Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art
Adi Kuntsman / Photo: Margarita Ogoļceva
1 / 18

Adi Kuntsman is Senior Lecturer in Digital Politics at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Their past work explored Internet cultures in Russia, Eastern Europe and Russian-speaking diasporas; digital emotions, digital memory and digital militarism; as well as Gulag historiography and LGBT identities and communities. Dr Kuntsman’s current work focuses on selfies between political activism and biometric governance; the politics of ‘opting out’ of digital communication; and environmental damages of digital technologies. Dr Kuntsman is the author of Figurations of Violence and Belonging: Queerness, Mingranthood and Nationalism in Cyberspace and Beyond (Peter Lang 2009), and Digital Militarism: Israeli Occupation in the Social Media Age (co-authored with Rebecca L. Stein, Stanford UP 2014); the editor of Selfie Citizenship and the co-editor of multiple collections and journal special issues. https://sites.google.com/site/adikuntsman/ 

Harri Pälviranta is a photographic artist, filmmaker and researcher. He holds a Doctor of Arts degree in photography from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki (2012). His works has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. 
At the core of Pälviranta’s artistic curiosity are issues relating to violence and masculinity, and often in his works he bridges these two themes. Pälviranta sees violence as a diverse practice: it can be seen as subjective and objective, and it can take both symbolic and systemic forms. Connected to this, his comprehension of masculinity is also layered: masculinity can be seen as culturally encoded and performed and renewed in commonplace practices. 
Theoretically much of his work falls into practice that can be categorized as documentary. However, in Pälviranta’s use documentary does not only refer to classical documentaries, his work rather activates critical practices within documentary discourse. Along this line of thought, as a form of expression documentary relates to concepts such as constructed verisimilitude and dramatized, narrated real. In his most recent projects he connects to archival practices, and uses documentary as a term referring to materiality of the image.


Ilya Lensky has graduated University of Latvia, the Faculty of History and Philosophy, specializing in the Modern and Contemporary History. Since 2006 he works at the Museum “Jews in Latvia”, becoming Museum’s director in 2008. His areas of interest include Latvian Jewish history, Jewish enlightenment, modernization of Jewish community, Jewish-Latvian relations, as well as issues of Holocaust commemoration.

Jūratė Samulionytė is one of a new generation of film directors in Lithuania. In 2007 Jurate received an MA in Film and TV Directing from the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy. Her documentaries and fiction shorts have been featured at various international festivals and been awarded a number of prizes. Jūratė Samulionytė also works in different film projects as a director’s assistant, as well as in the field of film education for children and adults.

Kristina Norman is active both in the field of contemporary art and documentary filmmaking and performance. When addressing issues of collective memory and forgetting, and the memorial uses of public space, she often searches for ways to physically and symbolically intervene in the environments in focus. While many of her art projects are presented in the form of video installations, site-specificity and performativity are of great importance in these works. Among the projects that provoked the most public discussion, mainly concerning the role of art and artists in the society, about ethics in art, and the line between art and politics, is a vast research-based art project titled After-War with which she represented Estonia at Venice Biennale in 2009. Some of Norman’s more recent works are dedicated to the issues of migration, focussing on the aspects of memory and public representation


Máret Ánne Sara is an artist, author and journalist from Norway. She comes from a traditional reindeer-herding family situated in the heart of the Sápmi region. She studied art/illustration in the UK, and product production in Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino), where she currently lives and works. Her work deals with political and social issues affecting the Sami community, and the reindeer-herding communities in particular. Sara is also one of the founding members of the Dáiddadállu/Artists Collective Kautokeino and has published two novels. In 2014, She was nominated for the Nordic Council’s Children’s and Young Literature Prize for her debut book Ilmmid gaskkas (In Between Worlds). Her project Pile o’Sápmi was included in Documenta 14 exhibition at Kassel in 2017. http://www.pileosapmi.com

Vilma Samulionytė is working in a field of conceptual photography. In 2013 she was a laureate of Unesco / Aschberg Bursary for art residency at the Instituto Sacatar in Brazil and in 2017 she resided there as a returning fellow. She has worked as a photographer in Saudi Arabia, and her works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Lithuania, Czech Republic, Turkey, USA, Slovenia, Denmark etc has participated in a group and personal exhibitions. In 2014 together with artist Gytis Skudžinskas she established NoRoutine Books, an independent publishing initiative dedicated to designing and printing unique fine arts books.

Violeta Davoliūtė is Professor at Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science and Senior Researcher at the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute. Recently, she was a Fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena (2018–2019) and Associate Research Scholar at Yale (2015–2016). Violeta Davoliūtė completed her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto and is the author of The Making and Breaking of Soviet Lithuania: Memory and Modernity in the Wake of War (2013). A specialist in matters of historical trauma, the politics of memory and national identity, she has co-edited three volumes and has published numerous articles in journals like Ab Imperio, Osteuropa, Ethnologie Française, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, Journal of Baltic Studies, and others.


Anete Skuja is an art historian, photographer and a freelance curator mostly working with photography. She has graduated from the ISSP (International Summer School of Photography) study program in contemporary photography, and currently she is studying for the MA at the Art Academy of Latvia, in the faculty of Art History, specializing in Curatorial Studies. Her current research is about the notion and the use of the archive in contemporary art in the Baltic region. 

Ave Taavet is a freelance animator and caricaturist from Estonia, who teaches animation at Pallas University of Applied Sciences in Tartu. She has a BA in Ethnology (University of Tartu) and an MA in animation (Estonian Academy of Arts) and is always looking for ways to combine her academic and Fine Arts background. With the artist group SLED, she is exploring the topic of the 1949 deportations of people from Estonia. Two years of research and field trips to Siberia have resulted in a series of exhibitions, installations and events in 16 railway stations across Estonia. Ave’s short documentary film, Monument to Grandmother, part of the Siberian Childhood project, addresses the topics of pilgrimage, rituals and commemorations from a contemporary perspective. Ave Taavet is a regular contributor of caricatures for Estonian media. She is the author of two animated short films and two music videos. She also writes cultural reviews and essays for various publications.

www: https://vimeo.com/avetaavet & www.instagram.com/avetaavet.

Barbara Dudás is an art historian specialised in postwar art from Hungary and Central Eastern Europe. She is an Assistant Research Fellow at the Institute of Art History, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, where her research focuses on unwritten / forgotten stories, artists of the so-called Kádár era (1957–1989). She is completing her PhD at the Institute of Art Theory and Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, examining Hungarian art historiography after the regime change of 1989. Barbara Dudás also works as a curator, writes for art journals on contemporary topics, and teaches art history at high school level. She often takes part as a volunteer in civil, independent arts initiatives such as the OFF-Biennale Budapest, the Budapest100 urban festival, or the Bánkitó Festival.

www: https://mi.btk.mta.hu/en/staff/profile/bdudas.

Brigita Reinert is a curator of public programmes at Kumu Art Museum, Estonia. As a curator, her main fields of interest are new materialism(s), post-internet art, reprocessing of data and self-generating living systems. As an art critic and writer, she has focused mostly on the topic of biennalization, and on practices of postcolonial aesthetics, specifically within the Eastern European art discourse. Brigita Reinert has a background in philosophy and art education, and a Master's degree in Art History and Visual Culture from the Estonian Academy of Arts. She has furthered her education in the Art Theory Department of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Budapest. Her work experience includes an internship at the Estonian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, and at Raster gallery in Warsaw, and also in publishing, editing and managing cultural events.

www: https://www.brigitareinert.com/.

Constanze Fritzsch holds a doctorate from the Catholic University in Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and is a former member of the research project À chacun son réel, run by the German Forum for Art History in Paris. She studied at the ENS de Paris as a foreign exchange student, at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, and at both Université Paris I and Université Paris. She completed an academic traineeship with Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden at the Kupferstich-Kabinett, and has worked as an academic assistant at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris, and as academic staff at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Constanze has curated several exhibitions in Germany, France and Croatia in a freelance capacity. 

Cristina Moraru is an art theoretician, curator and editor, and a founding member of The Centre for Contemporary Photography (C_F_C) in Iaşi, Romania, her hometown. She is a teaching assistant at George Enescu National University of the Arts (UNAGE) Iaşi, where she gives seminars on Curatorial Studies, Critical Theories of Visual Arts, Aesthetics of Visual Arts, Semiotics of Visual Arts, Theories of Interpretation for Visual Arts, and Visual Studies. Cristina Moraru obtained a PhD in Aesthetics from the Faculty of Philosophy and Social-Political Sciences (Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania), and has participated in international study programs at the University of Basel (National Center of Competence in Research Iconic Criticism), Freie Universität Berlin (Collaborative Research Center Affective Societies), New Europe College Institute for Advanced Studies in Bucharest, Salzburg International SAFA, the East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) Lublin, Stacion Center for Contemporary Art in Prishtina, Kosovo, and other independent institutions such as Cose Cosmiche, Milan. She is editor for the UNAGE Research Center, and co-editor of the academic journal Studies in Visual Arts and Communication.


Cristina Nualart is a member of the Asian Art research group GIA (Grupo de Investigación Asia) at Complutense University, Madrid, Spain, where she obtained her PhD in Art History/Museum Studies. Previously she studied in Britain, gaining a degree in Art & Aesthetics, a Masters in the Creative Economy and a Postgraduate Certificate in Art Education. Her extensive, international teaching practice took her to Southeast Asia, where for four years she was a lecturer and course leader at RMIT International University in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A number of her academic and media publications have explored feminism and gender issues in relation to artistic practices and exhibition histories. Among other publications on Vietnamese art and culture, Cristina Nualart is the author of “Queer art in Vietnam: from closet to pride in two decades” (Palgrave Communications, 2016), and of “The Schwarzenegger Hide-and-Seek. Finding Disappearing Hand-Painted Signs in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam” (Advertising and Public Memory, New York: Routledge, 2017).

www: https://cristinanualart.wixsite.com/cnualart & https://independent.academia.edu/CristinaNualart.

Digne Ūdre is a doctoral student at the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University of Tartu. Her thesis is titled: Visually interpreted ideologies: mythological ornament as contested cultural heritage in contemporary Latvia. Affiliated to the Institute of Folklore, Literature and Art, University of Latvia, since 2015 she is a researcher at the Archives of Latvian Folklore, and she has assisted in the development of the Digital Archives of Latvian Folklore. Her current research projects include studying contemporary calendric practices, and the disciplinary history of Latvian folkloristics during the Soviet occupation. Digne’s MA thesis (Contested Cultural Heritage: Cross of Fire in Latvia) explored the presence of the swastika in Latvia. She is taking this research further, investigating contemporary uses of the swastika as ornament. This symbol, used for centuries in cultural heritage, is becoming more frequent in Latvia. Considering its history, the contemporary uses of this ornament are always political, yet they are contested and evidence some of the difficult pasts of the 20th century.

Elisabeth Kovtiak is an independent researcher from Minsk, Belarus. She obtained her MA in Arts in Culture, Media and Society at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Lancaster, with a dissertation entitled Beyond post-Communist nostalgia: negotiating personal and collective memory in Belarus. She worked as a researcher in projects on depression as a social phenomenon and civic activism in Belarus, and was as a columnist and journalist writing on culture and visual arts and a project manager at the Centre for Contemporary Arts and for a range of independent cultural initiatives. Her academic interests include collective memory and its manifestations in art and public spaces, from flea markets to museums, concentrating mostly on transitional postsocialist societies. She aims to raise the impact of her work introducing artistic approach and digital humanities, as she believes in the potential of creative dissemination practices. 

Espen Johansen is an art historian, curator and writer based in Bergen, Norway, and Malmö, Sweden. He holds a Degree in Creative Curating from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, and an MA in Art History from the University of Bergen. He is currently furthering his studies at the Royal Academy of Stockholm, on the one-year course ‘Negotiating Artistic Value: Art and Architecture in Public Space’.

Espen Johansen has been interim director for Kabuso Art Center in Øystese, and project manager for Bergen Assembly. In addition to freelance work, he has also been a curator/assistant professor for the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, and assistant curator for Bergen Kunsthall. His curatorial projects include Terence Koh – sticks, stones and bones; Daniel Gustav Cramer – five days; Sandra Vaka – Jugs; and the group show Neighborhood, where a number of artists made site-specific works for public and semi-public spaces in an industrial and residential area in Bergen that is experiencing heavy gentrification. Presently his is curating the centennial edition of Vestlandsutstillingen (2022), an annual exhibition that travels between multiple venues across Western Norway. 

www: http://www.espenjohansen.art/.

Hristina Tasheva graduated from Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (2011) and earned her MA in Photography at AKV St. Joost, in Breda, the Netherlands (2015). Born in Bulgaria, she lives and works in the Netherlands. Her experience as an Eastern European migrant and her position as a citizen are a driving force in her work. Using photography, text, sound and performance, she asks “is it possible to build identities based on similarities and not on differences? What is it like to be a human?”. 

www: https://hristinatasheva.com/.

Ieva Kaula is an artist interested in interconnections between contemporary media and traditional crafts. After her MA in Visual Communication at the Latvian Art Academy, she spent several years researching the traditional crafts and way of life of the Latgale region in Latvia. There, she undertook anthropological research of craft materials and of the people who live in close connection with traditions. Ieva, who worked in the field of digital media and audiovisual installations, yearned to explore more natural materials and started to work with clay. She is currently studying an MA in the Ceramic Department at the Latvian Art Academy, researching ways to combine traditional crafts and contemporary concepts in her art practice.

Jasmine Powell is an artist and educator from Australia who holds a PhD from the University of Sydney in which she investigated the unconscious and conscious ways that artists fuel their creative process when working self-reflexively. Jasmine enjoys working across boundaries and disciplines, with a particular affinity for video, photography and sound. A principle theme in her work is the desire to transform the mundane into the strange through altering experiential aspects of the work. She has participated in a variety of exhibitions across Europe, the USA and Australia, and also takes pleasure in creating opportunities for other artists, as in her past roles as gallery director, art publication editor and festival organiser. Currently based in Berlin, Germany, her work is now focused on devising a new creative approach that incorporates her experience as an educator and which transcends the limitations of the gallery space. 

Katarina Meister is an Estonian-born artist currently based in Helsinki, where she is completing her second master’s degree in painting from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. She has worked as an artist assistant for shows in Kiasma and EMMA galleries in Finland. Painting is her preferred medium, but she also uses textile, scrap paper or video, depending on the driving force of each creation. With her work, Katarina Meister hopes to activate the moment we live in by drawing parallels in time and using painting as a tool to transform old work anew, returning it to its original form and size. Since co-founding the artist group SLED three years ago, her practice has become more socially engaged. SLED addresses the Soviet deportations of 1949, and created the Siberian Childhood art program, which was exhibited across Estonia in 2019. 

Maria Veits is an independent curator and researcher. She is a co-founder and curator of TOK, an art organization and a female curatorial collective based in St Petersburg that investigates global and local sociopolitical processes and contexts. Maria holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Bard College, New York and a MA in Sociology from Saint Petersburg State University, Russia. Maria’s curatorial practice operates across different geographies, both in public spaces and in collaboration with a variety of art institutions. She has curated exhibitions, symposiums, conferences, and publications. Her current curatorial interests include disputed and silenced historical narratives (Yiddish Cosmos, 2019) connected with potentialities of the futures, alternative scenarios of the past and their dependence on current political processes and visions (Dreamland Never Found, 2017), and reconceptualization of citizenship, migration and national borders (Russian Bar: Why Relocate?, 2018-2019, ‘De/Constructing Borders, 2017). She is also interested in contested collective memories and traumas, and the ways they can be addressed through art.

Miroslava Urbanová is a member of the artist collective Frustracija. She studied art history at the Comenius University in Bratislava, and at the University of Vienna, where her MA thesis reflected on the particularities of the memory landscape concerning the wartime Slovak state. She has explored the rationale and the methods used by contemporary Slovak artists who deal with that period. She works primarily as a curator at the private gallery Loft 8 in Vienna, but as a freelancer she has curated solo and group exhibitions at Medium Gallery and City Gallery in Bratislava, Remont Gallery in Belgrade, and Nitra Gallery. Exhibition reviews by Miroslava Urbanová have appeared in Slovak magazines and online platforms such as Profil, Artalk, Glosolália, Jazdec and Denník N. Her academic writing on the visual arts questions deeply engraved narratives and addresses the relationship between art and ideology. 

Paweł Michna is a PhD Student in the Department of Anthropology of Literature and Cultural Studies at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, where he is working on a project examining the Graphic Office in the Łódź Ghetto. His research interests’ focus on politically and socially engaged art, from interwar avant-garde to contemporary art as memory carrier, as well as on Holocaust Studies, especially art and visual documents created during Shoah. Paweł has delivered a number of conferences, including the Association of Holocaust Studies Sixth Annual Conference “Narratives of the Holocaust” at Roehampton University, UK (2019); “Jewish-Polish-German realms of memory. A triple neighborhood” at Das Zentrum für Historische Forschung Berlin der Polnischen Akademie der Wissenschaften; and “Modernity and the Holocaust, thirty years on” at the University of Leeds, UK. He is the author of “Hygiene and Propaganda: The Iconography of Modernity in Albums from the Łódź Ghetto”, published in Fotografien aus den Lagern des NS-Regimes: Beweissicherung und ästhetische Praxis, C. Oberle, A. Pufelska, H. Frübis (eds.), Wien – Koln – Weimar: Bohlau Verlag, 2018.

Rūta Spelskytė is an artist who since 2005 has studied the misunderstandings and failures of dialogue. She constructed two paper mechanisms to capture her in the state of dialogue, and printed examples of the failures of that dialogue, http://spelskyte.com/projects/MISUNDERSTANDINGS%201.html. Subsequently the project evolved into a broad investigation of larger failures: wars, terrorist attacks, massacres, bombings, poisonings and also accidental death, potlach and ingchi rituals. Over several years, she visited locations where some of these conflicts had occurred, and produced prints of the places: http://spelskyte.com/projects/SILENT%20talking.html. Entitled “How to get things out of your head/mind”, Rūta’s PhD thesis explores ways of dealing with a difficult past and the need to escape it. Exploring the differences between Studium and Punctum, Roland Barthes’ terminology for what one can study with interest and what pierces one’s heart. For this she turns to neuroscience, shamanism, buddhism, chemistry, meteorology, psychology, gardening, or anything that catches her attention and seems relevant – http://spelskyte.com/gallery.EN.html. Rūta thinks that nothing escapes from memories. Yet nothing can be sure enough to last. She has turned to quantum physics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, Gregory Bateson’s way of learning multiple things to see their relationships, and James Lovelock’s Gaia theory of the world as an interconnected organism. Fascinated at how the reintroduction of a near-extinct small grey bird in one area can unknowingly help mushrooms to grow in other side of the world, she marvels at the mechanisms of connection between plants, forests, animals, and, yes, humans too.

Sergey Fadeev is a researcher and language tutor. He is DPhil Candidate in Medieval & Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, St Cross College, and holds a PhD from the University of Nizhny Novgorod in Russia. He has worked at the University of Oxford as a Russian Tutor in the Language Centre; as an online Instructor of Biblical Greek, and as a Research Assistant, conducting research and analyses of Russian social life and policy for the head of the programme (Prof. Timothy Garton Ash). 


Szymon Maliborski is an art historian and PhD student at the Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw. His most recent exhibition project as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw is titled “Daniel Rycharski. Fears” (2019). Since 2015, he has co-curated the Warsaw Under Construction Festival. Other curatorial projects include “140 Beats per Minute. Rave Culture and Art in 1990 Poland” (with Łukasz Ronduda), and the Museum at Open’air Festival (2014, 2016, 2018). As a research/curatorial assistant he has been involved in “Making Use: Life in Postartistic Times”, and “Andrzej Wróblewski Recto / Verso 1948–1949, 1956–1957”. Szymon is a contributing author on the “Project Ideal City” (2018), a multi-layered virtual platform dedicated to the archive of photographs by Wiktor Pental and Henryk Makarewicz, connected with Nowa Huta, Poland’s first socialist city. He has published articles in Didaskalia, Obieg and Szum, and Znak magazines.

Tamta Melashvili lives in Tbilisi and works as a researcher and teacher at Tbilisi State University. She holds MA in Gender Studies from Central European University. Her short stories first appeared in early 2010s and later were included in different Georgian and German anthologies. In 2010 was published Melashvili’s debut work Counting Out, which quickly gained success. The novel was acclaimed by the critics as “a new, highly distinctive voice” and won country’s Literary Award Saba in 2011. In 2012 Counting Out was nominated among the best ten in 2012 Hotlist by Die Besten Bücher aus Unäbhangigen Verlagen in Germany and won Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2013. Her second novel To the East was published in 2015. Her fiction is translated into German, English, Russian, Croatian, Italian, Albanian and Lithuanian languages. She held readings and talks in Georgia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Croatia.  

Vilius Vaitiekunas is an artist, educator and videographer based in Lithuania and the Netherlands. Following his degree in Fine Arts at Academy Minerva, he continued his pre-master education in Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Groningen. On the understanding that the experience of art is a cognitive process, Vilius sees art as a context-specific cultural manifestation. With this approach, his artistic practice researches different objects and events in their particular context, to explore their social and cultural significance, exploring the thinking habits they form. Vilius Vaitiekunas is a director of the Lithuanian NGO Tell Me More About That, which seeks to facilitate psychological consultations in small towns across North Lithuania.

www: www.viliusvaitiekunas.com.
www: https://vimeo.com/avetaavet & www.instagram.com/avetaavet.