic ties between <strong>Riga</strong> and Sweden.The movement <strong>of</strong> the project from the centre <strong>of</strong> the city to theperiphery is the primary way in which <strong>Riga</strong> will inspire cooperationwithin the capital, the region, and throughout the country.Implementation <strong>of</strong> the “Mobile Centre” project in <strong>Riga</strong>’s outlyingdistricts will involve developing an expanded infrastructure,decentralising the city’s cultural facilities through development(the construction <strong>of</strong> a new cultural centre in the Latgale District,reconstruction <strong>of</strong> the philanthropist Augusts Dombrovskis’ early20 th century ‘palace <strong>of</strong> culture’ Ziemeļblāzma (“Northern Lights”)and the renovation <strong>of</strong> the historic district that surrounds it, andthe transformation <strong>of</strong> the Central Market’s warehouse area into a‘creative district’). The ‘Mobile Centres’ will have a long-term effecton urban development, serving as a platform for people-to-peoplecommunication and cultural activities as well as strengtheningneighbourhood identities.As a capital, <strong>Riga</strong> has intimate ties to other Latvian towns. In anage <strong>of</strong> rapid mobility, everyone in Latvia has developed a personalconnection to the capital – relatives, friends, children studying at136 137

mobile centre in riga’sneighbourhoodsTaking the concept that ‘the centre iswhere we are’, the project envisagesactivities in the centres <strong>of</strong> outlying localities,creating spaces that will serveas a platform for positive communication,cultural events and the strengthening<strong>of</strong> local identities.The goal <strong>of</strong> the project is to build localawareness in different neighbourhoods,developing smaller local centres to deepenthe residents’ sense <strong>of</strong> belonging to theneighbourhood and thereby enhance theirsense <strong>of</strong> responsibility as citizens <strong>of</strong> thecity. Reaching this goal also requires a focuson the local architecture and developmentthat fosters a sense <strong>of</strong> place.This project consists <strong>of</strong> two parts: theoreticalstudy, and practical implementation– reclamation <strong>of</strong> existing urban environmentsand the construction <strong>of</strong> newinstallations, objects and pavilions in thereclaimed space.The project will be based on an analysis<strong>of</strong> city planning in <strong>Riga</strong> neighbourhoodsand the prospective development <strong>of</strong> newcentres. Selecting approximately 3–5 different<strong>Riga</strong> neighbourhoods, brief portraitsencapsulating the social, geographical,historical, cultural, architectural and spatialcharacter <strong>of</strong> the individual neighbourhoodswill attempt to define the identity <strong>of</strong>the urban environments. The studies will investigatea variety <strong>of</strong> factors like the neighbourhoods’specific architectural histories,notable persons hailing from the area,the people who live in the neighbourhoodnow and those who lived there in the past,and local traditions. Residents will beasked to reveal their perceptions <strong>of</strong> theneighbourhood and what they most <strong>of</strong>tenassociate with it, spatially – the buildings,squares or parks that symbolize it – in aneffort to capture the spirit <strong>of</strong> place.The studies will compile the essential informationon the character and identity <strong>of</strong>each locality, including proposals for therelevant local government bodies and arearesidents’ recommendations to ensure sothat the identity <strong>of</strong> the locality is respectedand supplemented, rather than sweptaway in the course <strong>of</strong> development.Based on the results <strong>of</strong> the studies, concreteplans will be made for selected sites– pavilions will be built, existing spaces (forexample cultural and/or sports centres) willbe adapted for temporary use in the projector transformed, and public space such assquares, parks and promenades will be improvedand utilised as sites for installations.The project aims to promote the city’sdevelopment and new architecture, helping<strong>Riga</strong> become more urban by contrastto the suburbanism <strong>of</strong> the Sovietera. Encouraging development, strongerneighbourhood identities, the transformation<strong>of</strong> specific localities, and inspiring residentsto positive change requires small,positive impulses. A spatial and institutionalframework for this sort <strong>of</strong> dialoguemust be created. Spatial intervention withthe necessary stimulus, whether temporarystructures (pavilions, installations) orthe transformation <strong>of</strong> existing structuresthrough ephemeral installations, will shiftthe local centres <strong>of</strong> gravity to change theresidents’ habitual daily routine, becomingepicentres <strong>of</strong> fresh urban scene.Such new and renewed places and spaceswould become new urban centres – gatheringspots and venues for discussion for theneighbourhoods’ residents. The pavilionsand the newly created spaces would first<strong>of</strong> all be meeting-places where residents<strong>of</strong> the immediate neighbourhood couldcome up with and carry out their own initiatives,such as preparing meals together,playing chess, and exchanging views ininterest groups. Since these spaces wouldalso be venues for urban games, seminarsorganised by NGOs and the City Council,conferences, lectures, dances, contemporarytheatre and films, they can serve asmagnets for mutual understanding and facilitateintercultural integration, welcomingboth <strong>Riga</strong> residents and visitors.What: Research <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s urbanenvironments and use <strong>of</strong> the resultingstudy to implement ideas found therein indifferent neighbourhoods.Where: <strong>Riga</strong>’s neighbourhoods.When: Research conducted and compiled:2010–2012.riga’s key to fellowshipEvery city is surprisingly interesting inthe diversity <strong>of</strong> its culture. The “MobileCentre” will also travel to <strong>Riga</strong>’s sistercities in Europe and around theworld. One <strong>of</strong> the primary symbols <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>, used in its seal, is the key to thecity. <strong>Riga</strong>’s ‘diplomatic relations’ in<strong>2014</strong> will also be symbolised by a key“<strong>Riga</strong>’s Key to Fellowship”.Many <strong>Riga</strong> residents probably don’t evenknow that <strong>Riga</strong> has 29 ‘sister cities’ –Aalborg (Denmark), Almaty (Kazakhstan),Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Astana(Kazakhstan), Bordeaux (France), Bremen(Germany), Dallas (USA), Florence (Italy),Calais (France), Cairns (Australia), Kyiv(Ukraine), Kobe (Japan), Moscow (Russia),Minsk (Belarus), Norrköping (Sweden),Beijing (China), Pori (Finland), Rostock(Germany), St. Petersburg (Russia),Santiago (Chile), Stockholm (Sweden),Suzhou (China), Taipei (Taiwan), TallinnProject development: 2013.Project implementation and exhibitions: <strong>2014</strong>.Concept authors: Oskars Redbergs, ArtisZvirgzdiņš, Zanda Redberga(The Foundation for InterdisciplinaryCooperation “mT15”, www.mt15.lv), unIlze Martinsone (Latvian Museum <strong>of</strong>Architecture, www.archmuseum.lv).Project development: Architectural anddesign firms.Organisers: <strong>Riga</strong> City Council, Foundationfor Interdisciplinary Cooperation “mT15”Project implementation: Workshops,construction firms, Latvian Museum <strong>of</strong>ArchitecturePartners: In the research phase – theFoundation for Interdisciplinary Cooperation“mT15”, students <strong>of</strong> city planning at Latvianand foreign universities.(Estonia), Tartu (Estonia), Tashkent(Uzbekistan), Tbilisi (Georgia), Warsaw(Poland), and Vilnius (Lithuania).The goal <strong>of</strong> “<strong>Riga</strong>’s Key to Fellowship” isto involve representatives from <strong>Riga</strong>’s ‘sistercities’ in a collective campaign, makingthe invitation a special one. In addition todrawing the attention <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s ‘sister cities’to the events in the Latvian capital, thecampaign would show <strong>Riga</strong>’s residents thecultural diversity <strong>of</strong> their ‘sister cities’.All <strong>of</strong> the ‘sister cities’ will be invited to participatein an artistic project to create a keyto fellowship, simultaneously telling thestory <strong>of</strong> cooperation between their citiesand <strong>Riga</strong>. The keys will be exhibited at ajoint exhibition with presentations to showcasethe cultural diversity <strong>of</strong> each participatingcity.What: Exhibition.Where: City Hall.When: June.Concept author: Mārcis GulbisPartners: <strong>Riga</strong> City Council, Department<strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>, <strong>Riga</strong> City Council ForeignRelations Department.138 139

mobile centre in sigulda,riga’s <strong>of</strong>ficial partner city<strong>Riga</strong> and Sigulda were both first mentioned in historic texts aroundthe same time – more than eight centuries ago. Both towns werefounded on the sites <strong>of</strong> the autochthonous settlements <strong>of</strong> theFinno-Ugric Livonians. Like <strong>Riga</strong>, the hill forts <strong>of</strong> Sigulda and thecastles and fortifications that replaced them when it was a Livonianstronghold (medieval Livonia was named after the indigenousFinno-Ugric people by the conquering Germans) were later takenby diverse armed forces. Sigulda flourished in the late 19th centuryas a consequence <strong>of</strong> the construction <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong>-Pskov roadand the <strong>Riga</strong>-Valka railway line. Grand Duke Kropotkin, the owner<strong>of</strong> a great estate there, developed Sigulda as a resort, popularin the Russian Empire, where tourists could walk the so-called‘alpine paths’, visit the castle ruins and caves, and enjoy carriagerides or bobsled runs.The wooden buildings <strong>of</strong> Sigulda, built in the style <strong>of</strong> a Swissalpine resort, were partly destroyed in the First World War. Themanor <strong>of</strong> the estate was nationalised during the agrarian reformwhen Latvia became independent, becoming a guest house forthe Union <strong>of</strong> Writers and Journalists. During the Second WorldWar, Sigulda saw the destruction <strong>of</strong> its railway station, the bridgespanning the Gauja River, and the amphitheatre. In the Soviet period,development plans resulted in the growth <strong>of</strong> industry andconstruction <strong>of</strong> apartment blocks. It became a minor regional administrative,economic and cultural centre.The Sigulda area is still nicknamed the Switzerland <strong>of</strong> Vidzeme.Efforts to preserve the environment led to the creation <strong>of</strong> Latvia’sfirst national park in the area in the 1930s; its status was renewedas the Gauja National Park. The park covers 91,745 hectares andis listed as a specially protected territory by the <strong>European</strong> “Natura2000” programme, and as a sanctuary for birds by the <strong>European</strong>Union. There are more than 500 cultural and historical places <strong>of</strong>interest within – hill forts, castles, churches, ancient estates, watermills,windmills, and other architectural, archaeological and artsites.The aerial cable car to Krimulda, opened in 1969, quickly becamea popular tourist attraction. The sledding complex, opened in1986, made Sigulda an international winter sports centre.An integral part <strong>of</strong> Sigulda’s renown is its Opera Festival. The celebration<strong>of</strong> the town’s 800 th birthday in 2006 was testimony to thefact that Sigulda is a regional centre that can attract attention notonly in the area but throughout Latvia and among foreign visitors.An open air theatre festival and the concert hall known asthe “White Grand Piano” (Baltais flīģelis) play a role in the town’spopularity as a festival venue.The Sigulda region has two principal approaches with regard tothe <strong>2014</strong> project, taking into account its place in the history <strong>of</strong>culture <strong>of</strong> this part <strong>of</strong> Europe:• producing an audit <strong>of</strong> the cultural and historical heritage thatupdates the centuries old ethical and aesthetic values <strong>of</strong> the regionin an international context;• using the skills and know-how, intertwined with local historyand the services Sigulda provides, in a manner that involves asmany local residents as possible.In preparing its proposal to participate in the <strong>Riga</strong> application tobe the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> in <strong>2014</strong>, Sigulda has closelyfollowed the goals and themes <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong> proposal.140 141

sigulda programmeever-living legendsRegional history is most colourfullyreflected in legends that have beenpassed down since ancient times.Sigulda is woven about with such legends,the folklore interwoven with historicalfact – the stories <strong>of</strong> the Rose <strong>of</strong>Turaida, and the great Livonian chieftainslike Kaupo, whose complex rolein the introduction <strong>of</strong> Christianity tothe southern Baltic is still controversial.Since the 19 th century, Siguldaand the surrounding area have featuredin many ballads, poems, plays,films, postage stamps, operas, andeven modern dance performances.The continuing creation <strong>of</strong> new works<strong>of</strong> art around these themes shows thatthe legendary figures live on in thepopular imagination.Some myths and geographically rooted legendsare perfect material for the stimulation<strong>of</strong> the modern creative imagination. In <strong>2014</strong>,17 local amateur collectives will seek to revivethe legends by working with pr<strong>of</strong>essionalchoreographers, scenographers, composersand theatre directors. The residents<strong>of</strong> Sigulda and the surrounding area will beinvolved in major pr<strong>of</strong>essional musical productions,bringing local mythology alive.The story <strong>of</strong> the Rose <strong>of</strong> Turaida is the legend<strong>of</strong> the devoted and courageous girlMaija Greifa, who lived at Turaida in the17 th century. Though tragic, the beautifullove story is alive in the Latvian imagination;couples still leave flowers and lightcandles at the grave <strong>of</strong> Rose <strong>of</strong> Turaida ontheir wedding day.What: Musical performance.Where: Historic sites and natural featuresin the Sigulda area.When: 2012 – Legend <strong>of</strong> Kaupo at theSigulda castle ruins; <strong>2014</strong> – Legend <strong>of</strong> theRose <strong>of</strong> Turaida on Gūtmanis Island.Concept author: Sigulda District Council.Organisers: Sigulda District Council.Partners: Pr<strong>of</strong>essional composers,choreographers, poets.turning stylishTo change the dank destiny <strong>of</strong> basements– transform them into beautifulmeeting-places! Awaiting the year<strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>,Sigulda will look for ways to convertbunkers from the Second World Warinto accessible and pleasant spaces forpublic use. The best idea for revampingthese sites, which are also importanthistorically, will be implemented in<strong>2014</strong> as a gift to the residents and asurprise for the visitors.was located. The air raid shelter was builtfor the use <strong>of</strong> the headquarters personneland is currently not used. There have beenvarious plans to turn these bunkers intocafés, youth centres or art galleries.The Sigulda Town Council, consulting withboth residents and experts, will seek themost interesting concept for making use<strong>of</strong> these structures.What: Creative workshop.Where: Sigulda.Concept authors: Sigulda RegionalCouncil, Development Board, CiltureBoard, Sports and Tourism Board.In 1944, during the Second World War,Sigulda served as the headquarters <strong>of</strong> theGerman Army Group Nord. In the formerWhite Manor, then the Sigulda secondaryschool, the headquarters’ security service143

different timesOne <strong>of</strong> the most beautiful ancient blessings<strong>of</strong> Sigulda is the Turaida Castle. In<strong>2014</strong>, the Castle will celebrate its 800 thbirthday. Within the ECC programme,sand paintings‘Sand is not composed strictly <strong>of</strong> silica.It contains all <strong>of</strong> the elements <strong>of</strong>Mendeleev’s table, various materials invarious concentrations. Water trappedthe celebration will include a paradeand a presentation “Different Times”,which will allow everyone attending tounderstand the historical and socialevents that brought about both thecastle and modern Sigulda. The celebrationwill focus on both what <strong>Riga</strong>and Sigulda have in common and whatis unique in each.The parade will symbolically traverse timefrom the 1300s to the current day. Persons<strong>of</strong> both genders, different ages and differentsocial status will be represented working,relaxing, and playing. The parade willbe designed as an extraordinary event inperpetual motion on foot, horseback andwheels, with sharp contrasts and coloursleaving a lasting impression. 14 differenthistorical scenes will be created. Horsesand carriages, as well as more modernmobile platforms, will be adapted for theparade. Music from various periods <strong>of</strong>in sand is capable <strong>of</strong> saving informationin itself, it speaks to us. Workingwith sand, I sometimes utilize an improvisedsandstorm, rain, floods, andearthquakes. The use <strong>of</strong> sand for decorativepurposes is not my invention, ithas been used for thousands <strong>of</strong> yearsin many parts <strong>of</strong> the world, but I havefound my technique, my own manner inwhich to cultivate the language <strong>of</strong> creatingsand paintings,’ says artist ElmārsGaigalnieks who lives in Sigulda, as heprepares a new surprise for <strong>2014</strong>.Elmārs Gaigalnieks is currently the onlyknown artist in the Baltics that uses sand asa medium for artwork. Sand paintings arecreated by a technique that the artist hasdeveloped over ten years, through tirelessexperimentation. Various painting, sculptureand graphic arts elements and other toolsare used to create them, among them narya paintbrush. How will this exhibit differ fromtime will enhance the effect. Also, pr<strong>of</strong>essionalactors, musicians and dancers willparticipate as well as volunteers from thecommunity and amateur groups such astheatres, dance collectives and choirs.Workshops will be held to prepare the participants.The plan is to involve as manypeople as possible in creating the spirit <strong>of</strong>solidarity and co-operation.What: Historical procession.Where: Near Turaida Castle.When: August.Concept authors: Marana Productions.Organisers: Sigulda Region Council,Turaida Museum.Partners: Local government. institutions,businesses, NGOs, and general public.others we have experienced? Artist ElmārsGaigalnieks, in cooperation with the SiguldaArt School, will pass on his creative skill toyoung artists. Instruction will take place forone school year and in June, together withthe artist, the youth will exhibit their work.The art exhibition will take place togetherwith the rock group Dzelzs Vilks. Music composedespecially for sand paintings, steamingtea, a sand box for flights <strong>of</strong> fantasy andthe artist’s own participation will guaranteean unforgettable experience.What: Interactive exhibition.Where: Gūtmanis Cave.When: June.Concept Author: Elmārs Gaigalnieks.Organisers: Elmārs Gaigalnieks, Art StudioDzeltenā dzeņa ordenis, Sigulda ArtSchool, rock group Dzelzs Vilks.Cooperation Partner: Sigulda DistrictBoard.nature’s concert hall“Nature’s Concert Hall” is a jointproject <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s artists and scientists- its goal is to draw attention tonature, which we don’t notice everyday,to invite us to be considerate <strong>of</strong>the environment. Musicians play music,attentively listening to the landscapethat surrounds them, and inviteeveryone to catch the special sensations<strong>of</strong> the world around.Since the times <strong>of</strong> Grand Duke Kropotkin,the owner <strong>of</strong> Sigulda Manor, at the turn <strong>of</strong> the18 th century, Sigulda has always served as arespite for vacationers, and the city leadershave never allowed the city’s territory to bebuilt up with industrial structures. The largestbuildings here are castles, churches,schools – an ideal place for the humanitarianidea <strong>of</strong> tended soul/tended environmentto flourish. The environment pertains not justto green areas, but also to the city’s socialinfrastructure, where people play the dominantrole.sprint run upturaida towerBecome the fastest messenger! Themotto for this unique competition willresound, popularizing an active lifestyleamong the locals – a sprint raceup the ancient Turaida castle tower’sobservation field, 38m high.The race will take place at the main tower <strong>of</strong>Turaida Castle. Within each age group, 16<strong>of</strong> the best participants will qualify, then 8,but in the final run the best 3 will be determined.For the age groups 7–10 years and56+ years, there won’t be a qualificationrun; the final will take place immediately.In essence the project is the symbiosis <strong>of</strong>music, science, poetry and video art thathelp people to get closer to nature on anemotional level, to protect it not with laws,but with their attitude. Nature, people andmusic create an inseparable trio in thisconcert.In 2006, the concert “Nature’s ConcertHall” took place for the first time in Sigulda.Sound artist Pēteris Ķimelis brought insectand bird stories to life with video material,which, together with poet Pēters Brūveris’poetry and entomologists’ narration, revealedfor us the secrets <strong>of</strong> the naturalworld. These stories were augmented bymusicians - together it created a mysticalatmosphere while awaiting midnight inKrimulda Park. We will continue this event,<strong>of</strong>fering it every year in August, dedicatingeach year to a different theme.What: Concert and insect observation.Where: Krimulda Park.When: August.Concept author: World Environment Fund.Organisers: World Environment Fund,What: Race.Where: Turaida Museum Reserve.When: Last Saturday in May.Concept author: Sigulda Sport & TourismAuthority.Organisers: Sigulda District Board, <strong>Riga</strong>Regional Sports Initiative Centre.Cooperation Partners: Association “A2”,Turaida Museum Reserve.www.dabaskoncerts.lv.Cooperation Partners: World EnvironmentFund, United Nations DevelopmentProgram, Association <strong>of</strong> LatvianEntomologists, Latvian EnvironmentalProtection Fund, Association <strong>of</strong> LatvianOrnithologists, Gauja National Park .144 145

ock the boatThese days many young people knowhow to operate jet-skis, but wouldn’tthe making <strong>of</strong> a boat with one’s ownhands provide a greater satisfactionabout one’s skills? Anyone can tryand make a boat out <strong>of</strong> a single piece<strong>of</strong> wood!Sigulda is known as an ancient Livoniansettlement <strong>of</strong> the Finno-Ugric tribes, andSigulda State Gymnasium teacher, artistRaits Tikums, still knows how to make typicalLivonian and other Finno-Ugrian logboats. Courageous visitors to the MuseumReserve can currently try them out in thepark’s pond.The making <strong>of</strong> a log boat requires an aspentree log approximately 5m in length. Itis hard work, and requires much patience<strong>of</strong> the master. The tradition is known tohave been preserved also in Estonia andsome parts <strong>of</strong> Sweden.Research work is planned until <strong>2014</strong>, inorder to find the masters <strong>of</strong> this craft, andassemble all <strong>of</strong> them together in <strong>2014</strong>. Theboat opening or expansion is an occasionthat commands attention – stoking a boatlengthbonfire, heating <strong>of</strong> water in hugepots, heating <strong>of</strong> rocks and steaming <strong>of</strong> theboat, so that, with the help <strong>of</strong> spreaders, itcould be slowly expanded.stage <strong>of</strong> talentsDouzelage is an association <strong>of</strong> 23<strong>European</strong> small cities, <strong>of</strong> which Siguldais a member. In the context <strong>of</strong> <strong>2014</strong>,Sigulda has initiated a project that is directedtoward the support <strong>of</strong> young talentsand would fit in the <strong>Riga</strong>`s “AmberVein” concept.The project will include an internationalyoung musicians competition “Musician <strong>of</strong>the Year“ in Sigulda, with the goal <strong>of</strong> promotingpr<strong>of</strong>essional musical education forchildren and youth. Young musicians fromvarious EU member states will have the opportunityto demonstrate their skills in front<strong>of</strong> an international jury and audience in thesonorous Sigulda Concert Hall.The project will be implemented in twophases:1) Creative workshop where 3 artistswill work, they will make the boat as anart object, utilizing historic boat makingtraditions;2) craftsmen from Estonia and Sweden willdemonstrate the authentic art <strong>of</strong> boat-making,with the participation <strong>of</strong> Sigulda youth,who will help in the making <strong>of</strong> a boat.What: Creative boatmasters workshop.Where: Turaida Museum Reserve.When: Phase 1 – 2012, Phase 2 – <strong>2014</strong>.Concept author: Raits Tikums.Organisers: Raits Tikums, Sigulda DistrictBoard.Cooperation Partners: Turaida MuseumReserve, Eco-tourism Information andEducation Centre, Gauja National Park.What: International competition.Where: Concert Hall Baltais flīģelis,Sigulda Cultural Centre.When: Summer–Autumn.Concept author: www.douzelage.org.Organisers: Sigulda Music School, SiguldaDistrict Board Cultural Authority, SiguldaDistrict Board Development Authority.Cooperation Partners: The followingcities have confirmed their participation:Neideranven (Luxembourg), Sherborne(Great Britain); Susice (Czech Republic),Turi (Estonia). Response are still awaitedfrom: Holstebro (Denmark), Oxelosund(Sweden); Karkkila (Finland); Koszeg(Hungary).festival <strong>of</strong> marveloustheatre “soul sprouts“Light shows draw people in becausetheir effects are so unpredictable. Thegoal <strong>of</strong> this theatre <strong>of</strong> light is to givechildren and youth from socially disadvantagedfamilies the chance tolearn new skills, gain society’s recognition,and integrate more easily.The participants will be drawn into thecreation <strong>of</strong> the theatre <strong>of</strong> light. The director <strong>of</strong>the workshop will encourage the participantsto influence the rhythm and proceedings <strong>of</strong>the show. Participants will make set piecesand enliven them by learning appropriatemovements to musical accompaniment. Ashow within a show will then focus on thedifferent forms <strong>of</strong> decorations <strong>of</strong> varyingsizes.The theatre <strong>of</strong> light involves innovativemovement and music to stimulate creativityamong the participants. The show takeskremerata balticaSigulda has become famous for thechamber music festival, KremerataBaltica, where, in Siguldas concert hallBaltais Flīģelis, outstanding chambermusic concerts take place.Outstanding world-renowned Rigensian,musician and violinist Gidon Kremer, Balticorchestra Kremerata Baltica, orchestralchamber ensembles and guest soloistsparticipate in the festivals.With <strong>2014</strong>, the festival’s mission anddirection is creative revelations – composers‘new opuses introduced and new musicstars – young outstanding soloists – arediscovered.place in darkness, where ultraviolet light isused with white set pieces to create specialeffects and a special atmosphere.Participants need no special preparationand the activity is therefore accessible todifferent age groups and handicappedpersons. The audience, as well as theparticipants, benefit from this cooperation.Another form <strong>of</strong> expression at the festivalwill be performances prepared at movementand dance workshops. Games willencourage children to create their owndances. The Sigulda group “Wings <strong>of</strong>Hope” has already proven itself capable<strong>of</strong> success – members <strong>of</strong> the troupe haveparticipated in international events inTurkey and Poland as well as Latvia. 60children participate in the association, 8 <strong>of</strong>them with partners in Germany.Participants will come from 10 differentcountries: Latvia, Lithuania, Germany,Poland, Belarus, Slovakia, Azerbaijan,Macedonia and 2 African countries. Thefestival will give children a chance to meetand to find new friends.The Festival history includes such contemporaryclassic composers as ArvoPärt, Giulio Cancelli, Leonid Desyatnikov,Alfreds Šnitke, Pēteris Vasks. The Festival isplanning a high quality programme for <strong>2014</strong>as well.What: Chamber music festival .Where: Sigulda Concert Hall Baltais flīģelis,Sigulda Lutheran Church, Sigulda CatholicChurch.When: End <strong>of</strong> June.Concept author: Gidon Kremer.organisers: Sigulda Concert Hall Baltaisflīģelis, Kremerata Baltica,www.kremeratabaltica.lv,www.sigulda.lv.Cooperation Partners: Businesses,embassies.What: Theatre festival.Where: Sigulda.When: Autumn.Concept authors: Ingrīda Žigure, Eva Viļkina.Organisers: “Wings <strong>of</strong> Hope”www.ceribusparni.lv.Partners: Social Agency <strong>of</strong> the SiguldaRegion Council, <strong>Culture</strong> Board, Viļāniassociation Saulstariņš, Olaine associationĀbolītis, Sustento, Lebenshilfe (Germany).146 147

celebratingmidsummer nightAt various festivals in Sigulda, Rīgaand throughout Latvia, Christian traditionspeacefully co-exist with centuries-oldtraditional festivities. Themost widely celebrated solstice takesplace during summer’s shortest night– Midsummer. This promotes tolerancefor various traditions, unifying peopleon summer’s shortest night.Over the years, summer solstice celebrationsat Turaida historic grounds havecaptured the interest <strong>of</strong> many people. Incooperation with the organization Mārasloks and Turaida Museum Reserve, whichhas been accomplished up until now atteststo the fact that society has a growinginterest in understanding and preservingopera music festivalThe favourite festival <strong>of</strong> high level operamusic performers and spectatorstakes place on the stage <strong>of</strong> Siguldacastle ruins, surrounded by 13 th centurycastle walls. The Sigulda OperaMusic Festival has featured notableLatvian and also foreign opera musicstars, for example: Katya Angeloni,Sissela Kirkebu, Janice Dickson,Mihela Shamir, Michael Dean, AlfredoDaza, Ahmed Agadi and many others.Under the initiative <strong>of</strong> surgeon DainisKalns, the Festival has taken place annuallysince 1993.Today, in addition to the world renownedopera music performers concert and operaperformance, the Festival has a newancient cultural heritage as a living tradition– accessible and open to all who areinterested.Along with the annual event – celebration<strong>of</strong> the traditional solstice, in <strong>2014</strong>, informationwill be gathered about those placesin Latvia and the world, where solstice iscelebrated on June 21 st – the shortest night<strong>of</strong> the year. Additionally, there will be an exchange<strong>of</strong> impressions about festivities. Awebsite has already been created, whereone can both get acquainted with maps <strong>of</strong>solstice celebration sites, as well as addnew venues.The traditions <strong>of</strong> Midsummer celebrationsinclude cheese making, songs devotedespecially to this holiday, dances, games,hilltop fire pole etc. This is a celebration,that gives each <strong>of</strong> us the opportunity torealize our place on earth and our connectionwith life’s cycle.challenge – to create performances specificallyfor young opera artists in order todraw in young opera music listeners. Thesecond event is a wide ranging opera musicconcert – pr<strong>of</strong>essional artists are invitedto collaborate in its creation – the LatvianNational Symphony Orchestra, opera soloists,choir performers and Latvia’s amateurchoirs’ singers.What: Festival.Where: Sigulda Concert Hall Baltais flīģelis,Sigulda Lutheran Church, Cultural Center,Sigulda Castle ruin stage.When: Third week <strong>of</strong> July.Concept author: Dainis Kalns.Organisers: Sigulda Opera Music Festival,Sigulda District Board.What: Summer solstice celebration.Where: Turaida Museum Reserve territory– Jāņu Hill, Dziesmu Garden, SkandiniekuSpring, Dainu Hill, Sigulda District hills.When: June 21 st .Concept authors: Jolanta Borīte, AndaSkuja, Agnija Saprovska.Organisers: Sigulda District Board, TuraidaMuseum Reserve, Organization Mārasloks, Latvian Folklore Association,Latvian Trade Chamber, State Agencyfor Non-material Cultural Heritage,www.saulesloks.org,www.worldsuncircle.org,www.sigulda.lv, www.tmc.gov.lv.Cooperation Partners: Latvian folkloregroups, mens’ choirs, bagpipers,craftsmen, Dance club, any and allwilling to participate.summer <strong>of</strong> theatresSigulda has become the home for theLatvian theaters’ summer gathering– hosting performances for all tastesand audiences. In 2008, Sigulda tookover the initiative to host the DaileTheatre Summer Festival, which invitesnot only its own, bet all <strong>of</strong> Latvia’spr<strong>of</strong>essional theatre actors, to leavethe city walls and come closer to theiraudience.Daile Theatre is the largest pr<strong>of</strong>essionalreperatory theatre in Latvia. The Theatrefeatures grand contemporary perfomances,both in form and content, that includea wide spectrum <strong>of</strong> productions: classicworld literature, period drama, musicaland children’s shows. The Daile TheatreSummer Festival takes place every twoyears. The last Festival proved that the aim<strong>of</strong> bringing the event to a level <strong>of</strong> nationalimportance was completely justified.wind dancesIn the air, without a rope or parachute –that is what flying is all about. The ancientstory <strong>of</strong> Ikarus has become a realitythese days. In Sigulda, there is anastrounaut training facility Aerodium,where you can experience free-fall,flying on an air stream created by astrong Boeing propeller.The wind tunnel, set up in Sigulda, hasan air stream speed <strong>of</strong> 180-200 km/h.Aerodium is the first vertical wind tunnel inEastern Europe. The powerful air current inthe wind tunnel allows one to fly!Aerodium project consists <strong>of</strong> special trainingfor children and youth aged 8–15, afterwhich the best trick masters will be able toEvery year, a different national theatre isinvited to take on the leading theatre role,with other theatres participating in the festivalprogramme as guests. Theatre performancesare shown in traditional indoortheatres, public spaces and outdoors.The Festival organisers provide a variedprogram <strong>of</strong> entertainment. It includesthe possibility, with the aid <strong>of</strong> make-upand theatre cosutmes, to transform intovarious characters and become immortalin photographs. There are also horse rides,boat excursions, city tours, entertainmentfor children.What: Theatre festival.Where: Sigulda public space, historic sites,cultural halls, concert hall Baltais flīģelis,Sigulda Catholic church, Castle Ruinstage.When: June 2010, 2012, <strong>2014</strong>.Concept authors: Aivars Līnis, IndraRubene, Juris Vaivods.Organiser: Daile Theatre.Cooperation Partner: Sigulda District Board.fly and perform tricks in the air. The trainingprogramme will become the basis forthe show programme in <strong>2014</strong>, and the bestfliers will be able to particpate in the openingceremonies at the 3 rd Latvian WinterOlympics. The show will be the interaction<strong>of</strong> music, free-fall and videography.New acrobats, who will perform in showsthroughout the world, will be chosen fromthose talented youth, who have reachedthe age <strong>of</strong> 16.What: Training program, show.Where: Sigulda.When: March.Concept author: Ivars Beitāns, JolantaBorīte.Organisers: Aeroduim Latvija, “LGKGroup”.Cooperation Partners: Sigulda DistrictCouncil, Latvian Olympic Committee.148 149

winter olympicsThe Sigulda Bobsleigh Track, where competitionsboth at the Latvian and world levelstake place, was built in 1986. The origins<strong>of</strong> bobsleighing in Latvia can be found inSigulda at the end <strong>of</strong> the 19 th century, whenthe owner <strong>of</strong> Sigulda Manor, Grand DukeNikolai Kropotkin, built the first 900m longbobsleigh run with one curve. Today, it isone <strong>of</strong> 17 world bobsleigh tracks, its lengthis 1200 meters, it has 16 curves and maximumspeed is 125km/h. The 3 rd LatvianWinter Olympics will take place here in<strong>2014</strong>, one more test <strong>of</strong> strength after theWinter Olympics in Sochi.observation tower will be made accessibleto visitors, and the options to ride thetrack will be improved. Even now, one canfeel like an athlete and try their skills at icecurves in a competition sled.What: Sport competition.Where: Sigulda.When: Winter.Concept author: Sigulda District Board.Organisers: Sigulda District Board, LatvianOlympic Committee.Cooperation partners: Ventspils Board,<strong>Riga</strong> board, Jelgava board, ValmieraBoard, Priekuļi and Cēsis District Board,Ministry <strong>of</strong> Education, Cultural andCreative Industries Education Center.Athletes from throughout Latvia will competein 11 winter sports – biathlon, crosscountry skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding,bobsleigh, luge, skeleton, figure skating,short-track, hockey and curling. Five<strong>of</strong> these events will take place elsewhere inLatvia. The competition is organized basedon the traditions <strong>of</strong> Olympic games.The event will be similar to the WinterOlympics – it will begin in February with atorch lighting ceremony in Sigulda Castle.Until March, the torch will travel to all municipalitiesand sport halls where Olympiccompetitions will take place. In cooperationwith the District school board and Artschool, various art events will take place:• Creation <strong>of</strong> 20 snowman costumes,which will carry the team names during the3 rd Latvian Winter Olympics;• Award painting.In the winter <strong>of</strong> <strong>2014</strong>, Sigulda will host othersporting events, most notably the traditionaltoboggan World Cup.An exposition about the history <strong>of</strong> bobsleighand toboggan is planned in<strong>2014</strong>. Additionally, the Bobsleigh Track150 151

152cultural centres <strong>of</strong> rigaand largest venuesfor <strong>2014</strong> events

Latvian National LibrarySpīķeri – a quarter for creative industriesLatvian National Library<strong>Riga</strong> Concert HallContemporary Art MuseumThe construction <strong>of</strong> the Latvian National Library is the most significant and large-scalenational initiative <strong>of</strong> the 21 st century in Latvia. The library building, which is figurativelyknown as the ‘Castle <strong>of</strong> Light’ will become both a centre for information, culture andsocial life, and a striking feature <strong>of</strong> the urban environment and a symbol <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>. TheLatvian National Library project is supported by UNESCO, which in 1999 adopted a resolutioninviting Member States and the international society to provide as much supportas possible to implement the project. Construction <strong>of</strong> the building commenced in 2008.The ‘Castle <strong>of</strong> Light’ should be open to visitors in 2013. For more information about theproject: www.gaismaspils.lv.<strong>Riga</strong> Concert Hall<strong>Riga</strong> Concert Hall and the Latvian National Library will be situated next to each other,forming a new group <strong>of</strong> cultural facilities on the left bank <strong>of</strong> the River Daugava. TheUNESCO World Heritage Centre has recognised <strong>Riga</strong> Concert Hall as an example <strong>of</strong>quality architecture that will elegantly enhance the new centre <strong>of</strong> the city. <strong>Riga</strong> ConcertHall will not only be a prominent example <strong>of</strong> architecture and a symbol <strong>of</strong> the city, but willalso give its visitors the opportunity <strong>of</strong> enjoying an unrepeatable combination <strong>of</strong> acousticsand technical quality. The building will contain three halls – a Grand Hall for performances<strong>of</strong> academic music, as well as a Small Hall and an Experimental Hall that may beadapted for different genres <strong>of</strong> music. Spacious rooms for the public and rooms for thedaily work <strong>of</strong> musicians, including rehearsals, will be provided in <strong>Riga</strong> Concert Hall. Formore information about the project: www.koncertzale.lv.Contemporary Art MuseumThe Contemporary Art Museum will be established in a historic building – in the formerpower plant on Andrejsala. Over the next few years this former port area will becomea modern and attractive neighbourhood, just as Soho in New York, or Notting Hill inLondon. The Contemporary Art Museum will be a multifunctional cultural centre withexhibition rooms occupying 4 000 m2, a conference and cinema hall, a computerisedinformation centre, a library and archive, as well as rooms for art pedagogy and projectworkshops. The museum will not only reflect the symbols <strong>of</strong> national identity that confirmthe rich Latvian heritage <strong>of</strong> visual art, but will also become a testimony to the significantrole <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> in the cultural processes <strong>of</strong> Europe in the 21 st century. At the sametime as developing the construction project <strong>of</strong> the building, the collection for the LatvianContemporary Art Museum is being established – works are being selected by an internationalexpert commission, approved by the Ministry <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>. For more informationabout the project: www.camriga.lv.Based on the development plan for the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, which envisages the development<strong>of</strong> cultural and recreational functions in the historic warehouse area, Spīķeri, involving theterritory in the social and business infrastructure <strong>of</strong> the city, Spīķeri is becoming a cityquarter for creative industries, developing a cluster <strong>of</strong> high added value. Spīķeri alreadyhouses the unique Doll Art Museum, avant-garde theatre for adults and children, andcontemporary music and cinema events take place in the Dirty Deal Café. Every week,notable festivals and unique concerts make Spīķeri a significant centre for contemporaryculture. It is one <strong>of</strong> the epicentres for events during the city’s most noticeable cultural festivals– “White Nights”, “Poetry Days”, “Radiant <strong>Riga</strong>”. The newly opened boat transportsystem has provided a basis for rejuvenating the Spīķeri embankment.Spīķeri is a complex <strong>of</strong> buildings between Maskava, Turgeņeva and Krasta Streets, andthe Spīķeri embankment, from the old pier <strong>of</strong> the Railway Bridge to Sala Bridge. The industrialaesthetics <strong>of</strong> the territory <strong>of</strong> Spīķeri included in the UNESCO World Heritage listserve as inspiration for developing the quarter.It is hoped that the territory <strong>of</strong> Spīķeri will be transformed into a contemporary, modernand publicly accessible urban environment. Spīķeri will be the home for creative culturalorganisations, contemporary music and cinema events, art galleries, <strong>of</strong>fices, cosyrestaurants and cafés. Spīķeri will be the location for the most outstanding College <strong>of</strong>Gastronomic Arts in the Baltic region and an organic market for Latvian farmers.The future <strong>of</strong> Spīķeri embankment is in high quality designer objects and as a locationfor cultural events, wide options for water sports for all the family, with pedestrian andcyclist-friendly access and as the central hub for <strong>Riga</strong>’s water transport. It is planned thatreconstruction <strong>of</strong> the Spīķeri quarter will finish in 2012, and the improvement <strong>of</strong> Spīķeriembankment will conclude in 2009–2010.Wooden building complex on Kalnciema Street –a commune <strong>of</strong> creative industriesImplementation <strong>of</strong> the private initiative model was commenced in 2004 by Kārlis andMārtiņš Dambergs, in collaboration with architect Liene Griezīte, renovating the ensemble<strong>of</strong> wooden buildings on Kalnciema Street. The Dambergs began their business activitiesby producing recycled wooden floors and this grew into the purchasing and restoring<strong>of</strong> the wooden houses. The NGO Latvia Nostra proposed the street renewal projectto <strong>Riga</strong> City Council in 2002, but a positive turning point in the delayed renewal stagnationprocess took place thanks to the NATO Summit in <strong>Riga</strong>, in November 2006. Prior to thisimportant event, significant government funding was granted, because convoys <strong>of</strong> distinguishedguests could not be taken to the city centre from the international airport withoutpassing the wooden houses on Kalnciema Street, which, at the time, were in a very poorcondition. Today, the commune <strong>of</strong> Kalnciema Street is a lifestyle that has a magnetic attraction,involves people with similar views and brings together like-minded people forinhabiting the houses. The agenda <strong>of</strong> the “Green House Commune” includes a canteenproject, <strong>of</strong> which an organic component will be green markets that will <strong>of</strong>fer locally grownseasonal products.SpīķeriWooden building complex on Kalnciema Street154 155

Central MarketLatvian National OperaCentral Market<strong>Riga</strong>’s Central Market is the largest market in the Baltics and one <strong>of</strong> the largest open typemarkets both in Europe and the world. It was unveiled in 1930, and the five market pavilionscomprised the largest construction object in Latvia after the First World War. Thefunction <strong>of</strong> the Central Market has not changed up to the present day – it is the largestand most popular place for shopping and trading. Farmers from the whole <strong>of</strong> Latvia <strong>of</strong>fertheir products in the market pavilions and the open market territory – vegetables, berries,fruit, meat, dairy products and other countryside goods. The Central Market is alsoinvolved in art activities – this year, the annual “Art Days” were organised here with anartists’ campaign on the ro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> the meat pavilion, poetry readings, sale <strong>of</strong> artistic itemsand lectures by pr<strong>of</strong>essionals about contemporary art.Daugava embankmentIn the 14 th century, the embankment <strong>of</strong> the Daugava became the city’s main harbour.With changing times, the harbour has moved further away from the city centre, but theembankment now serves for recreational purposes. The embankment <strong>of</strong> the Daugavahas also entered history as one <strong>of</strong> the symbols <strong>of</strong> the Singing Revolution, which broughttogether hundreds <strong>of</strong> thousands <strong>of</strong> people for peaceful demonstrations demandingrestoration <strong>of</strong> national independence. Every year military parades take place here onNational Independence Day, but in the evening, people converge to marvel at the fireworkdisplay. Hundreds <strong>of</strong> thousands <strong>of</strong> people celebrated the country’s accession tothe <strong>European</strong> Union on the embankment, where various city festival grand concerts havetaken place. Boat trips leave from several quayside stopping points, <strong>of</strong>fering anyoneinterested a view <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> from the River Daugava.Latvian National OperaThe ‘White House’ <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, as the opera is popularly known, was built in 1863. At thetime it was called the City’s First Theatre, or German Theatre, and it was built accordingto the project implemented by St. Petersburg’s architect, Ludwig Bohnstedt. Today, theNew Hall has been added to the historical building <strong>of</strong> the Latvian National Opera. Duringone season 200 performances are staged at the Opera. During one year an average <strong>of</strong>6 new productions are prepared, retaining a proportionate amount <strong>of</strong> opera and balletperformances. For two weeks in June, the annual <strong>Riga</strong> Opera Festival takes place, whichhas been organised since 1998, as a resume <strong>of</strong> the former season. During the festival,the previous season’s new productions and most significant performances are usuallydemonstrated, and a large symphonic work performed.Arēna Rīga(EAA) since November 2005. EAA unites more than 20 <strong>European</strong> arenas, and its objectiveis to promote a unified exchange <strong>of</strong> information among the arenas <strong>of</strong> Europe aboutevents, legislation, novelties in the technology field and changes in the market situation.The Arena was opened in 2006, its capacity – 14,500 seats, total area 22,568 m 2 , arenaarea – 33 x 63 metres.Mežaparks Open-Air StageThe Mežaparks Open-Air Stage was built in 1955. Although several reconstructions andadditions to the stage have been implemented over time, it has retained its original visualimage and is suitable for organising vast cultural and recreational events – uniting upto 20,000 singers and close to 100,000 audience members in the Genereal Song andDance Celebration. Rock concerts and other popular events take place on the stage.In 2008, Phase 1 <strong>of</strong> the stage reconstruction was completed and Phase 2 should becompleted in a couple <strong>of</strong> years, during which it is planned to widen the stage and audiencesection, as well as considerably improve the area surrounding the stage. The parksurrounding the stage is already suitable for public sports and recreational pastimes andchildren’s activities – the century old Zoo is located next door.<strong>Riga</strong> Art Space“<strong>Riga</strong> Art Space” is a multifunctional exhibition hall backed by <strong>Riga</strong> City Council, whosemain task is to promote and support contemporary visual art, both at local and internationallevel. “<strong>Riga</strong> Art Space” operates on parallel levels within the frameworks <strong>of</strong> severalprogrammes. The basis <strong>of</strong> the large exhibition programme is formed by “<strong>Riga</strong> ArtSpace” and guest curators, ensuring at least 5 large art displays per year. Within theframework <strong>of</strong> this programme, each display can be viewed for 2 months. When planningthis programme, parity between hosting travelling exhibitions and the creation <strong>of</strong> originalart products is observed. The exhibition programme “Intro”, dedicated to the Baltic andEastern <strong>European</strong> national art space, takes place separately in a small exhibition roomand ensures a turnover <strong>of</strong> 12 displays per year. This programme compensates for thelack <strong>of</strong> non-commercial art galleries in <strong>Riga</strong> and special emphasis is placed on providingopportunities for the debuts <strong>of</strong> new artists or art curators.The “Public Forum” is a programme that creates cooperation opportunities betweenrepresentatives from creative pr<strong>of</strong>essions and those working in other sectors, promotessocial activity, expressions <strong>of</strong> procedural art and art in the public arena. 4 bigger interdisciplinaryart events per year are planned within this programme and smaller, regularcycles <strong>of</strong> thematic events. “Public Forum” will <strong>of</strong>fer concerts, literary and theatrical artevents, cinema and video art events, public readings and meetings with the creativeintelligentsia from Latvia and abroad.Mežaparks Open-Air Stage<strong>Riga</strong> Art SpaceArena “<strong>Riga</strong>”The technical equipment and level <strong>of</strong> service provided by Arēna Rīga complies with thetop class needs <strong>of</strong> the international entertainment industry, which, with the participation<strong>of</strong> the world’s most sought-after stage artists, musicians and sportsmen, can bring togetheraudiences <strong>of</strong> several thousand people. The Arena provides event organisers theopportunity <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fering Latvian audiences the world’s most sought after shows, performancesand concerts. Arēna Rīga has been a member <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> Arena AssociationThe aim <strong>of</strong> “<strong>Riga</strong> Art Space” educational programme is to promote understanding insociety about contemporary art processes, by organising lectures, meetings with artists,providing guide services, cooperating with educational establishments and art schools,as well as <strong>of</strong>fering visual art activities for individuals and groups. “<strong>Riga</strong> Art Space” was<strong>of</strong>ficially opened in 2008. The Large Hall is 1700 m 2 , the Intro Hall 150 m 2 and the educationalroom 70 m 2 .156 157

Latvian National Museum <strong>of</strong> ArtĶīpsala Exhibition CentreLatvian National Museum <strong>of</strong> ArtThe mission <strong>of</strong> the Latvian National Museum <strong>of</strong> Art (LNMA) is to use museum resourcesto enrich the widest section <strong>of</strong> society with Baltic and Latvian fine art treasures from thelate 18 th century to today, providing testimonies <strong>of</strong> the historical and artistic expressions<strong>of</strong> the development <strong>of</strong> culture and art in Latvia, the formation <strong>of</strong> the National School <strong>of</strong>Art and its manifestation within the context <strong>of</strong> global cultural history and contemporaryprocesses, and <strong>of</strong> the national identity.The Latvian National Museum <strong>of</strong> Art is the largest depository <strong>of</strong> national art in Latvia. Themuseum building on K. Valdemāra Street is one <strong>of</strong> the most impressive constructions <strong>of</strong>the historicism style in the scope <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> boulevards. In turn, the exhibition hall Arsenālsbuilding on Torņa Street is an example <strong>of</strong> the Empire style <strong>of</strong> late Russian classicism.The museum houses more than 52,000 works <strong>of</strong> art. The basic collection <strong>of</strong> the LNMAis composed <strong>of</strong> collections <strong>of</strong> paintings, graphics and sculptures. Permanent exhibitionsthat reflect the development <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essional art in the Baltics and Latvia from the mid-18 thcentury to today can be viewed in the museum, and also reveal vivid episodes <strong>of</strong> Russianart from the 18 th century to the 1 st half <strong>of</strong> the 20 th century.The total size <strong>of</strong> the International Exhibition Centre in Ķīpsala is 17,200 m 2 , it contains a conferencehall that seats 250 people and car parking spaces for 1200 cars. Exhibitions, conferences,congresses, annual markets, concerts and other mass events take place here. Severalworld famous celebrities have performed concerts in Ķīpsala, including Patricia Kaas, RobertPlant, Placebo, Gregorians, Nazareth, Emir Kusturica, Goran Bregovic, R.E.M. and others.Musicals have also been popular – in 2004 and 2005 “The Sound <strong>of</strong> Music”, in 2006 and 2007“West Side Story” and in 2008, Les Miserable, based on the novel by V. Hugo. Ballroom dancingfestivals, Song and Dance Celebration grand performances also take place here.Dome Cathedral and Dome GardenDome Cathedral is the cathedral <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Latvia’s archbishop and the place <strong>of</strong> worshipfor the Dome parish. The foundation stone <strong>of</strong> Dome Cathedral was laid in a solemnceremony led by Bishop Albert in 1211. The organ built in 1884 by E. F. Walcker & Co. isincluded among the world’s most valuable organs – it has the highest quality <strong>of</strong> technicaland artistic execution and ranks amongst the highest achievements <strong>of</strong> organ constructionart <strong>of</strong> the late Romantic period.Ķīpsala Exhibition CentreLatvian National Museum <strong>of</strong> ArtExhibition Hall ArsenālsThe LNMA regularly organises art exhibitions, participates in international projects, preparesmuseum publications, organises scientific conferences and various art and culturalevents. In parallel to exhibition and display activities, the Latvian National Museum<strong>of</strong> Art carries out intensive educational work. Visitors are <strong>of</strong>fered tours led by museumemployees and special museum pedagogical programmes. A scientific document centreis available for interested parties.Annually, the museum welcomes approximately 130,000 visitors from all over the world.In 2005, the Latvian National Museum <strong>of</strong> Art celebrated the 100 th anniversary <strong>of</strong> its mainbuilding.Latvian National Museum <strong>of</strong> Art Exhibition Hall ArsenālsThe exhibition hall Arsenāls <strong>of</strong> the Latvian National Museum <strong>of</strong> Art, in <strong>Riga</strong> Old Townon Torņa Street 1, is situated in a customs warehouse building <strong>of</strong> the early 19 th century.It was built to the project <strong>of</strong> architect, I. E. de Vitte, in the Empire style <strong>of</strong> late RussianClassicism.The museum collection stored in Arsenāls is composed <strong>of</strong> paintings, graphic art andsculptures that were created in Latvia in the second half <strong>of</strong> the 20 th century to today andthat were produced by artists <strong>of</strong> Latvian origin in the world during the specified period <strong>of</strong>time. Art exhibitions, international projects and other art and cultural events regularly takeplace in the Arsenāls exhibition hall. But on the 2 nd floor, the LNMA Creative Workshopconceptually acquaints society with the untraditional and interactive forms <strong>of</strong> contemporaryart in Latvia and in the world.The organ is an outstanding monument to music history. It is associated with the mostprominent Latvian organists and composers <strong>of</strong> the last 120 years and has affected thedevelopment <strong>of</strong> the art <strong>of</strong> organ music in Latvia more than any other instrument. FerenzLiszt, one <strong>of</strong> the most prominent music personalities <strong>of</strong> the 19 th century, wrote a piece forthe organ especially for the blessing <strong>of</strong> Dome Cathedral organ, Nun danket alle Gott.Both spiritual and cultural events and events <strong>of</strong> national significance take place at DomeCathedral. In the garden, adjoining the cathedral, open-air concerts take place in aunique atmosphere.Dome SquareThe centre <strong>of</strong> Dome Square is the place from where it is possible to see the three gildedcockerels <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> Old Town churches. The creation <strong>of</strong> Dome Square commenced inthe late 19 th century, demolishing buildings on the western and north-western sides <strong>of</strong>Dome Cathedral to uncover the access portals to Dome Cathedral. The square hasexperienced the desire by different forces to leave their mark – in its time Dome Squarehas been nominated 15 th May Square, in honour <strong>of</strong> the authoritarian coup d’état, and 17 thJune Square – dedicated to the arrival <strong>of</strong> the Soviet Army into Latvia. Dome Square is atraditional meeting place for city dwellers and guests during city celebrations, the herbmarket at Midsummer, concerts, demonstrations and New Year festivities.St. Peter’s ChurchToday’s city dweller can recognise the church from a distance by its popular gildedcockerel. It is located in the historical centre <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and was included in the UNESCOWorld Cultural Heritage List on 4 th December, 1997. Mentioned for the first time in documentsin 1209, the building <strong>of</strong> St. Peter’s Church is one <strong>of</strong> the oldest and most valuableDome Cathedral and Dome GardenSt. Peter’s Church158 159

medieval monumental architecture constructions in the Baltic States. In the 17 th century,the church’s tower construction, at 64.5 metres high, was at its time the highest woodconstruction tower in Europe. In 1721, the church tower was hit by lightning and burntdown. By order <strong>of</strong> Russian Tsar Peter the Great, who at that time was in <strong>Riga</strong> and tookpart in extinguishing the fire, the tower was renewed in its previous form and then the totalheight <strong>of</strong> the tower was 120.7 metres. St. Peter’s Church was once again ravaged duringthe 2 nd World War and the tower renovation works were completed in 1973. Internal restoration<strong>of</strong> the church was completed in 1984. The wide church hall is used not only forreligious services but also for concerts, art exhibitions and displays <strong>of</strong> architectural andurban construction competitions.Small GuildThe Small Guild, built in 1866, is located in the very heart <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> Old Town, next to Liv Square.The particularly opulent interior <strong>of</strong> the Small Guild was improved and embellished in 1888,during the time <strong>of</strong> longstanding Guild Elder Friedrich Brunstermann, when the coat <strong>of</strong> arms <strong>of</strong>the Small Guild was placed in the facade’s cornice opposite Meistaru Street, and the entrancehall, vestibule and hallway floors were laid in a terraco mosaic. The work was carried out byItalian craftsmen sent by the company Johann Odorico from Frankfurt am Main. Colouredstained glass was inserted into all the building windows in which the portraits <strong>of</strong> the craftelders and traditional clothes from earlier centuries are reflected with photographic precision.House <strong>of</strong> BlackheadsHouse <strong>of</strong> BlackheadsThe House <strong>of</strong> Blackheads, initially called the New House, was built in 1334, built as aplace for meetings and feasts for <strong>Riga</strong>’s public organisations. But in the 17 th century, itsonly inhabitants became the fun-loving and enterprising brotherhood <strong>of</strong> foreign merchants– the Brotherhood <strong>of</strong> Blackheads. One <strong>of</strong> many patrons <strong>of</strong> the brotherhood wasSaint Mauritius, a leader <strong>of</strong> the Roman Legion who died a martyr’s death – his head wascut <strong>of</strong>f, therefore the image <strong>of</strong> a Moor’s head became the Blackheads’ sign <strong>of</strong> recognitionand symbol, and was also depicted in the Brotherhood’s coat <strong>of</strong> arms. The building,known as the most resplendent jewel <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, just like the Town Hall, turned into ruinsduring the 2 nd World War. In 1991, in honour <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s 800 th anniversary, the building wasbuilt anew by the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> on its old foundations. A sculpture <strong>of</strong> Roland, the symbol<strong>of</strong> medieval Hanseatic free towns, was erected next to the building.Choral, solo and classical music concerts, exhibitions, lectures and business meetingstake place in the 19 th century ornate Neo-Gothic style building and in 2006, the academicdiscussions <strong>of</strong> the NATO Summit organised in <strong>Riga</strong>, also took place here.The Great Hall has 450 seats.Latvian National TheatreThe theatre building is famous for being the location <strong>of</strong> the proclamation <strong>of</strong> the Republic<strong>of</strong> Latvia on 18 th November, 1918. The history <strong>of</strong> the theatre began in 1902, when it wasknown as the Second Theatre <strong>of</strong> the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>. Since then, the theatre continues tocongregate wide audiences from throughout Latvia, staging both classical Latvian productionsand plays by foreign playwrights, and obtaining public recognition with contemporarycomedy performances.Latvian National TheatreGreat GuildFor several years, events with the participation <strong>of</strong> craftsmen have taken place in TownHall Square by the House <strong>of</strong> Blackheads – the May Count’s Festival opens the season <strong>of</strong>festivals and annual fairs in <strong>Riga</strong> and the Miķeļdiena Apple Market in September closesthe season. New exhibitions are opened each month on the gallery’s two floors and theexhibition hall in the basement. The Festive Hall with its wonderful acoustics was knownas one <strong>of</strong> the best concert halls in <strong>Riga</strong>. Concerts are also regularly performed in thenewly built House <strong>of</strong> Blackheads Festive Hall with its superb acoustics. The House <strong>of</strong>Blackheads has received the leaders <strong>of</strong> many countries, as well as the heads <strong>of</strong> royalhouseholds and spiritual leaders.Great GuildThe Great Guild – one <strong>of</strong> the oldest public buildings in the Baltics, the origins <strong>of</strong> its historicpart reach as far back as the first half <strong>of</strong> the 14 th century. It was established in <strong>Riga</strong>,in 1354, when merchants separated from the Sacred Cross and Trinity Guild. Members <strong>of</strong>the Great Guild were German merchants, goldsmiths and men <strong>of</strong> letters. The Great Guildhas historically always been open to cultural, public and social events, several worldfamous musicians have performed concerts there, including former <strong>Riga</strong>ns <strong>of</strong> the world,Misha Maisky, Gidon Kremer and others.Alongside concerts, conferences, seminars and social events also take place in thepremises. The Great Hall has 669 fixed seats, with the option <strong>of</strong> adding 50 extra seats.New <strong>Riga</strong> TheatreThe New <strong>Riga</strong> Theatre (Jaunais Rīgas Teātris), is a pr<strong>of</strong>essional repertoire theatre, foundedin 1992, <strong>of</strong>fering its audiences a clever, attractive and unusual repertoire – a contemporaryangle on classical, original Latvian drama and works <strong>of</strong> foreign writers. The Theatre has tw<strong>of</strong>ixed playing areas: the Large Hall with 470 seats and the Small Hall for an audience <strong>of</strong> 100.In addition, new playing areas suitable for performances are constantly being sought, bothin the theatre and in untraditional locations. ‘It is significant that restless souls have congregatedaround this building. As the concentration point for many spiritual experiences, thisbuilding should be compared to an Ancient Greek temple’ – thus one <strong>of</strong> the most prominentLatvian directors and the legendary head <strong>of</strong> the Daile Theatre, Eduards Smiļģis, definedthe building on Lāčplēša Street 25. The leading director <strong>of</strong> the Theatre is Alvis Hermanis.Both the theatre and A. Hermanis have acquired countless top awards and internationalrecognitions, frequently representing the country in various significant theatre festivals.Daile TheatreThe Daile Theatre was opened in 1920. In 1925 the theatre received the Grand Prix andDiplome d’Honneur at the International Decorative Arts Exhibition in Paris. In Soviet times,it achieved numerous awards at the drama festivals <strong>of</strong> various countries. Alongside variousperformances, concerts and social events also take place in the theatre; in 2006 itwas the home <strong>of</strong> events organised by NGO’s at the NATO Summit in <strong>Riga</strong>.New <strong>Riga</strong> TheatreSmall GuildDaile Theatre160 161

Mikhail Chekhov <strong>Riga</strong> Russian TheatreMikhail Chekhov <strong>Riga</strong> Russian Theatre, the oldest Russian dramatic theatre beyond theRussian borders, was opened on 2 nd October, 1883. It marked its 120 th anniversary witha unique international project – a performance <strong>of</strong> Chekhov’s play “The Seagull”, stagedby world famous German director, Peter Stein, together with the Edinburgh InternationalFestival. The 2004/2005 season was opened with a double premiere – the performance<strong>of</strong> “Whose Afraid <strong>of</strong> Virginia Woolf?” in Russian and Latvian directed by Roman Kozak,based on the play by Edward Albee. This unusual bilingual project became part <strong>of</strong> thecultural integration programme, developed by the theatre. In 2010, reconstruction <strong>of</strong> thetheatre will finish, turning it into a multifunctional theatre building.Streetball competitions are also organised in the park, as well as dance and rappercompetitions and other street culture campaigns.Station SquareStation Square is crossed by thousands <strong>of</strong> people every day, crossing it on the way fromthe station past the department stores and on to the city centre, and back again in theevening. For over several years now Station Square has become a successful locationfor the International Baltic Ballet Festival activities, bringing classical and contemporarydance art closer to the city dweller. Similarly, other cultural activities frequently take placein the square.<strong>Riga</strong> Congress HallGalerija Centrs<strong>Riga</strong> Congress Hall<strong>Riga</strong> Congress Hall was historically built as a congress and conference centre for theneeds <strong>of</strong> the Communist Party. In 1988 the founding congress <strong>of</strong> the Latvian NationalFront took place in <strong>Riga</strong> Congress Hall (then the Political Education building), where forthe first time the opinion that the Soviet Union had occupied Latvia was voiced out loud.In 2000 it was rebuilt and new rooms were added to the 1200-seat conference hall. <strong>Riga</strong>Congress Hall is located at the heart <strong>of</strong> the city – in the administrative and cultural centre– in the vicinity <strong>of</strong> the embassy and Jugendstil area. In 2008, 400 event organiserschose <strong>Riga</strong> Congress Hall as a high quality venue and 200,000 visitors attended variousevents.Galerija Centrs is one <strong>of</strong> the most historically significant buildings in <strong>Riga</strong>, which hasbeen successfully operating as an active trading place since 1938. Throughout changingtimes, this shopping venue has always maintained its unique status as a symbol <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong>’s social life. After ample reconstruction in 2006, Galerija Centrs has become anelegant and contemporary gallery for fashion goods in the capital city, which assemblesfans <strong>of</strong> active and modern life. Gallery is well-known for its desire to host various culturalprojects in its premises, including support for charity campaigns, for example, togetherwith musicians providing the opportunity for children in Latvian orphanages to go oneducational trips to the world’s historical and cultural capitals.Galerija CentrsCultural Centre ZiemeļblāzmaLatgale Suburb Multifunctional <strong>Culture</strong> and Art CentreCultural Centre ZiemeļblāzmaThe founder <strong>of</strong> the sawing mill in Vecmīlgrāvis and developer <strong>of</strong> cultural life, AugustsDombrovskis (1845–1927), first built Ziemeļblāzma in 1904 as a house for the TemperanceSociety, but in 1906, the Tsar’s punitive expedition burnt it down. From 1910 to 1913 thepresent building was built, and became a significant cultural centre – home <strong>of</strong> a semipr<strong>of</strong>essionaltheatre, choir and symphonic orchestra, and location for various exhibitionsand lectures. In 1908, a new tradition was established – to organise a Children’s Festivalin early summer, and this did not stop even during the 1 st World War, when the festivalswere organised by permission <strong>of</strong> the City Superintendent. Shortly before Soviet occupation,a film studio started operating there, created by donations and city funds, whichcontinued to work right up to 1956, when <strong>Riga</strong> Film Studio was opened in Šmerlis. Threedance groups and choirs and a brass band use the premises which are also rentedby two sport clubs. Ziemeļblāzma is located at the top <strong>of</strong> the list <strong>of</strong> city buildings to berestored, due to its poor condition. The surroundings have been tended, improving thehistorical park and playground.Grīziņkalns Skateboarding ParkThe skateboarding park at Grīziņkalns is popular with active young people whose passionis BMX, skateboarding and extreme rollerblading competitions. Youngsters havethemselves participated in improving the skateboarding park, making it more appealingand modern. Every day, young people have the opportunity to practice their skills aswell as watch model demonstrations by experienced rollerbladers and skateboarders.The Latgale suburb in <strong>Riga</strong> does not currently have a cultural centre and therefore thesuburb’s Multifunctional <strong>Culture</strong> and Art Centre is intended to ensure accessibility toculture. It is planned to put the project into service in summer 2010. Two transformablehalls with 100 and 600 seats are planned for the multifunctional centre, rooms for traditionalart groups, children’s artistic amateur and educational hobby groups. It is alsoenvisaged to house a contemporary branch <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> Central Library there, with spaciousreading rooms, special sections for children and youth, space for different events andactivities and for a bibliographical source collection. The “Park & Ride” car park will alsobe the first project <strong>of</strong> its kind in Latvia. It is planned to implement the project gradually,envisaging space for 1000 to 1200 cars. To ensure integral development <strong>of</strong> the territory,a park and a square will also be created.Other Cultural Centres <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>Overall, there are 7 cultural centres under the remit <strong>of</strong> the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>, located in variousparts <strong>of</strong> the city, each with its specific cultural functions. Various amateur group rehearsalsand different generation hobby group meetings take place in the cultural centres,and many <strong>of</strong> the concerts are free <strong>of</strong> charge in accordance with the City’s implementedcultural policy. Pr<strong>of</strong>essional theatre performances also take place in VEF <strong>Culture</strong> Palace,which is also currently hosting Mikhail Chekhov <strong>Riga</strong> Russian Theatre. Pr<strong>of</strong>essional artistsalso perform at other centres such as Iļģuciems and Imanta.Latgale Suburb Multifunctional <strong>Culture</strong>and Art Centre162 163

VEF <strong>Culture</strong> PalaceDzintari Concert Hall in JūrmalaNot far from <strong>Riga</strong>, on the sea coast, is Jūrmala, a historic resort town, and one <strong>of</strong> itscalling cards is the Dzintari Concert Hall. The story <strong>of</strong> the Concert Hall starts as far backas the late 19 th century, and its construction was initiated by the Swimming Society <strong>of</strong>the time – a non-governmental association that was concerned about various mattersregarding the town’s maintenance. Dzintari Concert Hall was built as one <strong>of</strong> the firstopen-type concert halls and its acoustic and constructive solution is one <strong>of</strong> the bestachievements in this sector. The open side edges allow the space to interact with the surroundinglandscape <strong>of</strong> Jūrmala dune park. There are 2024 seats in the Large Hall, and arestaurant with approximately 200 seats. During the history <strong>of</strong> the Concert Hall, variousfamous <strong>European</strong> musicians, circus artists and theatres have performed here. The mostpopular annual events today include the international festival “Summertime”, organisedby the world known <strong>Riga</strong> opera singer, Inese Galante, the international new singer competition“New Wave”, symphonic, contemporary music and youth concerts.<strong>Riga</strong>’s Cooperation Partner Town SiguldaTomass and Martins Dukurs, are well-known skeleton athletes. In cooperation with theLatvian Olympic movement, in <strong>2014</strong>, the 3 rd Latvian Winter Olympics will take place withwide inhabitant participation.Gūtmanis CaveGūtmanis Cave is the largest sandstone cave in the Baltics. Its formation began 10 000years ago, with the water currents eroding the sandstone cliff following the Ice Age. Anancient cult location. A protected geological object. Cave height – 10m, width – 12m,depth – 18,8m. Also notable for its inscriptions on the walls, that have been created morethan 200 years ago. There are several tales and legends linked to the Cave. The mostwell-known legend is a romantic and tragic tale <strong>of</strong> Rose <strong>of</strong> Turaida.Gūtmanis CaveTuraidaThe museum reserve <strong>of</strong> Turaida is a territory measuring 42 hectares, in which 11 th -20 thcentury monuments to nature, history, archaeology and culture can be found: the medievalcastle <strong>of</strong> Turaida with exhibitions, the Lutheran Church, built in 1750, a commemorativesite to Rose <strong>of</strong> Turaida, Dainu Hill – an exhibition <strong>of</strong> 26 sculptures dedicated toLatvian folk songs, the household centre <strong>of</strong> Turaida Manor, Jāņkalns (Midsummer Hill).In <strong>2014</strong>, summer solstice events will take place here, and a campaign dedicated to the800 th anniversary <strong>of</strong> Turaida Castle, “Living Pictures”.Sigulda Castle RuinsDzintari Concert Hall in JūrmalaThe open-air stage <strong>of</strong> Sigulda was chosen as a venue for events with the intention <strong>of</strong> creatinga particularly vivid and relaxed atmosphere. The open-air stage among the castleruins is the most beautiful open-air stage in Latvia, where the Latvian Theatre Festivaland Opera Music Festival, together with the vibrant nature <strong>of</strong> the ancient valley <strong>of</strong> theRiver Gauja, will provide spectators and listeners with moments <strong>of</strong> unique cultural pleasure,spiritual rebirth, peace and harmony. High-quality music, performed by artists withworld renown, with the vibrant and romantic natural backdrop <strong>of</strong> the ancient valley <strong>of</strong> theGauja, sounds unique.Sigulda Bobsleigh and Toboggan TrackTrack was built in 1986 after a project elaborated by Leipzig Scientific Centre for Sport.The origins <strong>of</strong> the bobsleigh in Latvia can be found in Sigulda in the late 19 th century, whenthe owner <strong>of</strong> Sigulda Manor, Grand Duke, Nikolai Kropotkin built the first 900m long bobsleightrack with one curve. Today, it is one <strong>of</strong> 17 bobsleigh tracks in the world, measuring1200 metres long, with 16 curves and a maximum speed <strong>of</strong> 125 km/h. A large-scaleinternational competition takes place on the Track – the World Cup in TobogganingSports. Many Latvian bobsleigh and toboggan drivers come from Sigulda. The brothers,164 165


July–September• Song Celebration <strong>of</strong> Children and Young Adults – addressingaudiences <strong>of</strong> young adults and children, the popularisation <strong>of</strong> theKult[rix] brand in the specified audiences.October–December• Activation <strong>of</strong> the basic values <strong>of</strong> Kult[rix] and the basic elements<strong>of</strong> the <strong>2014</strong> concept via projects in the preparatory periodand their communication campaigns.2011• Activation <strong>of</strong> the basic values <strong>of</strong> Kult[rix] and the basic elements<strong>of</strong> the <strong>2014</strong> concept via projects in the preparatory periodand their communication campaigns.• International activities in the promotion <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong> ideas(conferences, cooperation partner networks, activities via Latvianembassies, cooperation with Latvians living abroad).2012• Continuation <strong>of</strong> activities, started in 2011• Initiation <strong>of</strong> individual ECC<strong>2014</strong> projects, promotion <strong>of</strong> theKult[rix] brand through these, including the <strong>European</strong> Biennale forContemporary Art Manifesta (tbc).• International activities in promoting <strong>Riga</strong> as ECC (conferences,cooperation partner networks, activities via the Latvian embassies,cooperation with Latvians living abroad).2013• Publicity campaign for the Force Majeure programme conceptand principal themes in Latvia and abroad.• Initiation <strong>of</strong> indivdual ECC<strong>2014</strong> projects, promotion <strong>of</strong> theKult[rix] brand through these, including Song and Dance Celebration,Tall Ships Races (tbc).• Marketing activities.• Social advertisements.• PR about upcoming activities for the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>.• Communication <strong>of</strong> the Kult[rix] and Force Majeure brand andslogan within the framework <strong>of</strong> the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration,reaching a wide audience <strong>of</strong> Latvian inhabitants and foreignvisitors.<strong>2014</strong> Stage 3:Comprehensive communication campaign about ECC events.A detailed plan to be developed based on the plan <strong>of</strong> actualevents.2015• Repeated survey about cultural understanding in Latvian society,changes after <strong>2014</strong>, benefits from the organisation <strong>of</strong> ayear-long programme, measuring the communication objectivesachieved.• Creation <strong>of</strong> links with the next ECC cities, experience handover,“Amber Route” projects.Proposed resources for the implementation <strong>of</strong> information andpublicity events Included in the financial appendix <strong>of</strong> the book.Management and surveillance<strong>of</strong> the communication processThe communication process, including media relations, areplanned and coordinated by the ECC Office:• plan media activities.• coordinate PR activities <strong>of</strong> the involved partner institutionsand ensure that the partner institutions inform the ManagementGroup about their plans in time, ensuring internal communicationby regular newsletters, direct contacts and regular planning meetings;• determine guidelines for the use <strong>of</strong> the logo and slogan, andcontrol implementation.Potential threats and crisis communicationThe Project Management Group must be prepared for several potentialsources <strong>of</strong> risk:1. The potential change <strong>of</strong> political power on local and nationallevel, and a potentially poor interest in the cultural project or overtlydominant political intervention attempts regarding project implementation:• <strong>Riga</strong> City Council will change twice during the project period(local government elections in June 2009 and June 2013);• National parliamentary elections – Autumn 2010, Autumn <strong>2014</strong>.To ensure stability in case <strong>of</strong> crisis, it is intended to develop andmaintain close contact with the Chancery <strong>of</strong> the President <strong>of</strong>Latvia. Although, there is the potential for the President <strong>of</strong> Latviato change during the project period (elections for the President<strong>of</strong> Latvia are anticipated in the Latvian parliament in mid-2011),according to the Constitution <strong>of</strong> Latvia, the President does notrepresent any political power. Taking into account the authority <strong>of</strong>the presidency in Latvian society, this institution may be a powerfulopinion leader in matters affecting the significance <strong>of</strong> the ECCstatus for the country and society, as well as for the internationalimage <strong>of</strong> the country.Latvia’s representation in <strong>European</strong> Union institutions is anotherpolitical communication tool that it is planned to use. The<strong>European</strong> Parliament (EP) elections, due to take place in mid-2013, provide the opportunity for Latvian EP deputy <strong>candidate</strong>s(after the elections – the deputies) to position matters concerningthis project, which is significant for <strong>Riga</strong>, Latvia and Europe, onthe agenda. An equally influential tool in the creation <strong>of</strong> the Latvianpolitical agenda relating to the successful planning and implementation<strong>of</strong> the ECC<strong>2014</strong> project, is active dialogue with <strong>European</strong>Commission representatives and with events created togetherwith the <strong>European</strong> Commission Representation for leading politicaland social opinion-makers about the significance <strong>of</strong> ECC.2. Risk <strong>of</strong> financial difficulties for the project.In light <strong>of</strong> the global economic crisis <strong>of</strong> 2009, and financial burdenfaced by Latvia, the government is aiming towards a 20–40% reduction in the budget, and this will also affect the city’sfinancial planning and budgetary expenses in various sectors.In order that the Project Management Group may react with flexibilityto changes in the project budget dictated by external conditionsand to maintain the national significance and prestige <strong>of</strong>ECC, analysis <strong>of</strong> the experiences <strong>of</strong> Vilnius ECC 2009, Lincas ECC2009 and the planned ECC cities for 2010 is proposed in Stage 2,i.e. 2010–2013, and based on this, establish communication withthe project partners in <strong>Riga</strong> and Latvia to create an action plan forcrisis situations. Cultural operators and NGO’s will have significantroles in the development <strong>of</strong> the action plan, and their involvementin decision making may help to reduce the potential tension duringthe project implementation. The Latvian public will be informedabout the action plan developed by the city, using the project sitewww.Kult[rix].lv and mass media, as well as the <strong>European</strong> Commission,the ECC city network, <strong>Riga</strong>’s partnership towns and othercooperation networks in Latvia and abroad. The support <strong>of</strong> the<strong>European</strong> Commission in developing the project, which enforcesthe prestige <strong>of</strong> the project in society, should be highlighted.3. Tension created by operators not involved in the project, aswell as project opponents.During the implementation <strong>of</strong> such projects, there is a strong risk<strong>of</strong> opposition. The main arguments are usually connected to theuse <strong>of</strong> tax payers’ money; for example, in economically difficulttimes, <strong>Riga</strong> is spending money on ‘entertainment, not bread’, orother topics relevant to society at the respective period <strong>of</strong> time.To reduce such potential tension, it is important to maintain regularcommunication with leading opinion-makers, ensure that theProject Management Group maintains a transparent decisionmakingprocess, its activities are explained to the general publicand it works towards the creation <strong>of</strong> a unified image <strong>of</strong> the project,emphasising the significance <strong>of</strong> culture for various economic sectorsand the economy overall. A database <strong>of</strong> cultural operators andpotential cooperation partners for the project has already been developed;discussions with representatives from the most influentialmass media are underway regarding the project aims, and a widecircle <strong>of</strong> cultural operators, NGO’s and leading opinion-makers areinvolved in project preparation. Similarly, pr<strong>of</strong>essionals with experiencein managing large-scale projects <strong>of</strong> national significance,and institutions, with a positive public image, are involved in theproject. Pro-active discussions in the public space and with themain target audiences about potentially sensitive issues will avoidthe escalation, or even occurance, <strong>of</strong> tension.170 171

ecc yearorganisationECC OfficeTo ensure administration <strong>of</strong> the project, anECC <strong>of</strong>fice will be created in <strong>Riga</strong> Council’sDepartment <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> (RC DC). <strong>Riga</strong> Council’sDepartment <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> is responsible forthe implementation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s cultural strategy,co-ordinating structures involved and supervisingthe implementation <strong>of</strong> the strategy. Atthe same time, the DC is a structure with manyyears <strong>of</strong> vast experience in organising eventson a grand scale: the annual <strong>Riga</strong> Festival,annual <strong>European</strong> “White Nights“ in <strong>Riga</strong>, <strong>European</strong>traditional art and culture forum “Europeade”in 2004, co-organiser in the largest nationallevel cultural event, the Song and DanceCelebration (39,000 participants), the “Festival<strong>of</strong> Light” (new long-term initiative in 2008)and others. RC DC is also responsible for citydesign. RC DC is the organisation in the city <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong> whom <strong>Riga</strong> Council has tasked with securinginternational cultural connections andimplementing international projects, in creatingthe image <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>. Taking the aforementionedinto account, the creation <strong>of</strong> the ECC<strong>of</strong>fice, as the principal process managementstructure, in the RC DC is a logical step.The ECC <strong>of</strong>fice functions will include:• preparation <strong>of</strong> all documentation required for the ECC nominationprocess;• contact with the <strong>European</strong> Commission, especially during thesurveillance phase;• organisation <strong>of</strong> competitions and selections as necessary;• operation <strong>of</strong> financial flow;• supervision <strong>of</strong> implementation process <strong>of</strong> the infrastructuredevelopment projectsECC Artistic CouncilTo ensure the development <strong>of</strong> an independent concept <strong>of</strong> culturalevents for the programme for the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>year, an ECC Artistic Council will be created. The Council will be incharge <strong>of</strong> the programme composition and its implementation. Itsstructure will include 3 directors (Artistic Director, Programme Director,Communications and Marketing Director), who will be chosenby way <strong>of</strong> selection process, as well as independent expertsin pr<strong>of</strong>essional fields according to the specifics <strong>of</strong> the composedprogramme. RC DC envisages that the fulfilment <strong>of</strong> event organisationfunctions will be carried out by both physical (individual)and legal persons.The Artistic Director’s task will be to develop a programme that reflectsthe guidelines <strong>of</strong> the drafted application. The Artistic Directorwill recommend and the Artistic Council will determine the criteriafor inviting artists and project implementers. Technically, selectionprocedures will be carried out by RC DC, which has many years <strong>of</strong>positive experience, regularly advertising for project applicationsfor the division <strong>of</strong> city budget resources for the implementation <strong>of</strong>creative cultural projects.The Artistic director will be selected in 2009. Criteria for selectingthe Artistic director:• in-depth knowledge <strong>of</strong> current trends in the Latvian and <strong>European</strong>cultural field;• ability to analyse and justify opinions about topical culturalprocesses and events;• interdisciplinary and social vision about society processes;• experience in management positions or process management;• foreign language skills and experience in international cooperation.ECC Supervision CommitteeThe ECC Supervision Committee will include representativesfrom all the institutions involved in ECC (Ministry <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>, <strong>Riga</strong>Council, regional cooperation partners, support committee managementetc.). Sigulda Regional Council has <strong>of</strong>ficially declared itswillingness to cooperate with the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> in the organisation <strong>of</strong>the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> year. Its chosen representative willbe included in the Supervisory Committee.The tasks <strong>of</strong> the Supervisory Committee are to:• monitor the progress <strong>of</strong> the project preparation and implementation;• perform the monitoring <strong>of</strong> finances;• resolve all strategic management matters.Organisational structure <strong>of</strong> Project <strong>Riga</strong> – the <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong><strong>Culture</strong> included in the appendix <strong>of</strong> the book.172 173

DimensionPrioritiesInfrastructure <strong>of</strong> the CityHow accessible is <strong>Riga</strong> on a local, national and internationallevel?information provision and service quality management, using the“BalticLines” system.Rail trafficD1: The development <strong>of</strong> an educated, pr<strong>of</strong>icient societythat respects culture.P1: Access to culture for all <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitants.P2: The role <strong>of</strong> education and lifelong learning in promoting thecreation <strong>of</strong> new work and employment.P3: The role <strong>of</strong> culture in bringing together individuals andcommunities.D2: Creative diversity. P1: Support and investment for structures (institutions, industries,organisations) that ensure cultural and artistic processes,absorb and multiply the creative potential <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>.P2: Support and investment in the creation <strong>of</strong> ‘cultural quarters’that are inexhaustible sources for the creation <strong>of</strong> new work andeconomic potential.D3: Creation <strong>of</strong> a quality cultural environment. P1: A balanced distribution <strong>of</strong> culture throughout the capital city,not just a limited number <strong>of</strong> specific locations.P2: Exploration and maximisation <strong>of</strong> the potential <strong>of</strong> public placesin the city.P3: Attraction <strong>of</strong> investment and new creative potential (inc. humanresources) to the city’s cultural institutions.D4: Targeted and effective planning. P1: A flexible model <strong>of</strong> cultural financing that corresponds with<strong>Riga</strong>’s changeable demography, is able to react to city developmentand is coordinated with the city’s common budgetsections.P2: Maximum economic gain from the cultural industries concentratedin the capital and creative potential.P3: <strong>Riga</strong> as an international cultural centre and destination pointfor cultural tourism.Appendix – City cultural development dimensions included in “<strong>Riga</strong>’s cultural strategy 2008–2025”Air trafficLatvia has several airports the biggest <strong>of</strong> which is the InternationalAirport “<strong>Riga</strong>”. The towns <strong>of</strong> Liepāja, Venstpils and Daugavpilshave smaller airports.Airport “<strong>Riga</strong>” is ten kilometres from the city centre. Airport connectionsare provided by buses, mini-buses and taxis.The trip by taxi from <strong>Riga</strong> Airport to the city centre takes about 15minutes.International Airport “<strong>Riga</strong>” is the largest international air trafficnetwork in the Baltics and it continues to develop.In 2007, airport “<strong>Riga</strong>” served 3.16 million passengers, whichis 26.7 % more than in 2006. The airports <strong>of</strong> Tallinn and Vilniusserved 1.7 million passengers each in 2007, therefore last yearairport “<strong>Riga</strong>” served 92 % <strong>of</strong> the total <strong>of</strong> passengers served byTallinn and Vilnius.At the moment it is possible to fly to 60 direct destinations from<strong>Riga</strong> airport.18 airline companies currently operate in airport “<strong>Riga</strong>”.Latvia’s national airline “AirBaltic” <strong>of</strong>fers flights to all major<strong>European</strong> cities, as well as to the Far East and the USA.“AirBaltic” also has local flights from <strong>Riga</strong> to Liepāja andVentspils.Roads and bus trafficLatvia has a well developed road network, whose connectionswith neighbouring countries ensure road transportation in any direction.Financing in the road sector is growing every year and, asa result, the quality <strong>of</strong> the roads has visibly improved.Regular bus transport movement is ensured between <strong>Riga</strong> andLatvia’s largest towns. Travel from <strong>Riga</strong> to Liepāja, the furthesttown to the west <strong>of</strong> the country and Daugavpils, the town furthesteast, takes about three and a half hours.It is possible to travel by bus from <strong>Riga</strong> to Europe’s largest cities.These routes are provided by the passenger bus companies“Eurolines” and “Ecolines”.<strong>Riga</strong> International Bus Station is the largest passenger bus servicepoint in the Baltics. The joint-stock company “<strong>Riga</strong> InternationalBus Station” has had a quality management system in placefor over three years, which is successfully maintained and developed.“<strong>Riga</strong> International Bus Station” is a part <strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong>passenger bus network, ensuring a broad variety <strong>of</strong> services,Regular passenger rail traffic between Latvia’s largest towns andwithin the <strong>Riga</strong> region is ensured.There are also several international routes, for example, from <strong>Riga</strong>to Vilnius, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Truskavec, and Simferopol.Ferry trafficRegular ferry traffic from the ports <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> and Ventspils is available,travelling to Swedish and German towns.Public transportRegular public transport movement is ensured in <strong>Riga</strong> and Latvia’slargest towns (buses, trolley-buses, trams, mini-buses).How many tourists can <strong>Riga</strong> provide with accommodation?Central statistical bureau data, 2007Type <strong>of</strong>Number <strong>of</strong> establishments Number <strong>of</strong> bedsestablishment (end <strong>of</strong> the year) (end <strong>of</strong> the year)Total 99 11329Hotels 72 9432Guest houses 13 447Motels 2 61Tourism andrecreation centres 1 12Youth hostels 10 1157Camp-sites 1 220Number <strong>of</strong> establishments Number <strong>of</strong> beds(end <strong>of</strong> the year) (end <strong>of</strong> the year)Total 72 9432***** 4 892**** 9 3036*** 28 2659** 1 60* 4 438none 26 2347176 177

applicationpreparationprocessWhen preparing <strong>Riga</strong>’s application forthe status <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong><strong>2014</strong>, the Department <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> used anopen approach, with methods that providethe opportunity <strong>of</strong> integrating theopinions, interests and requirements <strong>of</strong>players <strong>of</strong> various cultural fields into theapplication.Preparation <strong>of</strong> the application was entrustedto a task group formed especially for thispurpose, composed <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essionals ableto analyse and take a general overview <strong>of</strong>the cultural field in the broadest sense <strong>of</strong>the word, in a narrow pr<strong>of</strong>essional sense,and in connection with other fields, as envisagedby the principal conditions <strong>of</strong> theapplication.The first phase analysed surveys thatserved as one <strong>of</strong> the sources for the development<strong>of</strong> the application. In creatingthe application the following surveys weretaken into account; survey carried out bythe “Analytical Research and StrategicLaboratory Ltd” – “Lifestyle and values <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong> inhabitants in 2015”; surveys requestedby the Ministry <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> – “Researchand monitoring <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s creative diversityprocesses”; “Research and monitoring<strong>of</strong> the creative industry market”; “Culturalprocesses in the regions and their effecton development”; “The educational effect<strong>of</strong> culture and its effect on the development<strong>of</strong> a knowledge-based society in Latvia”;research centre SKDS surveys carried out for <strong>Riga</strong> Council on theopinions <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> inhabitants regarding the field <strong>of</strong> culture, the overallconditions <strong>of</strong> the quality <strong>of</strong> life in <strong>Riga</strong>.During the course <strong>of</strong> preparing the application, interviews, interdisciplinaryand cultural expert focus groups were organised, as wellas other methods used. The opinions <strong>of</strong> focus group participantsare used in the content <strong>of</strong> the application as additional justificationfor the principles proposed in the concept.A serious and important preparatory phase involved informing andaddressing <strong>Riga</strong>’s international cooperation partners in case <strong>of</strong> furthercooperation developing, should <strong>Riga</strong> be chosen as <strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>2014</strong>.As <strong>Riga</strong> has many partnership towns, they were informed <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’sinitiative and readiness to become a <strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>.The governors <strong>of</strong> many cities have expressed their support for <strong>Riga</strong>,as well as confirmed their keenness to cooperate and respond tovarious <strong>Riga</strong> initiatives.At the annual General Assembly <strong>of</strong> the Association <strong>of</strong> <strong>Capital</strong>s <strong>of</strong>the <strong>European</strong> Union in Dublin, October 13–15, 2008, the governingbody <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> Council informed the Mayors <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong> Unioncapital cities about <strong>Riga</strong>’s conceptual proposal for the status <strong>of</strong><strong>European</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong>. Up to 1 st November <strong>of</strong> this year, <strong>Riga</strong>has already received letters <strong>of</strong> support for <strong>Riga</strong>’s candidature from17 <strong>European</strong> capital cities.At the “EUROCITIES” cultural forum, where the issue <strong>of</strong> <strong>European</strong><strong>Capital</strong>s <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> is in focus, the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> heads one <strong>of</strong> fourforum subgroups with the title “Cultural Access and Entitlement”.The group includes representatives from Dublin, Krakow, Berlin,Vilnius, Leipzig, Goteborg, Warsaw, Lublin, Bergen, Nottingham,Birmingham, Geneva, Malmo, Edinburgh, Turku, Antwerp, Prague,Bordeaux, Dortmund, Helsinki and Tallinn. <strong>Riga</strong> has presented thebasic principles <strong>of</strong> its application and proposed launching the development<strong>of</strong> a common people to people project, to gather informationabout common and differing interests <strong>of</strong> the inhabitants <strong>of</strong>participating cities, to promote city cooperation at the level <strong>of</strong> itsinhabitants.<strong>Riga</strong> has submitted information about nominating its candidatureand cooperation proposal to all international institutions, in which<strong>Riga</strong> is represented, for example, informal cultural network partners<strong>of</strong> the <strong>European</strong> “White Nights” (Paris, Rome, Brussels, Madrid,Bucharest, Valletta) and the network <strong>of</strong> world gastronomy citiesDelice.On the website www.kultrix.lv, which was created this year, everyresident <strong>of</strong> the city was called on to contribute their comments asto what kind <strong>of</strong> events they would like to see taking place in <strong>Riga</strong>in <strong>2014</strong>.cooperationIn the elaboration <strong>of</strong> the application the working group engaged amaximum broad circle <strong>of</strong> cultural organisations, providers <strong>of</strong> culture-relatedservices and cultural workers who responsively cooperatedin generating ideas for events. The Cultural Department <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong> City Council has launched a long-term cooperation strategy,both through holding contests <strong>of</strong> project ideas, through distribution<strong>of</strong> funds in open competitions and through applications for financingwithin the special-purpose-programme for festivals, ensuringthe possibility for all interested cultural bodies and individual culturalworkers on a voluntary basis to take part in the implementation<strong>of</strong> the strategic directions <strong>of</strong> culture that the city has set and inthe putting into practice <strong>of</strong> artistic concepts <strong>of</strong> events. The CulturalDepartment has adopted the approach <strong>of</strong> the de-centralisation <strong>of</strong>culture, separating administration from the cultural process, in thisway abstaining from direct involvement in development processesand implementation <strong>of</strong> projects while providing a financial andadministrative support. Such approach has generated trust in theparticipants <strong>of</strong> the cultural process and made fruitful co-operationpossible.In the elaboration <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s application the working group reposedon the key principles <strong>of</strong> Kult[rix], engaging representatives <strong>of</strong> differentfields and encouraging cooperation among cultural institutionsand other partners to assert the importance <strong>of</strong> creativity inthe facilitation <strong>of</strong> the development <strong>of</strong> any field. The role <strong>of</strong> theseinstitutions in the developing <strong>of</strong> projects that reveal the interaction<strong>of</strong> different fields cannot be overestimated. Such broad partnershipis a challenge to create a site for provoking creative solutions forthe programme <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> as the Cultural <strong>Capital</strong> <strong>of</strong> Europe.By calling on NGOs to cooperate <strong>Riga</strong> aimed at encouraging andstrengthening their capacity and ability independently and in along-term perspective to carry out concrete cultural functions.Different academic institutions are regarded as the key cooperationpartners in the future when they will be engaged in the phase<strong>of</strong> the preparation <strong>of</strong> the ECC year purposefully to ensure the monitoringand analysis <strong>of</strong> ongoing processes, provide research-basedforecasts and evaluate the results.178 179

iga’s <strong>2014</strong> ecc projecttask groupgints grūbe | solvita krese | ieva stare | diāna čivle | egils mednis | aiva rozenberga180

iga’s <strong>2014</strong> ecc projecttask groupDiāna Čivle, member <strong>of</strong> the task group, M. A. soc. sc., musicologist.She first studied cultural management at the Marcel HicterFoundation in Brussels, Belgium, completed a musicology studyprogramme at the Latvian Academy <strong>of</strong> Music and a public leadershipprogramme at the Faculty <strong>of</strong> Economics <strong>of</strong> the University<strong>of</strong> Latvia. She is currently continuing her doctoral studies at theFaculty <strong>of</strong> Economics and Management. She has previouslyworked as a press advisor for the mayor <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>. From 1997 to2001, she was the deputy director <strong>of</strong> Aģentūra Rīga 800, which,over a four-year period, organized <strong>Riga</strong>’s immensely successful800 th anniversary celebrations in 2001. She has worked as the director<strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong> City Council’s Department <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> since 2002and has led the preparation <strong>of</strong> several major event programmesin <strong>Riga</strong>, including Eurovision 2003, Europeade 2004, and the culturalprogramme during the World Ice Hockey Championship in2006. She also helped to organize Latvia’s song and dance festivalsin 2003 and 2008. She currently heads the artistic councilfor <strong>Riga</strong>’s annual city celebrations and was the artistic conceptauthor <strong>of</strong> the “Radiant <strong>Riga</strong>” (Staro Rīga) light festival. She alsoheads the <strong>Culture</strong> Accessibility and Entitlement task group <strong>of</strong> theEUROCITIES cultural forum.Gints Grūbe, member <strong>of</strong> the task group. M. A. pol. sc., publicist,political scientist, movie director. He studied philosophy andpolitical science at the University <strong>of</strong> Latvia and the University <strong>of</strong>Bonn in Germany, as well as communications sciences at theFree University <strong>of</strong> Berlin. He has more than 15 years <strong>of</strong> work experiencewith various mass media. At the beginning <strong>of</strong> the 1990s, heworked as an editor at the Latvian newspaper Atmoda and tookpart in the founding <strong>of</strong> another newspaper, Nakts. He has taughtPolitical culture and participation to social science students at theUniversity <strong>of</strong> Latvia. For eight years, he hosted an interview showentitled Vakara intervija on Latvia’s national television networkand has received several National Radio and Television Councilawards. In 2000, he founded his own film studio Mistrus Media.He has also directed and written the screenplays for several documentaryfilms. He regularly publishes articles in the Latvian dailynewspaper Diena, the Latvian magazine Rīgas Laiks, as well asthe Latvian internet portals Delfi and www.politika.lv. He is currentlyworking on documentary films about the Latvian-born philosopherIsaiah Berlin and the Latvian theatre director Alvis Hermanis.Solvita Krese, member <strong>of</strong> the task group. M. A. art., art critic andart exhibition curator with many years <strong>of</strong> international experience.After graduating from the art sciences department <strong>of</strong> the LatvianAcademy <strong>of</strong> Art, she studied cultural management at the MarcelHicter Foundation in Brussels, Belgium. She is currently writing herdoctoral thesis on art and its context and has been heading Latvia’sContemporary Arts Centre (Laikmetīgās mākslas centrs) since2000. As an art exhibition curator, she organized several largescaleinternational art projects, including Robežpārkāpēji (Illegalborder crossers), Re:public, Rea-litātes arheoloģija (Archaeology<strong>of</strong> reality), Urbanoloģika and Mobilais muzejs (Mobile museum).She has taken part in several study projects about the artprocesses <strong>of</strong> the 1980s and the non-conformist art scene. Herpr<strong>of</strong>essional interest fields include the relationship between artand the urban environment, art and its socio-political context,as well as gender issues. She has authored numerous articlesfor the Latvian art magazine Studija, the daily newspaper Dienaand various art exhibition and artists’ catalogues. She is also one<strong>of</strong> the initiators and founders <strong>of</strong> the Contemporary <strong>Culture</strong> NongovernmentalOrganization Association (Laikmetīgās kul-tūrasNevalstisko organizāciju asociācija). Currently she is working ona major international art project entitled “Survival Kit”, which willtake place in <strong>Riga</strong> this autumn.Egils Mednis, <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC task group artist and the graphic designauthor <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC application. B. A. art., artist, owner <strong>of</strong>the company SIA Svešās tehnoloģijas (Foreign technologies, Ltd.).He specializes in various types <strong>of</strong> graphic design, as well as in thecreation <strong>of</strong> multimedia, machinima and computer games projects.He formerly taught at the visual communications department <strong>of</strong>the Latvian Academy <strong>of</strong> Art and was the artistic director at “FilmAngels Studio”. He was the artistic design and decoration authorat several <strong>Riga</strong> city festivals, including the <strong>Riga</strong> Light Festival. Hewas also involved in the creation <strong>of</strong> several publications connectedwith <strong>Riga</strong>’s 800 th anniversary celebrations in 2001, and otherevents. He has also worked on the design <strong>of</strong> a number <strong>of</strong> films.He received the Jury Prize for the film Kuģis (the Ship, 2008) at theNext Generation Machinima Contest in California, USA, as well asthree other awards for best festival film, best independent film andbest direction at the Machinima Filmfestival in New York, USA.Aiva Rozenberga, project manager <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC application. M.A. hum. sc. During her studies at the University <strong>of</strong> Latvia, shespecialized in Russian literature and cultural history. She workedas a journalist at Latvian Radio, as a special radio correspondentin Estonia, and then in the administrative <strong>of</strong>fices <strong>of</strong> two Latvianpresidents. From 1999–2007, she worked as the press secretaryand communications service director for Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga,the former President <strong>of</strong> Latvia. She also worked in the organizinggroup <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Riga</strong> NATO summit in 2006, on Vīķe-Freiberga’scampaign for the <strong>of</strong>fice <strong>of</strong> UN Secretary General that same year,as well as on the Latvian President’s campaign to inform the worldabout Latvia’s position regarding the commemoration <strong>of</strong> the 60 thanniversary <strong>of</strong> the end <strong>of</strong> the Second World War, which saw thethree Baltic countries lose their independence and the subjugation<strong>of</strong> Central and Eastern Europe to communist rule for severaldecades after 1945. In 2007 and 2008, she was the press secretary<strong>of</strong> the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration, which tookplace in 2008. She also served as a task group consultant for theRepublic <strong>of</strong> Latvia’s 90 th anniversary celebrations that same year.In 2007, she completed the Die Zeit Foundation’s Young WorldLeaders study cycle at the Bucerius Summer School on GlobalGovernance.Ieva Stare, project assistant <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong>’s ECC application. B. A. pol.sc. As part <strong>of</strong> her education, she engaged in international peaceand conflict studies at Uppsala University in Sweden within theframework <strong>of</strong> a University <strong>of</strong> Latvia study programme. In 2000, sheworked at the International Film Centre in <strong>Riga</strong> as the FIPRESCIjury secretary and was on the editorial board <strong>of</strong> the cataloguethat was issued for the Latvian film forum Arsenāls. From 2001 to2003, she worked as a journalist for the Baltic News Service, reportingon news events concerning Latvia’s foreign and defencepolicies and Latvia’s integration into the <strong>European</strong> Union. Since2003, her pr<strong>of</strong>essional activities have been connected with publicrelations. She worked as the press secretary for the pre-referendumleadership group, which had been formed by the Latviangovernment in preparation for Latvia’s accession to the EU; asproject manager at the public relations agency P.R.A.E. public relationsand at “PBN Company-Baltics”. She also worked as head<strong>of</strong> communications at the Latvian daughter company <strong>of</strong> the internationalconcern Ragn-Sells. In 2008, she helped to organize thework <strong>of</strong> the information and press centre for the Latvian Song andDance Celebration.183

cooperationpartnersInternational Short Film Festival 2AnnasInternational Theatre Festival “4+4 Days inMotion” (Czech Republic)Aerodium Latvija, Ltd.UN Development ProgrammeNGO AvantisConcert Organisation AveSolBach Music FoundationInternational Theatre Festival “Baltic Circle”(Helsinki)International Festival <strong>of</strong> Film Actors “BalticPearl”Social Care Centre for Children PļavniekiSports Society “A2”Bolderāja LibraryInitiative “Bolderāja Group”Bolderāja Music and Art SchoolOpen-Air MuseumString Orchestra Camerata Klaipeda(Lithuania)Social Organisation for Disabled Childrenand Youth Cerību spārniInstitute <strong>of</strong> Solid State PhysicsDaile Theatre<strong>Riga</strong> Dance ClubDanish Cultural CentreInstitute <strong>of</strong> Danish <strong>Culture</strong>Daugavgrīva Secondary SchoolLatvian Design Information CentreLatvian Design Innovation CentreSociety <strong>of</strong> Design WorkersDome CathedralRock Group Dzelzs vilksLife Assistance Society Lebenshilfe(Germany)eipcip (Austria)Eco-tourism Information and EducationCentreRecording and Production Company“ERP Music” (Estonia)NGO “e-text+textiles”Exodus festival (Slovenia)Art Foundation Frame (Finland)French Cultural CentreGateirs de Lisboa (Portugal)Gauja National ParkGoethe Institute in <strong>Riga</strong>Hannu Pro, Ltd.Music Agency “The Herman BraunFoundation”International Art Studio Programme Iaspis(Sweden)Estonian Concert AssociationEstonian National Symphony OrchestraEmbassy <strong>of</strong> Estonia in LatviaFoundation <strong>of</strong> Industrial HeritageEmbassy <strong>of</strong> Italy in LatviaIZM (Austria)Production company JARO (Germany)Choir Jauna Muzika (Lithuania)New Music Festival ArēnaAssociations <strong>of</strong> Young Designers “Tasty”,Rijada and “Directdesign”Youth Military Education Group JungaJāzeps Vītols Music Academy <strong>of</strong> LatviaJuris Podnieks StudioChain Store JyskFilm Forum ArsenālsCinema RīgaChamber Orchestra Kremerata Baltica<strong>Culture</strong> Management Centre LauskaCentre <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> and Creative IndustriesEducationLatvian Centre <strong>of</strong> Contemporary ArtLatvian Chamber <strong>of</strong> CraftsLatvian Association <strong>of</strong> ArchitectsLatvian Museum <strong>of</strong> ArchitectureLatvian Association <strong>of</strong> Organic AgricultureLatvian Umbrella Body for DisabilityOrganisations SustentoEntomological Society <strong>of</strong> LatviaLatvian Folklore SocietyLatvian InstituteLatvian Investment and Development AgencyNew Theatre Institute <strong>of</strong> LatviaLatvian Composers UnionNational Concert Agency Latvijas KoncertiLatvian Literature CentreArt Academy <strong>of</strong> LatviaArtists Union <strong>of</strong> LatviaNational Library <strong>of</strong> LatviaLatvian National OperaNational Film Centre <strong>of</strong> LatviaLatvian National Museum <strong>of</strong> ArtLatvian National Symphony OrchestraLatvian National TheatreLatvian Olympic CommitteeLatvian Institute <strong>of</strong> Organic SynthesisLatvian Ornithological SocietyAssociation <strong>of</strong> Latvian Castles, Palaces andManorsLatvian RadioLatvian Radio ChoirLatvian Art Directors ClubWriters’ Union <strong>of</strong> LatviaAssociation <strong>of</strong> Hotels and Restaurants <strong>of</strong>LatviaLatvian TelevisionUniversity <strong>of</strong> LatviaInstitute <strong>of</strong> Literature, Folklore and Art <strong>of</strong> theUniversity <strong>of</strong> LatviaFaculty <strong>of</strong> History and Philosophy <strong>of</strong> theUniversity <strong>of</strong> LatviaLatvian Environmental Protection FundScientific Research Centre <strong>of</strong> LatvianAcademy <strong>of</strong> MusicArena <strong>Riga</strong>Lentos (Austria)“LGK Group”, Ltd.UK Embassy in LatviaArt Research Laboratory <strong>of</strong> the LiepājaUniversityLithuanian National Symphony OrchestraLita Beire Dance Art CentreInitiative Programme Literature AcrossFrontiers<strong>Riga</strong> Group <strong>of</strong> the Livs AssociationLondon International Theatre Festival “LIFT”Ministry <strong>of</strong> Foreign Affairs <strong>of</strong> the Republic <strong>of</strong>LatviaMinistry <strong>of</strong> Economy <strong>of</strong> the Republic <strong>of</strong> LatviaMinistry <strong>of</strong> Education <strong>of</strong> the Republic <strong>of</strong>LatviaMinistry <strong>of</strong> <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>of</strong> the Republic <strong>of</strong> LatviaCentre <strong>of</strong> Arts Management and InformationArt Studio Dzeltenā dzeņa ordenisMALBA (Spain)Programme for Ethnic Minorities <strong>of</strong> LatviaZelta kamoliņšMencendorff’s HouseFilm Studio Mistrus MediaLatvian Modern Dance StudioFoundation for Interdisciplinary CooperationmT15Latvian Modern Dance AssociationModern Dance Information CentreIntangible Cultural Heritage CentreState Agency <strong>of</strong> Intangible Cultural HeritageFoundation Māras loksEmbassy <strong>of</strong> Norway in LatviaNUMUSIC festival (Norway, Stavanger)Olaine Society ĀbolītisMultimedia and Poetry Project OrbītaElementary School RīdzeWorld Wildlife FoundationNGO Pasaules mūzika (World Music)World Environment FoundationNGO Latvian Chefs’ ClubMunicipal Agency <strong>Riga</strong> Monuments AgencyWorld Music Festival Porta<strong>Riga</strong> Secondary School No. 19<strong>Riga</strong> Secondary School No. 33<strong>Riga</strong> Central Library<strong>Riga</strong> Central MarketAdministration <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> Dome CathedralForeign Affairs Department <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> CityCouncilEducation, Youth and Sports Department <strong>of</strong><strong>Riga</strong> City Council<strong>Riga</strong> Education, Information andMethodology Centre<strong>Riga</strong> Cinema Museum<strong>Riga</strong> Circus<strong>Riga</strong> Choirs League<strong>Riga</strong> Cultural Agency<strong>Riga</strong> Art Space<strong>Riga</strong> Inspection for Cultural HeritageProtection<strong>Riga</strong> District Sports Initiatives CentreInternational Music Festival Rīgas RitmiCentre <strong>of</strong> Interest Groups <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> SchoolStudents Rīgas Skolēnu pilsMuseum <strong>of</strong> the History <strong>of</strong> <strong>Riga</strong> andNavigationArchitects Office RīgersChain Store RIMIRhythm InstituteElectronic Art and Media Centre RIXCRostock Centre for Children and YouthRundāle PalaceSigulda Concert Hall Baltais flīģelisSigulda Art SchoolSigulda Region CouncilDevelopment Department <strong>of</strong> Sigulda RegionCouncil<strong>Culture</strong> Department <strong>of</strong> Sigulda RegionCouncilSocial Department <strong>of</strong> Sigulda Region CouncilSports and Tourism Department <strong>of</strong> SiguldaRegion CouncilSigulda Opera Music FestivalSynergy FoundationFestival <strong>of</strong> Experimental Music Skaņu mežsSlow Food Movement LatviaEmbassy <strong>of</strong> Spain in LatviaMunich Theatre Festival Spielart (Germany)SpongeArteContemporanea (Italy)Interdisciplinary Art Group SerdeInternational Writers and Translators House inVentspilsInternational Centre <strong>of</strong> Cinema (Latvia)International Theatre Festival Divadelna Nitra(Slovakia)Centre for Creative Learning Annas 2Transmediale festival (Germany)Turaida Museum ReserveEvent Production Company Untitled LtdEmbassy <strong>of</strong> Germany in LatviaState Choir LatvijaState <strong>Culture</strong> <strong>Capital</strong> FoundationWarsaw Theatre Festival (Poland)Health Care Centre PļavniekiEnvironmental Documentaries Studio Videsfilmu studijaAssociation Viena Diena.LV (One Day InLatvia)Viļāni Society SaulstariņšVirtual Studio UrgaEvent Technical Production CompanyX-aģentūraNational Art Gallery Zachenta (Poland)Office <strong>of</strong> Nordic Council <strong>of</strong> MinistersNordic Information CentreCentre for Art and Media ZKM (Germany)Embassy <strong>of</strong> Sweden in Latvia184 185

specialthanksAigars BikšeAina KalnciemaAgita IkaunieceAnda KļaviņaAndrejs PildegovičsAndrejs VasiļjevsAndris AkmentiņšAndris EglītisAndris StavroAndris VilksAnda BeitāneAnita RožkalneArtūrs PunteBaiba Buka-VaivadeBaņuta RubesaBrigita RozenbrikaBrigita StrodaDace Kristiāna ŪdreDaiga LivčāneDaina VītoliņaDaina ZalāneDarja ŅevskaDāvis StaltsDiāna BriežkalnsDina VīksnaDita Erna SīleDoloresa VeilandeDzidra ŠmitaDzintris KolātsEdgars KotsEdvīns LiepiņšElīna KuzjukēvičaElita KuzmaErvins LabanovskisEva EihmaneGita LancereGunda VaivodeGundega LaiviņaGundega RepšeGundega ŠmiteGunta MalēvicaGuntars ĶirsisGuntars RuskulsGuntis HelmanisGvido PrincisHelmī StalteIeva KolmaneIeva MuižnieceIeva VītolaIlga ReiznieceIlga TiknuseIlmārs ZnotiņšIlona CelmiņaIlze Biruta LozeIlze Gailīte-HolmbergaIlze MartinsoneInese BaranovskaInese MatjušonokaInese PētersoneInese ZandereInga BodnarjukaInga CerbuleInga ĻašenkoInga UldriķeInga VasiļjevaInna DavidovaInts TeterovskisIrina ViņņikaIrina ŽuravļovaIveta ElsoneJānis BirksJānis BorgsJānis DripeJānis KleperisJānis MažeiksJānis OgaJolanta BorīteJulgī StalteJuris VaivodsJuris ZalānsKārlis FreibergsKaspars PutniņšKaspars ZvīgulisKrista BurāneKristaps LiepiņšKristīne LiepiņaKristīne MatīsaKristīne RunceLīga GaisaLilita EglīteLita BeirisMāra KalniņšMāra LāceMāra MarnauzaMāra VilciņaMarats SamauskisMārcis GulbisMarina LipčenkoMāris OšlejsMāris SirmaisMārtiņš BondarsMārtiņš RītiņšMārtiņš RudzītisNatālija ŠromaOjārs KalniņšOjārs RubenisOskars RedbergsPauls BankovskisPēteris CedriņšRaimonds MelderisRaitis ŠmitsRoberts RemessRolands LappuķeRolands PuhovsRuta StepiņaRuta SvažaSanda KatkevičaSandra JakušonokaSarma FreibergaSarmīte ĒlerteSarmīte PīkaSelga LaizāneSigne PucenaSilvija ZaķeSonora BrokaTālis TisenkopfsUģis BrikmanisUģis PrauliņšUģis RotbergsUldis CekulsVaira Vīķe-FreibergaVenu DhupaViestarts GailītisViktors BulsVineta SavickaVladimirs JakušonoksVladislavs SaveļjevsVoldemārs EihenbaumsZanda ĶergalveZane MālnieceZane ŠmiteZigurds ZaķisZinta UskaleŽaneta Ozoliņa186 187

Editor-in-cief – Anita RožkalneDesign – Egils MednisTexts – Diāna Čivle, Gints Grūbe, Solvita Krese, Gundega Repše, Aiva RozenbergaSiguldas programma – Jolanta BorīteTranslation – Liāna Beņķe, Pēteris Cedriņš, Vanda Dauksta, Eva Eihmane, Kārlis Freibergs,Līvija Uskale, Zinta UskalePhoto editor – Ilmārs ZnotiņšPhotographs – Vilnis Auziņš, Igors Baruļins, Ivars Beitāns, Ēriks Biters, Ēriks Božis, JānisBuivids, Diāna Čivle, Gunārs Dukšte, Gunārs Janaitis, Valters Kiršteins, Joe Klamar, DiānaKondratenko, Viesturs Koziols, Solvita Krese, Andris Krieviņš, Jānis Lazdāns, Aivars Liepiņš,Alberts Linarts, Aiva Rozenberga, Anita Rožkalne, Ieva Stare, Viktors Veļikžaņins, MārtiņšZīverts, Ilmārs ZnotiņšPhotoreproductions from personal archivesLayout – Jānis IndānsPrinted on paper Arctic Volume Whitepost scriptumoxo



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