European scientists discussing World War I issues in Riga

European scientists discussing World War I issues in Riga
Episode from „1914. The last days of the world before its destruction”
06-11-2013 A+ A-
International forum ”The turning point - before and after WWI. History and nowadays. Latvia and Europe." will be held at „Splendid Palace” on November 12. Such issues as the changing paradigm of relationships between the human thought and the political authorities since WWI will be discussed.

A film directed by Richard Oswald will be screened at the forum in cooperation with Goethe Institut. The film titled „1914. The last days of the world before its destruction” shows a period of few weeks before World War I. The entrance at the forum is free of charge.

„Reflections on World War I events are shown at the film together with various references from that time in literature, newspapers, films, radio. The main theme is related to power issues – antisemitism, cult of uniforms, etc. Nowadays, we can evaluate how this war can be represented through film as an art form just fifteen years later from the day it started. It’s an opportunity to look at the fundamental questions about the relationships between authorities, war and an individual human being,” tells Gints Grūbe, curator of thematic line „Freedom Street” („Brīvības iela”) and member of „Rīga 2014” Foundation Artistic Council.

„1914. The last days of the world before its destruction” starts with the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, June 28, 1914.

As the result of their death, Austrian army and foreign minister of Austria required to reply with the war declaration. That-time Emperor of Austria wished to avoid this decision, but he changed his mind soon after the German Reich Chancellor’s offer to help Austria and Serbia turning to Russia for support.

A hundred years from the day World War I ended, several non-governmental organizations and leading intellectuals are still discussing issues related to WWI - what caused this war, its interconnections and long-term consequences, the changing country borders, leading political authorities, the terrifying war technologies affecting a human being and people’s reaction to this enormous history turning point.

On 12 November when the third international forum is held, the thematic line „Brīvības iela” from the official programme of „Riga- The European Capital of Culture” will be highlighted. Therefore, everyone is invited to think of their own inner freedom, the game between a human being and political authorities.

Forum will be held in Latvian, English and German languages (translation in Latvian will be available).


11 November 2013


Lighting of candles at the Daugava Embankment

12 November 2013

Venue:                         Splendid Palace cinema, Elizabetes iela 61, Rīga

Forum languages:         Latvian and English

09:00              Registration and morning coffee Versaļas zāle (Versailles Room)

09.30              Forum Opening Lielajā zāle (Main auditorium)

Welcome address by Diāna Čivle, Head of the Rīga 2014 Foundation

Introductory address by Gints Grūbe, member of the Rīga 2014 Foundation Artistic Council, Curator of the Brīvibas iela (Freedom Street) chapter

09:40              Panel Discussion I: Events that changed the course of history. The world that disappeared because of World War I

Moderator: Pauls Raudseps


--- Ēriks Jēkabsons PhD (hist): World War I: what we know, have forgotten and never knew

--- Max Arthur (historian and author of Forgotten Voices of the Great War)

10:45              Panel Discussion II: The Second Life of a World War I symbol. The fate of the Zeppelin in Rīga and Europe

Moderator: Gints Grūbe


--- Dr. Ursula Zeller, Director, Zeppelin Museum

--- Prof. Daina Teters PhD: Playing power games with names. How Brīvības iela (Freedom Street) changed its name

--- Ineta Lipša PhD (hist): In the Rīga Central Market social space: notes on the 20th century

12:00              21st Century LUNCH BREAK Splendid Palace

13:00              Panel Discussion III: Post scriptum WWI – the major changes to the European/world map, to relationships between countries and in people's minds. For the Balts, did World War I actually end in 1991?

Moderator: Eduards Liniņš


--- Imants Lancmanis PhD (hab): How World War I scarred Latvia’s architecture, art, culture

--- PhD Irvo Juurvee Institute of History and Archaeology of University of Tartu:

     Remarks on WWI Legacy and its Influence in Tallinn

--- Rihards Pētersons MA: History of the KGB building

14:00              Panel Discussion IV: The voices of the countries founded after World War I on Europe’s ‘modernity’ – the contemporary concept of Europe versus that which prevailed at the turn of 1913/1914

Moderator: Nele Hertling (Soul for Europe / Vice-president, Berlin Akademie der Kunste)


--- Markku Jokisipila PhD (soc), Director, Baltic Sea Region Study Centre, Turku University: From Russian empire to integrated Europe through Scandinavia - Finland

--- Prof Sergejs Kruks PhD (inf. sc.): Image rights: the exploitation of urban art in politics

--- Prof. Thomas Anz PhD (University of Marburg – researcher into the relationship between war and literature): German poets during the First World War. Transformations from war enthusiasm to modern international pacifism and ideas of European Community

--- Žaneta Ozoliņa PhD (educ): War meets art and politics

15.40              Coffee Break Versailles Room

16:00              FILM

Introductory remarks (2 minutes)

1931 film by Richard Oswald ‘1914, The last days of the world before its destruction’ (1914, die letzten Tage vor dem Weltbrand) Lielajā zāle

17:30              Reception Velvju zāle (Vaulted hall)

Webcast at cultural portal

Live on Twitter #Riga2014

Rīga 2014 Partner Lattelecom will provide free wifi at the venue


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