LV Latviski

Kurls un mēms, bet rēķinus ved. (LFK 1001, 493)

Commerce and Traditions

14th Conference of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group

3–6 June 2020, Riga (Latvia)

Theme

The impact of product marketing is visible in everyday life, including a wide range of traditions and festivities, which have lately become highly commercialized. In marketing terms, the values of traditional culture are considered "products" to be branded, marketed and sold. We have all experienced the pre-Christmas gift buying madness and have visited souvenir counters at major historical sites and cultural venues in different countries, each promoting their "brands". Historically, annual church markets, fairs and pilgrimages attracted people from great distances, providing opportunities to buy, sell, and trade durable goods in addition to food and drink required by pilgrims and merchants. Additional items, such as religious symbols, protective objects, and healing substances were available much as in modern souvenir shops. The means for advertising such objects for sale were, at that time, limited. Today advertising and marketing campaigns appear everywhere. Many people protest against what they perceive as excessive commercialization of their favourite secular or religious festivals. However, marketing practices attract larger crowds and help to preserve and popularize traditions that might otherwise be lost. Commercialization has made the sale of traditional crafts financially viable, preserving them for future generations. Thus, it is possible for craftspeople to continue practicing their traditional arts and crafts. Not only have the traditional artisans benefited, but religious institutions have witnessed an increase in income, which is needed to maintain the facilities visited by the growing numbers of visitors. New forms of commercialization of rituals with the developing practices of creating new festivals and making them local tourist brands can be seen in many geographical areas.

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Knut Djupedal’s Guest Lecture

A guest lecture by Norwegian researcher Knut Djupedal is expected at the Archives of Latvian Folklore on August 14, 2019. Mr. Djupedal’s lecture is entitled “World View, Culture, and Folklore.” The lecture will discuss the relationship between these three concepts. At the end of the lecture, Mr. Djupedal will discuss some of the practical uses that an education in folklore – in his experience - can provide when studies are finished, a degree is achieved, and a living must be made.

Knut Djupedal (b. 1948) has recently retired from a 27-year career as director of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, near Hamar, Norway. Previously, Djupedal, who has an M.A. in History from the University of Oregon, USA, and a Magister Artium in Folkloristics from the University of Bergen, Norway, worked as Research Associate with the Norwe­gian Re­search Council for the Humanities (NAV­F), on pro­jects con­cerning Norwegian emigra­tion and return migra­tion. He also served as Temporary County Cultural Conserva­tor in Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway, and lectured at the Universities of Bergen, Oslo and Stavanger, and The Hamar University College of Education.

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How to Facilitate Cooperation between Humanities Researchers and Cultural Heritage Institutions

Our leading researcher Sanita Reinsone is one of the authors of the newly published report How to Facilitate Cooperation between Humanities Researchers and Cultural Heritage Institutions. Guidelines, edited by Maciej Maryl and Klaudia Grabowska from the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. This report is the outcome of a hands-on workshop awarded funding by the DARIAH Theme Grant 2017 and organised in the project ‘Facilitating Cooperation Between Humanities Researchers and Cultural Heritage Institutions’ which is implemented by the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and Creative Commons Polska.


'Visions and Traditions – Knowledge Productions and Tradition Archives' is the winner of the Brenda McCallum Prize

We are very proud and happy, that the book 'Visions and Traditions – Knowledge Productions and Tradition Archives' is the winner of the 2018 Brenda McCallum Prize, for works of excellence and innovation that further the cause of preservation, organization, curation, or enhanced public access and use related to folklife archival collections:

"We congratulate the authors and editors on a work the Committee agreed was forward-looking, cutting edge, and tightly focused on centralmatters of folklore and folklife archiving, history, theory, and practice. Committee members also saw the work as propelling folklore archives into the modern era of disciplinary shifts by claiming a firm foothold in academic conversations accessible to archivists, folklorists, and folklore-archivists. It also offered numerous interesting case study examples for contemplation."
– American Folklore Society / Archives & Libraries Section Prize Committee

Among the editors and authors are our leading researchers Rita Treija and Sanita Reinsone.


Sing with the Archives

Dziedi ar arhīvu

On 15th of February the Archives of Latvian Folklore launches a creative crowdsourcing campaign "Sing with the Archives". Its aim is to popularize the archival sound recordings and explore contemporary interpretations of traditional music. The digital platform http://dziedi.garamantas.lv invites to listen to the archival songs, to add their cover versions to the old recordings and to vote for the new versions.

How did traditional music sound long ago and how does it sound today? The project invites you to learn some new songs from the Digital Archives of Latvian Folklore and sing, record, arrange, compose, and upload your own 'cover versions' to the Archive's audio collection. The selection of recordings complied for this campaign includes a rich variety of songs in terms of content, style, origin, and language – everyday songs and mythological songs, joyful songs and sorrowful songs, folk songs and popular songs in Latvian, Livonian, Belarussian, Russian, and Romani. All regions of Latvia, as well as Latvian villages in Siberia and Bashkiria are represented in the selection. The oldest recordings were made in the 1920s and 30s, and the newest are from the beginning of the 21st century.

The crowdsourcing campaign is organized within the framework of the project "Empowering knowledge society: interdisciplinary perspectives on public involvement in the production of digital cultural heritage" (Project No.: 1.1.1.1/16/A/040).


Tour de CLARIN: Interview with Sanita Reinsone

Tour de CLARIN highlights prominent User Involvement (UI) activities of a particular CLARIN national consortium. This time the focus is on Latvia and Sanita Reinsone, a leading researcher at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art at the University of Latvia. The interview was conducted via Skype by Jakob Lenardič.

CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure) is a research infrastructure that was initiated from the vision that all digital language resources and tools from all over Europe and beyond are accessible through a single sign-on online environment for the support of researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

You can read the interview here.


Joyful Holidays!

Joyful Christmas and a successful New Year 2019!

Photo by Sandis Laime, Siberia 2004.


Monograph on Anna Bērzkalne

Anna Bērzkalne

Rita Treija's study "Anna Bērzkalne" (Rīga: Zinātne, 2018; 304 pp., ill.) has been released by the publishers "Zinātne". The new book is the fifth publication in the series "Folkloristikas bibliotēka" ("Library of Folkloristics") issued by the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the university of Latvia. The monograph is in Latvian, but an extensive English summary is provided.

Anna Bērzkalne (1891–1956) was an important figure of interwar period Latvian folkloristics and also one of the most educated women of her time. She was a dedicated folksong researcher and the founder of the Archives of Latvian Folklore (1924) which she led during the first five years. As with many other intellectuals of 1920s and 1930s, her name was silenced during the Soviet times. Only in the 1990s, after Latvia had regained its independence, was Anna Bērzkalne's professional legacy reintegrated into the disciplinary historiography. Over the past few years, her performance in folkloristics has been studied with greater diligence through several research projects carried out by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia.

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History, Memory and Archives: Sensitive issues

The "History, Memory and Archives: Sensitive issues" (http://www.llti.lt/en/events/) was a conference dedicated to the Centenary of Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and ultimately also Poland. It was the interim conference for the SIEF WG on Archives, in collaboration with the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore and the Nordic-Baltic Tradition Archives Network. More than 30 presentations analysed the ethical, sensitive and delicate issues in archival research and folklore research and publications in general. The Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art was represented by Baiba Krogzeme-Mosgorda (The Memory Album Collection in the Archives of Latvian Folklore: Creation and Presentation), Rita Treija (Personal Archives to Build a Disciplinary History), Māra Vīksna un Elvīra Žvarte (Diaries in the Archives of Latvian Folklore), Justīne Jaudzema (Interpretation of Archive Materials: Making a Song Repertoire), Elīna Gailīte (The Role of Harijs Sūna in the Development of the Choreography Genre at the Archives of Latvian Folklore) and Sanita Reinsone.

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A New Book in the FF Communications Series

The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters in the Folklore Fellows' Communications series has released its book No. 315, "Visions and Traditions. Knowledge Production and Tradition Archives". This volume contains 18 scholarly articles that in various ways discuss the political, methodological and ethical aspects of how tradition archives have been – and are – involved in the production of knowledge (see the contents). The book was prepared by international editorial team: Lauri Harvilahti (Finland), Audun Kjus (Norway), Clíona O'Carroll (Ireland), Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch (Finland), Fredrik Skott (Sweden) and Rita Treija (Latvia).

Among the authors, there is Sanita Reinsone, leading researcher of the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia.

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A New Project of Disciplinary History: Latvian Folkloristics (1945-1985)

With the funding of Latvian Council of Science, ILFA launches a two-year long research project on the disciplinary history of folkloristics after World War II. Following the long term research strategy of the Institute, it extends the previous successful research grant funded by the Latvian Council of Science – study dedicated to Latvian folkloristics in the interwar period. Reflecting on current disciplinary legacy, the project’s team simultaneously considers the development of Latvian post-war folkloristics both in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic and within the Latvian exile community.

Through simultaneous and joint research of both historical directions, the project is designed to generate and disseminate novel insights into Latvian post-war folkloristics, based on a variety of methodological approaches. Read more...


Focus of the Year: Traditions and Power

Traditions and PowerOrganized by the Archives of Latvian Folklore, the annual scientific conference commemorating the Father of Latvian Folksongs, Krišjānis Barons, was held on last two days of October. Critically celebrating the Centenary of Independent Republic of Latvia, the multidisciplinary conference was dedicated to relationships between traditions and power, with an emphasis of less-researched years of the Soviet occupation (1944-1990). The conference featured 20 presentations, including also a plenary lecture on "Traditionality and the Language of Ontological Insecurity" by sociologist Mārtiņš Kaprāns and a guest lecture from Estonian researcher Ave Goršič titled "Presented by the Fourth Estate: Folklore and Traditional Culture as a Tool for State and Ideology".

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Lecture "Collection and dissemination: digital archival strategies"

Audun Kjus and Fredrik Skott will deliver a guest lecture entitled "Collection and dissemination: digital archival strategies" at the Archives of Latvian Folklore of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia (ILFA) at 3 pm on Tuesday, 16th october 2018.

Digital technology is opening new possibilities for tradition archives, both for disseminating old materials and for collecting new documentation. Fredrik Skott and Audun Kjus have been leading the development projects www.sprakochfolkminnen.se/sagenkartan, matkult.se and minner.no. They will share experiences and insights from these projects (both success and failure) and discuss pros and cons of different digitalisation strategies.

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Reflecting on Disciplinary Ethics in Folkloristics

Reflecting on Disciplinary Ethics in Folkloristics

The International Conference of Young Folklorists titled "Reflecting on Disciplinary Ethics in Folkloristics" will take place in Riga (National Library of Latvia), September 19-21, 2018. The 2018 conference is the 8th of its kind. Previous ones have been held in Estonia or Lithuania. This is the first time when this event that aims to foster academic collaboration and communication in the field of folkloristics, inviting students, recently graduated scholars, and anyone who considers themselves to be a young folklorist to present their research, and it will all happen in Riga, Latvia. The topic of the 2018 conference invited contributions to address the questions of ethics in folkloristics.

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Journal "Letonica": on Tradition Archives and More

Letonica 36

In June 2018, the 36th issue of the interdisciplinary scholarly journal "Letonica" was published. This peer-reviewed journal is indexed in "Scopus", ERIH PLUS and EBSCO, and its contents are available online.

A year ago, the International Council on Archives’ Section on University and Research Institution Archives (ICA-SUV) held its annual conference in Riga. The conference, "Cultural Heritage Materials–University, Research and Folklore Archives in the 21st Century", was organized in cooperation with the National Archives of Latvia and the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. Its main focus was on the folklore archives and archival methodology regarding intangible cultural heritage. One of the key topics of the methodological and intellectual debate was the new standardization in archives, the Records in Contexts conceptual model.

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