Participatory Workshops

Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art in collaboration with  Pauls Stradins Museum of the History of Medicine continues the Participatory Workshops launched in March this year, in which artists strive to promote public engagement in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the urban environment you will notice "kuš!" comic artists' instructions on what to do in different crisis situations. On the 10th and 15th of September, the museum will host a series of workshops and a discussion on "The Art of Conversation in Times of War", where you can learn crisis intervention skills under the guidance of experts and find out how art can help bring society together.

In March 2022, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) together with the Museum of the History of Medicine organised a series of Participatory Workshops over the course of two weeks, where 15 artists explored and practised different forms of activism and protest, using a variety of contemporary art techniques. The aim of the workshops was to keep the discussion and protest at the Russian Embassy alive through creative practices and collaborative action, without letting the ongoing war sink into the oblivion of everyday matters. At the same time, the workshops became a space for politically engaged communal activity, fostering social unity and critical discussion about what was happening, and offering therapeutic cleansing through creative and meaningful activity.

As the war in Ukraine continues, it is important not to be silent and to remain active and reflective via culture, art, and history. Latvian society is going through a psychological crisis, in which various values and norms are being reassessed. Each of us has also had the opportunity to assess our knowledge and skills in responding to and aiding in crisis situations. Now, perhaps more than ever, it is necessary to regain the lost focus, to promote critical thinking, social cohesion and agency.

In September, LCCA and Museum of History of Medicine continue the Participatory Workshop series, analysing and assessing what has changed in public attitudes and readiness over these months. The aim of the workshops is to inform the public about the guidelines for action in different crisis situations and to develop communication and crisis response skills through practical demonstrations by experts. Through workshops and artistic practice, we want to motivate reflection and discussion on the unity of society and its readiness to support each of its member, which will be summarised and publicly discussed in the final discussion of the series "The Art of Conversation in Times of War". In addition, throughout the urban environment you will notice instructions by the "kuš!" comic artists, which are illustrations of the booklet provided by the Ministry of Defence on what to do in the first 72 hours of a crisis. Leaflets and stickers of the instructions will be available for everyone to distribute in their neighbourhood.

On the 10th of September, the Museum of the History of Medicine will host Participatory Workshops, where experts will teach you how to deal with a crisis, first aid and what to put in your 72-hour bag. On the 15th of September, a closing discussion will be held on "The Art of Conversation in Times of War", reflecting on the experience gained during the Participatory Workshops and also focusing more broadly on the role of contemporary art in addressing socio-political issues and engaging the public in times of crisis.

For information on the Participatory Workshops, follow, and on social media @rigamedicinemuseum and @LLMC.LV.

The project " Participatory Workshops" is carried out by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Programme "Active Citizens Fund".

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