“Survival Kit 6” Invites to International Symposium

“Survival Kit 6” Invites to International Symposium
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This year, “Utopian City” is the theme for the annual contemporary art festival “Survival Kit 6” that is taking place in Riga from the 4th to 27th of September as part of the “Riga 2014” Programme. One of the events of “Survival Kit 6” is the international symposium “Urban Utopia: Art and Culture as a Tool for Exploring and Researching a City” that will be held at two festival venues, Wagner Hall and the former textiles factory “Boļševička”, on the 12th and 13th of September. During the symposium, experts in various areas will discuss contemporary utopias and their contribution to the development of public and urban life.

To embrace the diversity of cities and question the urban development of our society, the two day’s symposium will take the form of an open and interactive communication between audience, participating artists and lecturers. The eleven participants in the symposium represent such areas as philosophy, visual arts, art history, social design, architecture, planning and urban activism. They will share their experience and knowledge of how urban utopianism can bring about changes in society.

After the greatest utopias of the 20th century all failed miserably, we have witnessed various alternative and creative initiatives become more active. The urban utopia requires places and spaces that are not occupied yet – little-known areas that are often considered unimportant and therefore become shelter to alternative ideas and ideologies. Areas that respect changes and where the usual way of things becomes different, a world that offers social and cultural experiments, society that is aware of its subcultures and strives to maintain their versatility. Perhaps it is these heterotopias that offer the most efficient way to reviving public spaces?

Event venues and times:

The 12th of September from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m., Wagner Hall (Riharda Vāgnera iela 4). Lectures by Joseph Imorde, Charles Bušmanis, Catalina Niculescu, FREERIGA representatives, Airi Triisberg and Ania Szremski. Screening of the Riga Film  Museum and Riga Film Studio’s film programme “Riga Utopia” will begin at 6:30 p.m. The programme includes documentary films and newsreels from 1948 to 1988, which inform about major urban environment changes in various Riga neighbourhoods – some still being planned and others already implemented.

The 13th of September programme will start with an intervention in the urban environment – “Urban Diving” led by Jonas Büchel (the event starts at the Wagner Hall at 10 a.m.). Talks and presentations will continue at the former textiles factory “Boļševička” (Ganību dambis 30) at 1 p.m. Participants in the conference include Stockholm City architect Karolina Keyzer, Iliana Veinberga, “The Strelka Institute”, Bert Theis and Jekaterina Lavrinec. Kaspars Goba’s exhibition “Riga Islands” will open at 6:30 p.m.

The final part of the symposium will be on the 14th of September – tours of Lucavsala and Dole Islands.

Further information about the programme of the symposium is available at the website of “Survival Kit”. The seminar will be in English, participation is free of charge.

The symposium is curated by Solvita Krese (Latvian Centre of Contemporary Art, LCCA) and moderated by Jonas Büchel (Urban Institute in Riga, UI), and co-ordinated by Santa Mičule (LCCA) and Kevin Josse (UI). Supported by the Riga City Council, foundation “Riga 2014” , the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, State Tourism Development Agency, European Commission, Färgfabriken, European Cultural Foundation, “Lattelecom”, Kolonna Hotels Group”,  Abava Winery.

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