Riga Photography Biennial 2020. Discussion ‘Contemporary Culture Festivals & Urban Development’

24.09.2020. 18:00. The discussion has been moved to online format.

A dynamic and diverse culture is undoubtedly an indicator of a healthy urban environment and certain quality of life. And yet, creating and experiencing art is often still considered a bonus, failing to recognize the role of culture in the socio-economic development of a city. The discussion will focus particulary on city-based international arts and culture festivals.

What is the short-term and long-term significance of these festivals and the relevant organizations in the development of the city? It is easier to see in smaller cities like Cēsis, Kuldīga and Bauska, where festivals have benefited local entrepreneurs and municipalities and stimulated infrastructure development, adding new facets to the city’s image at home and abroad and thus facilitating the growth of tourism and even increases in population. The Latvian capital also hosts a number of festivals of contemporary art and culture, enriching the cultural life of the city and giving a new lease on life to neglected buildings and quarters, stimulating economic growth of certain services and businesses, and raising the profile of Riga globally. To what extent is this contribution and potential studied and considered in urban development strategies?

The discussion aims to highlight these questions in the context of the role and potential of contemporary cultural festivals in urban socio-economic growth and development of urban identity, focusing on the Latvian capital but also considering a comparatively wider perspective. The panel will include representatives of local governments and festivals from Riga, Cēsis, Estonia and Poland.

Language: English. The discussion has been moved to online format.

Riga Photography Biennial 2020 programme: www.rpbiennial.com 

Participants: Atis Egliņš-Eglītis (LV), Liene Jurgelāne (LV), Inga Lāce (LV), Kadri Lind (EE), Marta Michalak (PL), Guntars Ruskuls (LV)
Moderator: Jonas Büchel (DE/LV)
Curator: Elīna Ķempele (LV)
Organizer: Riga Photography Biennial
Image: Andrejs Strokins. From series ‘Cosmic Sadness’, 2014 – 2019

Partners and supporters: State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council, Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council, Exhibition hall ‘Riga Art Space’, Adam Mickiewicz Institute (PL), Embassy of the Republic of Estonia, Rixwell Hotel, Lux Express, Printing house ‘ADverts’, Arterritory, LSM, Satori, Punctum, Newspaper IR, Literatūra ir menas (LT), Latvijas Radio, Radio NABA