Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

Discussion "The Foreign Among Us"
Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

On 3 April at 6 PM, as part of its programme of informal education, The LCCA Evening School, the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art will hold the discussion The Foreign Among Us, with the participation of Iliana Veinberga, Irēna Bužinska, Iļja Ļenskis and Mārtiņš Kaprāns, specialists in the fields of art, history and social sciences whose research centres on the period of occupation in Latvian cultural history. The discussion will be held in Latvian.

The heightening of the national question in contemporary Latvia may be linked to the recent refugee crisis in the European Union and fear of a "Muslim invasion", recent policies of Russia or the USA or the general return of conservative values to the avant-garde of persuasions. Latvianness is the nucleus around which many daily processes revolve, which, contrary to appearances, are or may become problematic. For example, the canon of Latvian art, which balances on the border of being the canon of "(ethnic) Latvian" art, excluding from circulation – and therefore from public consciousness – knowledge about those authors whose activity has been painful in the context of nationally oriented art history as well as those whose contribution is positive and significant in the context of local history of art and culture. The density that local cultural heritage acquires from links to different countries, nations and social groups is thus being depleted.  

The discussion will concentrate on the period of occupation as the stage in Latvian cultural history whose experience has shaped the actions of today's society, as well as the paradoxical relationship between the international and the national inside the USSR and the Latvian SSR.  

The LCCA Evening School is a cycle of conversations, talks, discussions and reading workshops devoted to current issues of contemporary art as well as exploration of the recent past, including the role of social, political and ideological contexts in culture. The LCCA Evening School takes place in the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Alberta iela 13, and its events are free of charge. 

The project is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation.

Henrik Dunker, from series Smoked Fish. 2012
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