Sunday, 25 September 2016

Zemgale Stāstnieki

Storryteller in Semigallia (Zemgale).
During the last two days the organization took part of a season of cultural debate in Rundāle. A two day long meeting where firstly started in the school attending some lessons:

Here you can see the symbol of the event itself. The reason of why it is a pot will be explained below (and pots have a big role).

 Lessons like natural sciences of Latvia: geology, flora, fauna and history (a bit dense we started) and also history of the semigallians, giving emphasis where the first archeology rests where found, which were pieces of clay pots.

Then there was a pause for some...exercise; just to make sure that we don´t get pasted to the chair, as the lessons were going to take some time.

Then there was a topic that under my view drove me more attention: history about the soviet Latvia, including personal tales about the teacher serving in the kitchen´s headquarters from the Red Army in Zemgale, peeling the potatos with bayonets and looking for wooden from fences because the axe he got provided wasn´t sharp enough to cut trees. Along with other more ominous stories such a man sent to the gulags of Siberia, coming back by his own way to home but having a false identity until 1995. Mighty moral he had.

Then some little facts about latvian folk in a wiki content format. Should mention the paintings scattered in the scenary, made from lithuanian and latvian kids about tales of the other side of the participating faction (latvians making about the lithuanian tale and viceversa).

And then we moved to live stories! starting with a lithuanian guest; speaking in russian, as the idiom for general understanding (it turns out that differences among lithuanian and latvian language are more pronounced that I expected, albeit it would happen the same if a catalonian or galician speech goes to my ears, I would need translation for not losing 100% of the speech):

Then we moved to Rundāle´s guest house (currently you can book a room there as works as hotel too)!

And in the program there was...learning how to make clay pots! with latvian symbologism if possible (I wasn´t "possible", clumsy me); as I said, pots took quite leadership in the event, as the clay was a sustantial part of the event just a it was the main material to build anything back in the Iron Age here...
...and also there was homemade wine with apple essence to drink.

Here, in the front, there´s the cup I made with several random symbols, including Mars symbol. Yeah, why not?

By the evening we moved to what would be our rooms for one night and the meeting place for the evening and discuss about the plans for the event. Also, we started to make stories and tell them (in latvian) and sing several songs as well. It takes its effort to translate them.
And it happened that my camera died. So the next half of the event (the next day basically) has no pictures. Apologies for that. I didn´t expect to stay that long in this event as well.
Still, I will tell how it went, specially as it was it the next day when the fun came and the event took a more public reputation.

  Ok, said this we go to the next day. This day dawned visiting a ceramics workshop called Laima Ceramic, not far from Rundāle, in some of this dusty secondary roads from Latvia´s meadows (just like spanish meadow roads in the early nineties!). we also saw the process to make a ceramic jar from professional hands (not from amateur or forgetful ones as mines seen in one of the previous photo).
   And then we headed to the next stop: Viesturi´s library (Viesturi is a village) with full reception for the crew (coffee included). First we stopped and recharged our energy batteries after travelling so much having a friendly supper. Good thing that supper of local food was always there wherever we went, with balzams included too).
  Then the very best of the event came out: in the library´s playground we performed the folk concerts mixed with several storytelling...there are no photos, I know, just try to fill the pace with people dressed as we have seen in previous articles (specially relating with Līgo, but not so white colored) and with the presence of the accordion and the kotra (out utter famous latvian musical instrument). Along with all this celebration we also saw, as part of the concert´s performance, the process of dressing a bride after getting married and becoming a wife (which requires more layers of cloths than you can expect; is reasonable to think that too much cold leaded to people dress with many layers), with some of the attire proper from Kurzeme´s territory (where we were), rather than the whole area.
  And then...I also participated in the storytelling actively with my own proper legend from my very homeland, from my village in Spain! My time to shine and...er...a pity that it was so cold that day! I needed some extra support because I was getting cold!
Still, this last concert was the best mment, unduobtely, as I felt like a part of the event granting something from my own resources, bringing something to the rest of people to admire.

 So that was the event. 2 days of other places of Baltic to step on and tell stories from my own bag of knowledge.

Monday, 19 September 2016

"Valmierietis" photo exhibition

From 6th september until 3rd october there´s the 100% photography exhibition regarding the rough citizens of Valmiera (the exhibition´s title is the demonym of a person from Valmiera after all). Previously it was in Laipa Gallery now is in full mode in the Culture Center.
The first impression was a very humble and stern exhibition, right because the previous one was fully adorned of flowers and this one the only thing it has (and need after all) are roughly size A3 photos on white frame making set with the white wall.

Behold! Valmiera´s people at their finest!

(guess that appearing some of them smoking is a hint from the artist about some habits...I guess...probably).

Sunday, 18 September 2016

"No Spāņiem līdz latviešiem" Art Exhibition in Ledus Pagrabs

From 1st september to 13th september there was in Ledus Pagrabs gallery (mentioned already) where an exhibition with very special taste came out!

5 artists from Latvia and 5 artists from spanish background living in Latvia participated together for a multidiverse and multidinamic art exhibition of painting, illustation, graphic and photography! 
I should add the note that this exhibition came out as my idea for the top of this project, as the epitome of the interchange between cultures and its accesibility to them (specially when you need to organize it, which it takes its effort before, during and after the exhibition). What else could I say? it has been a great and satisfactory idea. But is not over yet! The exhibition nature is itinerant and it´s moving to other cities (now the exhibition is in Riga) such Ēvele and Gulbene, this until the end of the project.
It´s a pity, however, that this idea came to reality when there´s only two months remaining from this whole year. A pity, indeed, as it would´ve nice if there were more cities to put the exhibition (such Cēsis or Rūjiena) and on each city would last longer, at least 3 weeks (2 weeks is too short, honestly). But my mind got brighted a bit late and then this is the time that remains. Anyway, we will take advantage of all it!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

"Dāliju Izstade" & "Plecu pie pleca"

Two for the price of one! For some days the exhibition of summer photographies "Plecu pie pleca" (which should have ended this last day of august) will have the company of a floral and vivid exhibition of flowers. With reason in Latvia the flowers are quite more popular, and fresher!
Well, both exhibitions together. As both are about shiny and green topics of the illuminated season of the year that is summer. A pity is finishing...

 However, being a flower exhibition, it requires a maintenance, in a more continuous form than more ordinary works such paintings or photographies: