The festival of the literary magazine “Punctum” will take place for the fourth year in a row, and this time will address the topic of community. This theme seems particularly relevant in the current situation, where Russia has attacked its independent neighbouring country Ukraine, thus challenging the core values of the Western world – peace, solidarity, freedom, and human rights. Community is also a key concept when we think about the environmental catastrophe, which we are inevitably heading towards. Facing the current threats to the future of our civilization and watching from the side-lines how valiant and united the Ukrainian people are in fighting for their motherland, shows us that community is a crucial factor, which can unite society in their common goals and can make people overlook their individualistic needs and wishful thinking.
Community as a survival strategy in exile is what so many Ukrainians currently resort to, similarly to what many Europeans were facing during the Second World War. The group “Hell’s Kitchen” (“Elles ķēķis”), consisting of exiled Latvian literates and artists, was among such islands of hope and value preservation far away from home, formed in New York in the middle of the previous century. This year the “Punctum” festival will celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of the central members of this group Linards Tauns, paying respects to his wonderful, fluid modernist poetry and drawing parallels between the current situation and the way the 20th century Latvian literates, who fled the war, managed to form their own creative utopia.
“Punctum” festival this year will attempt to answer the following questions: what can the contemporary creative communities do to resist the violent aggression of people and the climate apocalypse? What does the concept of community mean in literature, which is commonly considered a solitary occupation? What is the role of literary imagination in embodying and getting close to an almost incomprehensible experience? What future utopias and dystopias do literates and artists portray in their work? What will form the basis for the values, strength, and resilience of future communities?
Dance performance “The Windiest Day We’ve Ever Had”
25/05/22 6pm-7.30pm. The square in front of the Latvian National Museum of Art
A workshop run by choreographer Kristīne Brīniņa followed by a collective dance performance “The Windiest Day We’ve Ever Had”.
Launch concert for “OSTINĀCIJAS”, the new album by “Sigma”
25/05/22 8pm. The Art Academy of Latvia, K2 wing
Discussion “Communities in Latvian Literature”
26/05/22. 6pm-7.30pm. Osiris TELPA and online
A discussion about communities in Latvian literature. Chaired by the literary scholar Ilva Skulte, with the participation of the authors Ieva Melgalve, Inga Gaile, Artūrs Punte.
Launch concert for “OSTINĀCIJAS”, the new album by “Sigma”
26/05/22 8pm. The Art Academy of Latvia, K2 wing
Poetry recital “The Café of the World”
27/05/22. 7pm. Willa Theater, Stabu str. 18c, Riga
With the participation of Ukrainian poets Kateryna Kalytko (Катерина Калитко), Iya Kiva (Ия Кива) and Halyna Kruk (Галина Крук), Norwegian poet Morten Langeland, German poet Norbert Lange and Latvian poet Lauris Veips, as well as translators Elvīra Bloma, Māris Salējs, Ingmāra Balode, Dens Dimiņš and Kristaps Vecgrāvis. A drinks kiosk will be run by the artist Darya Melnikova.
In collaboration with Versopolis
Poetry picnic “Marriage to the City: Re:”
28/05/22. 2pm. Rainis and Aspazija museum
A walk will take place in the native district of poet Linards Tauns, where Ilmārs Šlāpins, Lote Vilma Vītiņa, Marija Luīze Meļķe, Evelīna Andžāne, Roberts Vilsons, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Elvīra Bloma, Ligija Purinaša, Anna Belkovska, Emija Grigorjeva, Aivars Madris, Linda Gabarajeva, Māris Salējs will be reading their interpretations of his poetry.
Prose recitals “Suddenly I’m in a Procession”
31/05/22. 7pm. The Art Academy of Latvia, K2 wing and online
Community-themed stories will be read by the Ukrainian writers Viktoria Amelina (Вікторія Амеліна) and Kateryna Babkina (Катерина Бабкіна), as well as Latvian authors Kristīne Želve and Rasa Jansone. After the recitals a discussion will take place about the Ukrainian writers’ fight for peace. The event will be chaired by the journalist Rita Ruduša.
“The Peace Talks” by the Preiļi Conceptualists
01/06/22. 7pm. The Žanis Lipke Memorial
At the event “The Peace Talks” the group of Preili Conceptualists will reflect on dehumanization, which affects the use of language and notions of the modern world during an ideological war.
An evening of LGBT literature
02/06/22. 5pm. The Rainis and Aspazija House
5pm. A discussion about LGBT literature in Latvia and Slovenia, hosted by the cultural theorist Deniss Hanovs
6pm-8pm. Readings by Latvian and Slovenian LGBT authors, with the participation of the translator Māra Gredzena
Latvian authors Ilze Jansone, Katrīna Rudzīte, Ausma Perons, Elīna Kokareviča and Kārlis Vērdiņš and Slovenian authors Suzana Tratnik, Vesna Lemaić, Brane Mozetič and Aljaž Koprivnikar will take part in the LGBT literary event.
In collaboration with Slovenian Book Agency, publishing house “ŠKUČ” and Latvian Literature.
Symposium and discussion “Tauns 100”
03/06/22. 5pm. The Art Academy of Latvia, K2 wing
A symposium of lectures by literary researchers, including Anna Auziņa, Viesturs Vecgrāvis, Anna Žabicka and Krista Anna Belševica. Hosts: literary critics Kārlis Vērdiņš and Artis Ostups.
A concert “Eternal Cloud”
03/06/22. 8.30pm. Concert Hall at Zirgu Street
Songs based on the texts of Linards Tauns will be interpreted and performed by the musicians Jānis Šipkēvics and Sniedze Prauliņa. The character of Tauns and his poetry will be revealed by the actors Kaspars Znotiņš and Kaspars Aniņš. The director of the concert: Māra Ķimele, scenographer: Andris Kaļiņins, lights: Nikola Suhareva.
The launch of the summer issue of the literary magazine “Strāva”
04/06/22. 7pm. Tallinn Street Quarter
The event will be hosted by Anna Auziņa, the editor-in-chief of the latest issue; the authors included in the issue will take part in the event.