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.

Program calendar:

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8 September, POLYPHONY

THURSDAY, 8 September

Film premiere and a talk about life in the borderland from the perspective of a third-country national


Venue: “Hearing Voices Café”, Pils iela 23

The event will be held in English.

Nowadays, there is more and more talk about the limits that should or could be imposed on free speech, because of the risks free speech poses to society. Attacks and defamation on the internet, spamming, provocation, threats to the social order and well-being, the dissemination of fake news, the voicing of unacceptable opinions and stalking on the basis of publicly disclosed personal information – relevant and less relevant arguments are used to justify the idea that freedom of speech is no longer an unconditional principle or one of the fundamental freedoms of individuals and of the media. Democracy, however, is based precisely on the exchange of informed opinions and arguments and the search for the best solution. Developments in politics and culture over the course of the last couple of years show that while technology has made it easier to make one's voice, and therefore one's opinions, heard by others (e.g.,, it does not automatically bring with it the ability to perceive, hear or accept this diversity, i.e., polyphony, of opinions, which is quite common and coherent in nature.

People who literally live “on the border”, or at least near it, are confronted on a daily basis with a greater diversity of perspectives and opinions and large amounts of information and interpretations than the rest of the population of the country. That is why we travelled to Piedruja and Indra, on the very border of Belarus, to explain our experiences of using our voice and the situation of freedom of speech in Latvia today, together with Latvian residents from Belarus and Canada who have arrived here relatively recently. The discussions and insights have been reflected in a video (against the colourful background of nature, cultural heritage, and local economic activity) and will be further developed in a discussion in Riga, as part of Survival Kit.


Film team: Ineta Sipunova (LV), Kristīne Briede (LV), Ilva Skulte (LV), Līga Puriņa–Purīte (LV), Alena Kudrautsava (Belarus), Mikalai Yankoits (Belarus), Maryia Danko (Belarus), Ieva Mežule (Canada), Pāvels Barančuks (Belarus).

*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