Honouring the 25th anniversary, the Latvian Institute has released a Facebook application “The Barricades” which allows everyone to learn more about the events that unfolded 25 years ago and get a general feel of the overall atmosphere of those tumultuous times.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Barricades – a non-violent protest campaign which took place in Riga and several other towns across Latvia in January, 1991. The events of those fateful January days are a prime example of the tremendous courage and solidarity Latvians felt as they were striving to restore their country’s independence.
After Soviet forces had brutally clamped down on protestors in Vilnius on January 13, hundreds of thousands of Latvians took to the streets protesting the aggressive and unwarranted attacks on peaceful demonstrators. Fearing a similar scenario in Riga, the Popular Front enjoined people to erect barricades around government buildings and other strategically important locations. During the next couple of days the barricades and thousands of unarmed guards proved to be an indispensable defence against the Soviet forces. Clashes, however, were not deterred and 7 people died and over 14 were injured in the days following the construction of barricades. Their sacrifice was not in vain as the soviet forces failed to undermine the independence movement and just two months later a referendum was held in which people, regardless of their ethnicity, overwhelmingly supported independence.
On August 21, Latvians made the final push and passed a Constitutional Law declaring Latvia a de facto independent democratic republic.read_more
Aiva Rozenberga has been confirmed for the post of director of the Latvian Institute by government on January 12. She will begin work on March 1.
Aiva Rozenberga currently is the spokeswoman of Latvia's outgoing Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma. From 1998 to 2007, Rozenberga worked as President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga's press secretary and the head of the presidential press service. In 2008, she took a position on the project of Rīga as the European Capital of Culture and headed the “Riga 2014” Foundation. During her career, Rozenberga has held a position of the press secretary of the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration and an adviser for the workgroup on the celebrations of Latvia’s 90th anniversary. She has also worked as a journalist at “Latvijas Radio” and as its special reporter in Estonia.
In 2007, she studied at the ZEIT-Stiftung Bucerius Summer School on Global Governance for young leaders. Aiva Rozenberga holds a Master of Arts degree in Humanities from the University of Latvia.
National Film Centre of Latvia together with the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union has compiled a comprehensive Latvian film collection. It consists of 70 classical and contemporary films divided thematically between 25 DVDs. The selection makes up the most important pages of the history of Latvian cinematography. The compilation is distributed to embassies of Latvia abroad, providing Latvians abroad with an access to the mentioned films.
The Latvian Institute in cooperation with Inspired Digital has prepared an interactive application for the official Facebook page of Latvia, what will contribute to promoting Latvian cinema in other countries. The application is a test that shows which Latvian film character is the most similar to you. Furthermore, the application lists the embassies of Latvia that hold the aforementioned collections of selected Latvian films. Feel free to try the test yourself via the following link: http://ej.uz/Latvian_Film_Collection
Latvian Institute and the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia in cooperation with Giraffe Visualisations Group and Foundation Rīga|2014 have prepared a virtual tour through the former KGB Headquarters in Rīga.
A total of eighteen 360 degree panorama photographies show different scenes from the edifice, which is considered to be among the most symbolic testaments to the Soviet occupation of Latvia (1940-1941, 1944-1991). The tour additionally contains explanatory texts, photographs and videos.
The local and international popularity of the historical exposition by the Museum of Occupation together with the six exhibitions by the Foundation Rīga|2014 made the KGB Building the most visited object of the Rīga – European Capital of Culture 2014 programme.