Non-state culture as a tool is especially necessary for dialogue with society in the post-Soviet space - for new transformations, rethinking tragic history, acquaintance with new vectors of European development.
The 180-degree turn is always difficult and critical, we believe that cultural programs can help our community to reshape, develop, expand boundaries and democratic thinking through honest dialogue, involvement, pluralism of ideas and opinions.
Culture, as well as many aspects of social life, is polarized and often politicized, there is a noticeable unification of themes in the region - when one grantor supports cultural initiatives, the diversity of opinions, formats and ideas is lost.
We believe that it is the development of non-state culture that is needed, especially now.
New forms of communication are needed, the involvement of young people in the creation of art projects and independent platforms for dialogue, which will help to go through this period of transformations.
Since 2017, we have begun our joint cooperation with the Seeker Theater and independent theater communities, actors and directors from various countries in Eastern Europe.
Every year we organize workshops for local theater groups, inviting professional directors and directors. This makes it possible to increase competence, acquire new knowledge, develop existing acting, directing skills and creative experience.
Together we create theatrical performances and plays. Each time, young people participating in the program choose exciting topics that are relevant for themselves and society, and the theatrical format makes it possible to openly reflect, while leaving the artistic value of the action:
The production is based on the poem "The Twelve" by Alexander Blok, as well as his lyrics - about revolution, society and freedom. The performance was created in the avant-garde spirit of change and striving, with a search for the humane and a "booth" of ideals and personal characteristics.
The performance took place in the previously abandoned building of the Daugavpils fortress in the house "behind a horse", thus the cultural revitalization of the area began, which now houses a museum, an art gallery and an antique shop.
Director: Yuri Losev, Eduard Belnikov
THE FUTURE WILL NOT
The source of inspiration for the young troupe was the playwright, prose writer, satirist, one of the most famous Polish writers in the world, Slawomir Mrozek, and this is how the performance in the genre of farce-absurdity appeared. After this premiere, all the actors themselves emigrated from the country (spoiler, but returned during the pandemic). At the same time, the purpose of the performance is not to go into reflection, but rather to ridicule the problem of migration, but try to accept it.
A harsh and tragic story about our society, which is gradually drowning in a demographic crisis and migration waves.
And the younger generation considers this problem one of the most acute and important. The heroes of the play are trying to choose the one who will have to "raise the country from its knees", but to no avail they go to the bottom of their egoistic needs and fears, not noticing what they are turning into. Such a society more than ever needs a new hero and passionary, a new Christ, a new Jozef, a new Karl capable of saving from this devastation ... Is he among us?
Director: Eduard Belnikov, Yuri Losev
The theater workshops and the performance were created with the support of the Senate of Poland and the Fundacja Pomoc Polakom na Wschodzie
Come out to look for history!
We dreamed of such a program for several years and in 2020 we finally launched Hi! Story in Latvia.
This is an urban orientation game. Our task is to tell about the unknown and very different history of the city, region and country.
In Latvia, many topics remain outside the brackets of public discussions, and we did not manage to develop traditions of memory and pride in our local history. When we started making a program about Daugavpils, we really wanted to tell about the great people of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, who created new languages, new countries, new philosophies, created new music, were great scientists, famous artists and writers. We wanted to tell you about Fitelbg, Kuk, Ben Yehuda, Shapiro, Strok, Plater ... after all, their names in their real homeland are not called city streets, they do not erect monuments to them, and often they are not told about them in schools.
We want to show the diverse, multinational history of our region, to acquaint with the incredible stories of different people who changed the world, and most importantly to inspire. We want to show that we are all the same innovators and can continue to bring new forms of art to the world and to invent, be different and unique. We want to be proud of our history, no matter how difficult it is.
Hi!Story is rogaining, teams of 2 or more can participate. Participants can travel by any type of transport - on foot, by bicycle, car or public transport. The game has become an excellent quarantine time format - all teams play on the street, participants' contacts are minimized, since all tasks are read through QR codes.
During the quest, the goal of the participants is not only to find an object located on the map and get to it, but also to answer questions, complete tasks that are most often related to culture and history, for each completed task and the correct answer, participants receive points. During the game, participants in a game form learn facts about culture, historical events, traditions, art, great people who contributed to the development of the region, country, Europe, and the world.
Each time we choose new topics for researching history:
The start of the program was in the creative quarter on Saules Street. In 2021, together with dozens of activists and NGOs from Daugavpils, we began a long journey to create an art center for culture and education in an old building complex in the center of Daugavpils. More here:
The program is organized as part of the Gostūs Latgolā festival, in honor of the 5th anniversary of Šmakovkas Muzejs. The program was supported by the Daugavpils Tourist Information Center and the Latgale Region Development Agency, the State Cultural Capital Fund, Latvijas valsts meži.
On July 31, 2021, we introduced the residents and guests of Daugavpils to the history and culture of Latgale. We told about our region: traditions, language, history, cultural heritage, great and outstanding natives and inhabitants of Latgale - scientists, artists, painters, musicians, poets, architects, athletes, politicians. They were Jews, Poles, Russians, Belarusians, Latgalians, Germans, Latvians. They created art and new countries, made discoveries in science, were military men and writers, and now you will learn more interesting facts about them and discover Latgale in a new way.
Night city game
In September 2021, the game Hi!Story America was played.
Find out more about the unknown pages of Latvian and American history. About outstanding Americans who were born in Latvia, American traditions, interesting and unexpected facts from history and culture.
The program was supported by the US Embassy in Riga
More than 30 teams (over 120 participants), teams from Minsk, USA, Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale - children, youth, adults, seniors and even a few dogs took part in the game!
Taste Latgale [Izgaršo Latgali] is a cycle of programs, interviews in the format of a culinary show. In each program, we introduce representatives of different cultures and traditions of the region, because we are all united by a common table. In the first season we talk about Latgalian, Jewish, Belarusian and Polish culture in Latgale, and we will also prepare one of the dishes from each cuisine.
Latgale is a region of contrasts, a place where many cultures, traditions and religions coexist at the same time. The cycle is aimed at getting to know the diverse cultures and traditions of the region better, to become a little closer at a common “online table”.
Together with Diana Soldane (coordinator of the Daugavpils application for the status of the European Capital of Culture in 2027), we prepared a traditional dish - klimpas.
They also talked about the preservation of the Latgalian language and traditions at home, the application of Daugavpils and all of Latgale for the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2027.
In this episode of the program, we talked with Milena Savkina, an actress of the Daugavpils theater, director of a theater group in the center of Polish culture. She is a representative of Polish culture in Latgale.
She talked about the customs and culture in her family, told about plans and work in the Daugavpils theater, as well as about the recipe for an unusual charlotte that we cooked together.
For hundreds of years, Jewish culture has been an integral part of the region. We invited Elina Vasilyeva to our kitchen, the dean of the Faculty of Humanities of the Daugavpils University, to learn how to cook the mayorav yerushalmi, as well as hear her history, learn more about Jewish culture and traditions in the region, as well as about outstanding Jewish scientists from Daugavpils University.
The culture of Litvins and Belarusians is an integral part of Latgale and our guest is Irina Apeināne from the Center of Belarusian Culture in Daugavpils. We have prepared sashny. Irina also spoke about the traditions and customs of her family, the work of the Center of Belarusian Culture and programs that the center of culture is proud of.
The cycle of programs Taste Latgale was supported by the Zink Network and Europe Direct in Daugavpils. Studio: Sweeco, operator: Ivar Utinans, editor: Alina Hachetlova, translation: Raivis Malnacs,
presenter: Joren Dobkiewicz