We occupy with creative ideas and initiatives. „Survival Kit 5” is coming!

We occupy with creative ideas and initiatives.  „Survival Kit 5” is coming!
Mārtiņš Otto, Rīga 2014 . „Survival Kit 5” curator and director of The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Arts Solvita Krese
04-09-2013 A+ A-
Thursday on 5 September, contemporary art festival „Survival Kit” will be opened. It is now held for the fifth time in Riga by using art and inviting everyone to think of development and important survival issues for the whole society. „Slow revolution” is the leading slogan for this year's festival when the main events and exhibiton are to be held at 60 Lāčplēsis Street, nearly an empty and unoccupied building. „We ”occupy„ the house with creative ideas and initiatives,” says Solvita Krese, curator of „Survival Kit” and creator of „Rīga 2014” thematic line „Survival Kit”.

„There are no political manifesto in this revolution, and it's both good and bad for us. If we look at the history events, previous revolutions did not have this utopia or positive programme,” explains Krese when telling about the „slow revolution”. She emhpasizes that, it's clear: people want changes and they do not want to live like they used to. „Slow revolution” activates all that is considered a marginality, it overnturns power positions and doubts central domination. It's an anti-hierarchy movement that has grown from an individual need and improves clear democraty traditions.

„Economy crisis provoked changes, people's own values have changed, as well during that time,” says Krese. „Survival Kit 5” is gonna ask some questions: what changes do we want in order to act differently, how can we do that?"

Participant artists come from 16 countries who will comment Latvia and world situation. Krese thinks that, if going outside gallery and museum walls, it is possible to „occupy” everything with several artistic and civil society activities in order to realize creative ideas and „attack” into this changing world in order to make it a better place to live. It is important not to be afraid for own wishes to do what one likes, to dare desire the impossible.


Another „Survival Kit” aspect is to „occupy” several empty buildings in the city. For now, the central object is a house where a splendid exhibition and performances, concerts and other activities are organized. It’s 60 Lāčplēsis Street, a five-storey house where the empty space shows some former presence of offices and other institutions.

„We always are looking for new places where we see the potential for growth, like this quarter between Lāčplēsis and Avoti Street that is located pretty close to the centre, though quite undervalued. It’s a quarter that represents interesting social and historical environment structures.

Therefore, we wish to gain attendance on those empty houses in Riga through our events. Such buildings in Riga are left much frequently than everywhere else in Europe. At the same time, when I work with the European Capital of Culture programme I see plenty of content that is left out. That is why we invite to think of „occupying” the empty spaces with creative ideas and intiatives. It does not have to be literally done, but we could start thinking about the „slow revolution” dedicated to the future of city and further development.


„Survival Kit” unites more than 60 artists from Latvia and foreign countries including Canada and USA. Those are celebrity artists as well as young talents. Foreign artists will show several sompleted works, but Latvians will prepare their objects specially for „Survival Kit”, and it allows to experiment and creative ideas. It might happen that the result is not known until the last minute. Either it outworks the expectations or will stay just as experiments. It leaves us with a free space for research and mistakes, as well.

„ ”Survival Kit” wil also offer a wide programme beside the official, it will include creative workshops, performances, intense „White Night” programme, symposium „Slow revolution. Art and Culture in the Institutional and Territorial Peripheries”, it will offer a theoretical frame to the festival content. Also an intervention in Sarkandaugava will be organized when we will „occupy” Sarkandaugava, relatively an unexplored district. We will try to show the potential of this unique Riga place,” tells Krese.


 „Survival Kit 5” will be opened on 5 September at 19.00 with a performance of a Dutch artist Gabriel Lester, it’s called „Music for Riots and Fights”.

„Survival Kit” is organized by The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art. The festival was established in 2009 as a reaction to economy crisis and, therefore, the changing landscape in Latvia. „Survival Kit” management gained attention to creative intiatives and quarters in 2010, but „Survival Kit 3” was dedicated to the ideas about future, its forecastings and further existence models.

The last year’s festival was concentrating on so called „downshifting” or slowing a life pace. It improved to think critically about the consuming standarts and expectations about successful life as well as invited to to balance free time and working hours by exploring our own personalities more.

To find out more about „Survival Kit 5” programme click here.




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