LV Latviski

Slimiem vajaga ārsta, bet veseliem darba. (LFK 1493, 3463)

New Study on Latvian Verbal Charms

The publishing house of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art (University of Latvia) recently published Aigars Lielbārdis' monograph “Latvian Charms. Texts, Traditions, Contexts”.

With this study author proposes to look at our past, cultural heritage, and aspects of language and identity through the lens of a single tradition, focusing on the different contexts and cultural and socio-economic processes that have shaped the content and form of the charm tradition in the past and create a demand for alternative medicine in today’s society. The object of this research is Latvian charms, charming and healing traditions, and the various contexts that shape and influence these texts and traditions: religious, social, cultural, institutional, personal, research, etc. The study is in Latvian with an extensive summary and translation of the introduction, conclusion, and closing remarks into English.

The author is a Latvian folklore researcher whose scholarly interests are related to folk and vernacular religion, the verbal charms, visual ethnography, and folk music. The book has been prepared within the post-doctoral project of the European Regional Development Fund "Digital Catalogue of Latvian Charms" (No. 1.1.1.2/ VIAA/1/16/217) and published with the financial support of the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.


Explore Latvian Folk Songs on public transport in Riga

In the Autumn, 2024, the 13th volume of the academic publication "Latvian Folk Songs" will be released, marking the culmination of nearly 70 years of effort by multiple generations.

This milestone will make accessible to the public over one million Latvian folk songs preserved in the archives of the Latvian Folklore Archive.These folk songs were gathered subsequent to the initial comprehensive publication of Latvian folk songs at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, known as

"Latvian Dainas" (approximately 219 000 texts), which was compiled by Krišjānis Barons. Together these publications provide a comprehensive portrayal of the human life in folk songs tradition for more than a century.

To commemorate the completion of the "Latvian Folk Songs" publication and the 100th anniversary of the Archive of Latvian Folklore, the Archive of Latvian Folklore, in collaboration with "Rīgas satiksme," invitates to explore Latvian folk songs. These songs have been an integral part of Latvian life for centuries, reflecting daily routines and festivities. They had played a unifying role during the 19th-century formation of the Latvian nation. Furthermore, folk songs were source of cultural identity during Latvia's journey towards independence, providing resilience against foreign oppression.

Throughout 2024, thematic selections of folk songs will be displayed on screens in Riga's public transport changing every week, coordinated with festivities, commemorations, and other events of social significance. We encourage everyone to learn at least one folk song this year!


"Folklore and Ethnology in the Soviet Western Borderlands" has been published

"Folklore and Ethnology in the Soviet Western Borderlands", edited by ILFA senior researcher Toms Ķencis, Simon J. Bronner and Elo-Hanna Seljamaa, has been published by Lexington Books.

Thirteen international scholars assess the profound impact of Soviet-era movements to study, apply, and perform folklore as a priority in socialist policy-formation and culture-building. Representing generations who lived through and after Soviet occupation, they reflect on the consequences of state-supported promotion of folk arts in a region called the Western Borderlands that include Baltic countries, Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Belarus, Romania, and Hungary. In their incisive analyses, authors present original archival materials as well as ethnographic data to understand colonialist support for bottom-up folklore movements and resistance to them. Capping the volume is a timely consideration of Soviet orchestration of folkloristic work on present developments in conflicts of Russia with its neighbors and alignments with Western folkloristics and ethnology.

ILFA researchers have contributed to several book chapters – Toms Ķencis wrote the introduction "Introduction: The Analytics of 'Socialist in Form, National in Content' in the Soviet Western Borderlands" and the chapter "Folklore and Nationalism in the Soviet Western Borderlands"; Digne Ūdre the chapter "Ideological Tuning of Latvian Folk Ornament"; Gatis Ozoliņš "The Dievturi Movement under the Soviet Regime", and Elīna Gailīte "The Influence of Soviet Authority on the Formation of Latvian Staged Folk Dance".

More.


Archives of Traditional Culture: 100 + 10






ARCHIVES OF TRADITIONAL CULTURE: 100 + 10

International Conference

Riga, Latvia

October 29-31, 2024

Approaching its 100th anniversary, the Archives of Latvian Folklore (1924), in close cooperation with the SIEF Working Group on Archives and the SIEF Working Group on Cultural Heritage and Property, invites contributions for an international conference addressing a diverse range of issues related to present and future of the archives of traditional culture. The centenary is, of course, a good reason to look back and take stock of what has been done, to understand how the histories of archiving have developed in different countries. But what we would like to do even more at this conference is to assess current situations and to look ahead, say, to the next 10 years.

What is the state of play in archiving and maintaining archives of intangible cultural heritage (in Europe and elsewhere)? What could the near future of tradition archives look like? What can we expect with certainty? What major research and infrastructure projects are planned in the archives? Do the next few years look optimistic for individual archives as well as their networks, or the other way around? What challenges lie ahead of us (legal, ethical, technological, of values)? What new archiving solutions can be offered? What can we learn from the past?

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19th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research


The 19th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR) will be hosted by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art (ILFA) at the University of Latvia in Riga from June 17 to 21, 2024.

The theme of the congress is "Folk Narratives in the Changing World". The ISFNR Folk Narrative, Literature, and Media Committee, Belief Narrative Network and Charms, Charmers and Charming Committe will be holding their sessions within the congress. For more information see the Call for papers.

To apply for participation in the congress, please fill out the form available at this link. Participants are kindly asked to submit an abstract for their planned presentation (length up to 300 words). Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of discussion. The deadline for congress applications is December 15, 2023.

ILFA's oldest department, the Archives of Latvian Folklore, will celebrate its centenary in 2024. The congress, taking place during the summer solstice period, will be one of the centennial celebration events. For more information about the congress proceedings, application, and registration, please visit the congress homepage.


Lois Kalb’s Lecture on Mass Housing in Riga

On 17 May 2023, Lois Kalb will visit the ILFA and give a public lecture, “Uncommonly Modern: Property, Intimacy and Mass Housing in Late and post-Soviet Riga (1970-2000)”. Lois Kalb is a PhD researcher at the history department of the European University Institute in Florence. She is interested in the urban political economy of late Soviet mass housing districts. Her current project lays at the intersection between history and anthropology and looks at the changing relations between forms of property, intimacies and social life of mass housing districts in Riga over the course of the late Soviet period and the transition period of the 1990s.

In this lecture, she will present parts of her current PhD project on mass housing and urban social change in late and post-Soviet Riga, over the course of the 1970s, 80s, and 1990s. “I look at the transforming dynamics between large-scale political and economic processes, the urban built environment and everyday social life. By looking at different aspects of mass housing districts, such as housing maintenance and repair, housing distribution and family life, I search for emergent property relations.” The lecture will put forward some tentative findings of what such property relations can tell about the post-socialist transition in Riga, about housing privatization and people’s everyday lives becoming more private over time.

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The 12th International Conference of Young Folklorists

The 12th International Conference of Young Folklorists "Beyond the Field: Fieldwork in the 21st Century" will take place from 13 to 15 September 2023. Since 2010, conferences have been held alternately in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, and in 2022 for the first time in Finland. It brings together young researchers in the field from the region.

Students, recent graduates and all those who consider themselves young folklorists are invited to participate. Please send a topic proposal and abstract (up to 350 words) by 1 May to rigayofo@gmail.com

Conference working language: English.

The 12th International Conference of Young Folklorists is organised by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia,The Archives of Latvian Folklore.

Read more: here

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​CANONICAL AND NON-CANONICAL IN CHARMING TEXTS AND PRACTICES (6-9 September, 2022)

The Archives of Latvian Folklore (Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art) in collaboration with the ISFNR "Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming" is organising an international conference

CANONICAL AND NON-CANONICAL IN CHARMING TEXTS AND PRACTICES,

which will take place on 6–9 September 2022 at the National Library of Latvia.

Theme

At various times and in various societies, there have existed, alongside the texts and practices based on the canons of science and religion, other unofficial but widely practiced traditions. The traditions of charms and folk medicine feature traits of both 'high' cultures and peripheral otherness, in practices that have interacted over time. Historically, their co-existence has often been peaceful and complementary, though at times violent as well. Traditions practiced by the masses could be banned and persecuted. This clash was based on the values of different cultures, religions, and ethnic groups, as well as economic considerations. At the same time, the antagonism between these values enriched tradition, whether that be the clashes between official religion and folk religion, permitted and forbidden medicine, correct and deluded texts and practices, or so on. Priests, monks and educated doctors have fought for the right to heal the people; church canons, prayers, and the cult of saints have influenced folk traditions; the development of conventional medicine has changed local traditions, while local conditions have determined the regional peculiarities of official religion and conventional medicine.

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An overview of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group conference "Commerce and Traditions"

The Archives of Latvian Folklore (ILFA) on 1–4 June at the National Library of Latvia hosted the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group annual conference Commerce and Traditions.

The conference focused on the relationship between commerce and traditional culture and to consider the changes commercialization has brought about – both positive and negative – in the past, as well as in the present. The conference invited researchers to focus on themes and issues that reveal the presence of commerce in traditional cultural practices; to examine the role of commerce in the preservation of traditions, including national, religious, and state festivals; and to analyze the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on festive traditions.

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The 14th Conference of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group "Commerce and Traditions" will take place on 1 – 4 June 2022, Riga (Latvia)

The theme of the conference is related to the impact of product marketing, which is visible in everyday life and a wide range of traditions and festivities. Historically, annual church markets, fairs and pilgrimages had provided opportunities to buy and sell. Amidst them, the items, such as religious symbols, protective objects, and healing substances were available much as in modern souvenir shops. In marketing terms, the values of traditional culture had been considered "products" to be branded, marketed and sold.

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.

The conference aims to investigate and evaluate the impact of marketing practices on traditions and rituals, and to consider the changes commercialization has brought about – both positive and negative – in the past, as well as in the present. The following topics will be discussed:

More information about the conference on homepage: http://en.lfk.lv/RY2022-commerce-and-traditions.


The #ScienceForUkraine initiative

The #ScienceForUkraine initiative is underway on Twitter Account @Sci_for_Ukraine. It is collecting information and tweeting about the help universities and research institutions offer to students and researchers from #Ukraine. Please use #ScienceForUkraine hashtag on Twitter to help us to find your tweet!

To join the initiative, please visit the website: https://scienceforukraine.eu/, where the latest offers for Ukrainian students and researchers appear. Also visit the Twitter account @Sci_for_Ukraine, which publishes help offers from different countries.

When reporting the offered help to the Ukrainian research community, please add as many details as possible: institution, discipline, funding (yes/no), free accommodation (yes/no), for how long, email address, link to the website. That would help a lot!

There are a variety of ways in which you can help and even the smallest support makes a difference. The listings collected in our database contain following offers (often a combination of them):

Please note that what we are collecting here are offers directed specifically to scholars fleeing Ukraine, not general calls or programmes where everyone else can apply.

The initiative was initiated by researcher Sanita Reinsone from the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. Read Yvan Pandele story on how initiative began "Meet the Latvian scholar rallying support for Ukrainian researchers".

#standForUkraineNow #RussiaInvadesUkraine #ScienceForUkraine

Commerce and Traditions. Conference

14th Conference of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group "Commerce and Traditions"

1 – 4 June 2022, Riga (Latvia)
Deadline for proposals – 25th February 2022.

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, craftspeople can 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.
Read more...

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.



CANONICAL AND NON-CANONICAL IN CHARMING TEXTS AND PRACTICES

The 2022 conference of the ISFNR Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming 6–9 September 2022, Riga (Latvia)

At various times and in various societies, there have existed, alongside the texts and practices based on the canons of science and religion, other unofficial but widely practiced traditions. The traditions of charms and folk medicine feature traits of both 'high' cultures and peripheral otherness, in practices that have interacted over time. Historically, their co-existence has often been peaceful and complementary, though at times violent as well. Traditions practiced by the masses could be banned and persecuted. This clash was based on the values of different cultures, religions, and ethnic groups, as well as economic considerations. At the same time, the antagonism between these values enriched tradition, whether that be the clashes between official religion and folk religion, permitted and forbidden medicine, correct and deluded texts and practices, or so on. Priests, monks and educated doctors have fought for the right to heal the people; church canons, prayers, and the cult of saints have influenced folk traditions; the development of conventional medicine has changed local traditions, while local conditions have determined the regional peculiarities of official religion and conventional medicine.
This conference aims to focus on canonical and non-canonical texts and practices, their coexistence and interaction over time. The conference also invites discussion on terminology and methodology of the discipline, analogue and digital resources, and future perspectives.

More about the conference: http://www.isfnr.org/files/ChChCh.pdf

Conference venue: National Library of Latvia Mūkusalas street 3, Rīga https://www.lnb.lv/en

Language: English

Abstract submission: https://ej.uz/ChChCh2022



VHS recordings from the Archives of Latvian Folklore are now available!

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.

Other storytellers and ensembles include Milda Kozule and Marija Kaviere from Laudona parish, Elza Cimdiņa, Augusts Cimdiņš and Marta Šūtele from Vecpiebalga, Emīlija Baumane from Lauciene, Ieva Bendorfa from Ventspils region, Anna Aigare and Klāvs Aigars from Nīca, Kristīne Upmale from Rucava, Upīte and Briežuciems ethnographic ensembles and others.

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