A Discussion about the Future of the Corner House. Video Recording
The discussion was organised by the “Riga 2014” foundation in co-operation with the government-run joint-stock real estate management company “Valsts nekustamie īpašumi”.
One of the goals of the “Riga 2014” project “Corner House. Case No. 1914/2014” was to prompt a public debate about many problems in the history of the 20th century that have not been sufficiently discussed to this day: the consequences of totalitarianism, preservation of the memory of victims of totalitarian regimes, the importance of public debates and discussions in the contemporary political culture, and how the memories of Latvian residents about the history of Latvia in the 20th century should be preserved for the future generations.
The Corner House is one of the darkest symbols of the totalitarian power and occupation of Latvia, and it still remains to be a relic of the past – totalitarian wars, persecutions, and genocide – in the modern-day Riga.
The discussion “Shall We Repaint It?” opened with lectures about similar projects in other countries. The “Stasi” museum in Berlin was represented by the museum’s board member Uwe Hillmer, Vilma Juozeviciute represented the Lithuanian Museum of Genocide Victims, and the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia historian Inese Dreimane talked about the museum’s projects at the Corner House.
The lectures were followed by a discussion, moderated by Gints Grūbe, the curator of the “Riga 2014” thematic line “Freedom Street”.
Participating in the discussion were Tamás Péter Baranyi, head of the Research Department at the House of Terror in Budapest, cultural heritage expert Kaspars Zellis, architect Pēteris Blūms, artist Kristaps Ģelzis, “Valsts nekustamie īpašumi” CEO Mārtiņš Tols, Jānis Garjāns, Head of the Department of Museums at the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Solvita Krese from the Association of Contemporary Culture NGOs, Corner House chief guide Aija Abens, Raivis Sīmansons from the Academic Project Team at the House of European History, businessman Māris Gailis, and political science student Roberts Rasums.
As reported, the “Riga 2014” project “Corner House. Case No. 1914/2014” will be open to the public until the 19th of October, presenting the Occupation Museum's exhibition (admission free of charge), guided tours „In the KGB Basements”, and five more exhibitions - „(Re)construction of Friendship”, „A Latvian's Suitcase”, „In Spite of All”, ”Ten Objects' Stories of Person and Power” and "The Museum of Fateful Objects”, which present different interpretations of the relationship between the individual and the power in the past that still affects the people of the present day. The exhibitions at the Corner House were prepared by the “Riga 2014” foundation in collaboration with the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, the association “Art Space”, the Exile Museum, Latvian Naïve Art Museum, culture and art project “NOASS”, the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, and SIA “Kinolats”.
The European Capital of Culture Programme of Riga is prepared and run by the foundation “Riga 2014” in collaboration with state, municipal and non-governmental cultural organisations and creative associations. The Programme is financed by the Riga City Council, Ministry of Culture and the European Commission, and offered to the public in partnership with “Lattelecom”, which also provides technical support for the Programme. Insurance company ERGO is the official insurer of the events and exhibitions at the Corner House.