Emerging local artists: Alberto di Gennaro, Linda Krūmiņa, Lauma Žubule (Riga, Cēsis / Latvia)
Community: Young men from the Educational Institution for Minors in Cēsis
Residency place: New Theatre Institute of Latvia
Practice: performing arts, installation
International collaborators: Common Wealth Theatre (UK)
Curated by: Sandra Lapkovska
During the third year of the MagiC Carpets platform and in response to the unforeseen circumstances in Europe and around the world, residency projects for international artists were relocated, cancelled or adapted inviting local artists to implement projects with the local communities. The first residency project that NTIL implemented was “Svidanka”.
“Svidanka” was an outcome of five months, eighty skype conversations and one-month live workshop period, implemented by the creative team – director Alberto Di Gennaro, dance dramaturg Linda Krūmiņa, non-formal education practitioner Lauma Žubule and producer Sandra Lapkovska, who worked together with youngsters from Cēsis Educational Institution for Minors (CAIN). Evie Manning and Rhiannon White from the Common Wealth Theatre in UK also joined the team remotely, sharing their knowledge of their work with communities, advising and assisting with the dramaturgy of the production. During those months, Mārtiņš, Cigans, Semanuels, Rafaels, Liepājnieks, Roberts, Kaspars, Pushkin, Jautrais Andris and Pēteris through conversations, discussions, moments of silence and laughs and through a lot of Q&A sessions, shared their life stories with the team.
At the moment, they share one physical space, but the stories of growth and unanswered questions about time inside, outside, before and after the institution, are very individual for each of them.
From September 2 to 6 as part of the International Festival of Contemporary Theatre “Homo Novus” at the Science and Art Centre “Brūzis” in Cēsis audience members were invited to listen to their stories and for a short bit of time, in a special dramaturgically and scenographically designed meeting space “Svidanka”, to get to know this community of ten boys a little bit better. During the five days of the installation, this intimate space, created for one audience member at a time was visited by 85 people. They were invited to listen, watch, answer the boys’ questions and at the end – send a letter to the boys. It was a place that might have helped someone to dismantle an invisible wall or build a bridge between strangers – one from the inside, and another from the outside.
In addition to the ‘live’ meeting space, an online “Svidanka” website was created, where one could get a broader view at the theme that was discussed, and activities implemented during the project. It also featured more stories from the boys – svidanka.wordpress.com
On September 5th, in cooperation with conversation festival “Lampa”, an online meeting with participants – “Svidanka with guys about and around scars” took place, during which attendees were able to talk to the boys about their life, stereotypes and other questions that arose.