Let's start the new year with new research: a special issue of the journal ''Letonica'' has been published
We are pleased to announce that the 43rd issue of the journal Letonica has been published with a focus on the disciplinary history of folkloristics and related fields through the theoretical approaches of post-socialism and post-colonialism. The issue includes five articles – four of them are by Latvian researchers: Toms Ķencis, Anete Karlsone, llze Boldāne-Zeļenkova, Rita Grīnvalde and Rita Legčiļina-Broka, and they are joined by Ukrainian scholars Pavlo Artymyshyn and Roman Holyk. The issue is in English, on open access and is available here.
The guest editors of the issue are Toms Ķencis and Digne Ūdre.
The 2022 conference of the ISFNR Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming 6–9 September 2022, Riga (Latvia)
More about the conference: http://www.isfnr.org/files/ChChCh.pdf
Conference venue: National Library of Latvia
Mūkusalas street 3, Rīga
Abstract submission: https://ej.uz/ChChCh2022
This year, with the support of the SCCF programme "KultūrELPA", the Archives of Latvian Folklore (ALF) has digitised and processed VHS cassettes. We are starting with the release of the oldest video material from the 1980s! Today, we publish around 300 videos on the ALF YouTube channel, featuring traditional music as well as folk tales and stories. A large part of the material consists of stories and songs by Anna Brauna from Mālpils, Alma Makovska from Vandzene and Olga Pommere from the parish of Ļaudona. We invite you to watch Anna Brauna's story about Christmas presents in her childhood at the beginning of the 20th century.
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This is the eleventh book in the "Folklore of the Regions" series, but the first book of fairy tales. All the tales were recorded in Vandzene from the oral narration of the storyteller Alma Makovska (1922-2004) between 1987 and 2003. The book contains 84 tales. She heard them in her childhood and youth from her father, her father's brothers, her mother, also at school and from local storytellers. Her native tradition of storytelling has been preserved over several generations.
The online exhibition "Events in Riga". It consists of 29 examples of narrative folklore and 38 photographs illustrating events that once took place in the city. The selection of texts from the Latvian Folklore Repository of the ILFA was made by Rita Grīnvalde. She is also the author of the photographs.
A virtual exhibition "Sign Parks in Latvia". The exhibition documents a relatively recent tradition, specific to Latvia. Sign parks are specially designed areas in nature where large-scale environmental objects - ornaments - are installed alongside the natural environment in a man-made landscape. The origin of the tradition is closely linked to the mythological interpretation of Latvian ornament - signs are perceived as visual representations of deities and other mythological concepts, which in turn allows the development of the idea of the beneficial effect of signs on their users. Sign parks are one of the most creative testimonies to the popularity of the tradition today. The images and text of the exhibition are created by Digne Ūdre, researcher at ALF.
Before the national holiday, the President of Latvia Egils Levits and the Chapter of Orders have decided to award 60 people with the highest Latvian state honours for special merits in the service of the Latvian state. Four scientists of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia were appointed officers of the Order of the Three Stars - Dace Bula, leading researcher, head of the Culture, Society and Environment Research Department, former director of the Institute and head of the Archives of Latvian Folklore, as well as Elga Melne, Beatrise Reidzāne and Māra Vīksna, researchers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore.
From 20 to 23 October, the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) will host the third symposium of the research group "Music and Dance of the Slavic World" in Poznan. It opened with a presentation by ethnomusicologist Ieva Tihovska, UL ILFA researcher, on "Folk definitions of traditional music and folklore: A study of Latvian Slavic ensembles". The paper is based on a field study conducted by the researcher with Slavic ensembles that have categorised themselves as 'traditional music' in the Latvian National Culture Centre's shows. Given the stylistic diversity of the performances of these ensembles, which goes beyond a narrow understanding of traditional music, the researcher explored popular perceptions and motivations for associating themselves with this category.
The Krišjānis Barons Conference "Folklore and Awakening" took place from 28 to 29 October. This year, the conference was dedicated to the attitudes of folklore and awakening, as well as to the analytical assessment of the actions of personality, society and political power in the context of the Third Awakening.
The conference was attended by 16 speakers from various Latvian universities and research institutes. Plenary presentations were given by Guntis Šmidchens (University of Washington, Seattle, USA) and Valdis Muktupāvels (Faculty of Humanities, University of Latvia), focusing on the evaluation of folkloristic research and personal experience during the period of the Awakening.
More about the Krišjānis Barons Conference and its history here.
Within the framework of the project "Urban Experiences: Narratives, Memory and Place Heritage", researchers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore collect stories of Pārdaugava residents. On a cool and sunny Saturday, September 18, Una Smilgaine and Ieva Tihovska met with Jumpravsala gardeners Rasma Griņa, Aija Zīle, Aigars Zemīte, Valērijs, Gunārs, and Gatis. The talks were about the arrangement and significance of the garden ("If you are very stressed about something, put your hands on the ground", "help the children, give each one a box of tomatoes"), about the history and future of Jumpravsala gardens, about the anxiety and addiction on the lease of gardeners, on flooding, thieves and concerts, on the incompatibility of pears and junipers, on beetles eating pigeons, the possibility of keeping a horse, the celebration of Midsummer and birthdays, assistance and organized help. We visited the Aija garden, where a two-meter-long lily grew this year, and the oldest garden houses in Jumpravsala, built in the 20th century 40s.
Celebrating the 100th anniversary of two folklorists – Rita Drizule and Boris Infantjev - the Archives of Latvian Folklore (ALF) has created a new digital exhibition space and published extensive exhibitions dedicated to these scientists. In the new exhibitions, you can read stories about the life and research of Drīzule and Infantjev, go on a picture walk, listen to excerpts from interviews and follow the links leading to further reading. More about exhibitions in Latvian here.
Exhibition Rita Drīzule – 100.
Exhibition Boris Infantjevs – 100.
The new ALF exhibition space is part of the project "Provision of Diverse Traditional Cultural Content in the Digital Environment", which has received funding from the SCCF's target program "KultūrELPA".
On September 10, within the project "Urban Experiences: Narratives, Memory and Place Heritage", the project participants and other researchers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore got to know Dzirciems, Iļģuciems, and Dzegužkalns. We also looked at old buildings that have survived in small streets from the end of the 19th century, carefully restored and almost lost houses, places related to the lives of important people, Nordeķi manor and park, former cinema "Ilga", Riga St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, which was once a warehouse and cinema, but now an ascetic church with a wonderful garden, as well as the highest mountain in Riga - Dzegužkalns. We ended the walk with the narrators Māra and Juris Vīksna, where we heard stories about the building built in 1911, as well as its inhabitants and life in the neighborhood.
The event gallery can be viewed here.
The team of the digital archive of the Archives of Latvian Folklore invites those interested to the first virtual meeting on September 24 at 11:00 on the ZOOM platform to share with the example of music collector Voldemārs Stelbergs how garamantas.lv can help bring to life important folklore contributions in the regions. In the second part of the seminar, we will practically try how to use garamantas.lv more conveniently.
More information in Latvian.
September 22, 2021 at At 15.00, the fourth audiovisual seminar "Method under the Christmas tree: oral history" organized by the LU LFMI Archives of Latvian Folklore will take place online. The seminar will be led by oral history researchers Ieva Garda-Rozenberga and Māra Zirnīte.
More information in Latvian.
A series of audiovisual seminars is organized in the Latvian Science Council project No. lzp-2020 / 2-0315 "New Approaches to the History of Latvian Folklore".
Three LU LFMI researchers - Aigars Lielbārdis, Agita Misāne and Guntis Pakalns - participate in the 18th International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR) Congress "Encountering Emotions in Folk Narrative and Folklife", which is held in Zagreb, but takes place online from September 5 to 8. The congress is dedicated to emotions in folk tales and traditional culture.