In cooperation with the Goethe Institute the contemporary art festival Survival Kit 13 is organizing The Hearing Voices Café – an ambitious program of events, which will take place in a pop-up cafe at the festival venue which will be open throughout the duration of the festival in cooperation with the "Borscht - dinner with Ukrainians" team.

The Hearing Voices Café is a project of the Goethe-Institut incorporated into a comprehensive package of measures for which the Federal Foreign Office provides funding from the 2022 Supplementary Budget to mitigate the effects of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

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30 September, TO CATCH THE TRUTH

FRIDAY, 30 September

To Catch the Truth
A talk on artistic and journalist ethics and a screening of Ukrainian documentalist classic “Man with a Movie Camera”


Venue: “Hearing Voices Café”, Pils iela 23

The event will be held in English.

Freedom is not just independence. Freedom is the will, ability, and responsibility to use one’s voice to speak and act for the common good. The principles of free speech and access to information are at the heart of democratic societies, which is why they are often the most visible areas of conflicts and clashes. These clashes are evident not only in today’s Russia or Belarus or the 1980s Baltics, but also in everyday life when trying to agree on principles of communication with friends or family. Thanks to the development of technology, new challenges have arisen - information overload, tracking, cancel culture, deepfakes and social bubbles. But while in the mid-1990s more than a fifth of Latvian citizens valued freedom of communication highly, current research shows that less than 10% of Latvians consider this principle to be important. In journalism, freedom is more or less regulated by professional codes of ethics, which require adherence to objectivity, respect for others, disclosure of sources and means of attaining information. Yet there are more and more situations in which convictions, conscience or even newly introduced rules come into conflict with these principles. How to act? How to measure the common good? And is the emotionally loaded message of a responsible artist not more credible than that of a journalist forced to cover a populist spectacle in a post-truth crisis?

This is what we will discuss in a conversation with communication researcher Ilva Skulte, journalist Rita Ruduša, artist Sabīne Šnē, choreographer Darja Kalashnikova and the joint artist project Stichit - Rufina Bazlova and Sofia Tochara. The discussion will focus on the legacy of the Singing Revolution in the sphere of communication principles, the role of contemporary art in covering socio-political issues and contemporary issues in the ethical practice of journalism.

The discussion will be followed by a screening of the classic film Man with a Movie Camera by Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov. The film is an exemplary work of documentary avant-garde, a conscious experiment that for aesthetic reasons is not based on any script, portraying the everyday life in the Soviet metropolis of Moscow as well as the cities of Odessa, Kharkiv, Kyiv, all in a mechanised love poem dedicated to the working class and industralisation. Highly influenced by Marxist ideology and Soviet urban ideals, in his masterpiece Man with a Movie Camera Vertov creates a silent symphony for the symbiotic relationship between the man and the machine blossoming in the daily rutine of the working class.

Vertov himself says of the film’s concept: “This experimental film is designed to create a true, international, all-encompassing cinematic language, completely separating it from the language of theatre and literature.”

The screening is organised in collaboration with the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Film Centre in Ukraine.


Ilva Skulte has a degree in philology, she has worked in cultural journalism, and she’s a communication and media researcher at various Latvian universities. Associate Professor at the Riga Stradiņš University.

Rita Ruduša is a veteran journalist and editor whose career started at the time of the tectonic shifts in European history, the early nineties. She has worked for daily Diena, magazine Rīgas Laiks and Latvian Public Television, among other outlets. Her professional geography spans four countries – a foreign correspondent in Moscow and London, a broadcaster in Prague and an editor and journalist in Riga. Rita Ruduša has led two key media NGOs, the Latvian Journalist Association and the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence, and is the author of two books - Forced Underground, a book about being gay in Soviet Latvia, and Latvian Media Archaeology, a history of the free press in Latvia. She also writes scripts for documentaries, her first feature-length film Homo Sovieticus premiered last year.

Daria Kalashnikova, an artist, political activist, and a former gymnast from Luhansk, Ukraine. She hasn't been home since the Russians occupied her home region in 2014. The then occupation was a response to the "Euromaidan" movement, one of the founders and main organizers of which was the artist herself. She is currently going through her second war.

Sabīne Šnē lives and works in Riga. In her creative practice, she constructs visual stories to explore the intersections between culture and nature, informed by historical and current ideas. Sabīne Šnē graduated with a BFA and an MFA from the Department of Visual Communication of the Art Academy of Latvia. She has participated in various group exhibitions and art projects in Latvia and abroad.

Rufina Bazlova is a Prague-based Belarusian artist who works in illustration, social artwork, scenography, and performance. Rufina gained an international profile for her series The History of Belarusian Vyzhyvanka, which uses the traditional folk embroidery medium to depict peaceful protests in Belarus. The artist is also known as the author of the fully embroidered comic “Zhenokol” (Feminnature), which explores the theme of feminism present in folk traditions.

Sofia Tocar worked as a program assistant at the Centre for Contemporary Art Futura and as a guide at the Lobkowicz Collections during her studies at Charles University Prague. Sofia then became part of the Prague Civil Society Centre, where she coordinated visual communication projects and events in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. During the last few years, Sofia has actively worked in the documentary film industry, and has curated activist projects and exhibitions.

The Hearing Voices Cafe is a project of the Goethe-Institut incorporated into a comprehensive package of measures for which the Federal Foreign Office provides funding from the 2022 Supplementary Budget to mitigate the effects of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

*The event is accessible to people with disabilities. Before visiting the festival, please read about the accessibility here. If you need special access requirements or have any questions about the accessibility of the festival, please contact us at