The question “Who am I?” is simple for as long as one doesn’t dwell into it. Similarly, it is simple and straightforward to be a Latvian while you are living in the land of your ancestors. However, the tumultuous historical events of the 20th century and the new economic opportunities of the 21st century have led hundreds of thousands of Latvians to leave their native country, and to establish new lives abroad. The reasons for setting off to foreign lands have been many. During the Second World War, Latvians sought refuge from persecution and physical annihilation by the Soviet regime. In recent times, they have emigrated to further their education, achieve professional growth, improve their economic well-being, or simply to seek new life experiences. Living outside of Latvia, it is not possible to automatically retain one’s Latvian identity. Being Latvian becomes a choice. Initially, it is the parents who make the choices about their children’s identity. After attaining adulthood, the choice becomes the children’s and theirs alone. Who am I, and what do I wish to be?
What does it mean to be a Latvian outside of Latvia? How can one spot a Latvian in a crowd of people outside of Latvia? How does one’s identity and affinity with Latvia evolve while living outside of one’s ancestral land for years and even decades?
This exhibition is based on the work that the Latvians Abroad - museum and research centre has conducted to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of the Latvian diaspora. Notwithstanding the large number of Latvians who have left their country over the past century, little in Latvia is known about the life experiences of diaspora Latvians. Latvia’s 100th anniversary is a good reason for Latvians from all over the world to get together and create a common WE space.
Venue: Art space Civita Nova
Organised by: "Latvieši pasaulē - muzejs un pētniecības centrs" sadarbībā in cooperation with Great Amber
Opening hours: M.-S. 10-19, Sunday 10-15