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  • Inner survival
    a period of eight weeks numbered 430 000 100 000 were children under the age of 18 who died in the gas chambers These children never got a burial This year marked 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army At the commemoration in the camp this January 300 Auschwitz survivors attended As the Holocaust fades out of living memory it is worth raising the question should the Holocaust be allowed to fade into the past to let the wounds heal or should society keep hold of it as a lesson for the future Nemes has a clear answer It s an open wound and you can feel it he said in a recent interview People tend to say that it is just another story about the Holocaust like another story about the Titanic some kind of mythical thing No it s not just another story For us it s the present not a myth That motivated us to make it we wanted to make it present Nemes holds back however in areas where some filmmakers have gone further in terms of more galling graphic scenes He gives the viewer a blurry impression of Saul s four months labouring in the gas chamber Though Nemes has included the usual methods of brutalities inflicted within Nazi camps any horrifying images and actions were always set in the backdrop of Saul s individual struggle They were never allowed to dominate the forefront of the screen The atrocities are only caught at the periphery of the frame only suggested in out of focus blurred and filtered imagines and diffused simple lighting caught in the rawness of the noises in the off screen sounds both hideous and terrifying By clinging to his quest to bury the body of a boy who

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/inner_survival/ (2016-02-13)
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  • “Pocket” full of sunshine on a cloudy day
    is an evolution of the progressive dense folk fusion music that fans enjoyed so much originally the first track Forget Me Not might surprise some people It features violins from the former members of string trio Midrid and a much more conventional melody than we are used to from Odd Hugo In fact it might well be the closest they come to Nick Drake s lush sound on Bryter Layter I think it just came together Rando reflects The Midrid girls agreed to play on it and we just went in the studio without really rehearsing and they just figured out something to play I remember when we were recording and the violins were playing I got this really nice feeling The penultimate song Naked Under the Sun is another standout track from Pocket Beginning with a single insistent piano chord Rando and Oliver s harmonies flesh out a narrative about travelling touring and meeting new people The ukelele joins and the build up is gorgeous sustained and languid Was the track from a place in reality or fantasy That s a question Rando reflects This is a recycled song from all over the place I guess The European tours are referred to I think it was a walk down memory lane with our past travels and a nice idea that you might stand on the corner and play ukelele while some German guy comes up to you and says hey that s a ukelele and it makes people happy This is more of a fantasy but I m pretty sure it has happened Not to me on a corner in Berlin but it s happened to someone Oliver jumps in I think we were playing in Berlin at one point because our manager said so and it s the kind of thing bands do but it felt a bit weird It didn t have the right vibe for us Having toured Europe extensively Odd Hugo have built up constituencies in a variety of countries They have to think in which touring destination their music was best received Funnily enough it s not Latvia and it s not Lithuania It might be Holland but the local bands say that Holland s music market is hard to get into I think the most fun we ve had is in Germany Both members prize spontaneity above obsessive planning as Oliver recalls We recorded Forget Me Not with the violins it sounded perfect Then we went back a month later to try and record Pocket Polaroid and a few others and we thought this is shit Sometimes if we practice more it doesn t work Their model of a modern musician at the peak of his powers in spite of their idolising of Jack White and Andrew Bird is Damien Rice with both Rando and Oliver having been blown away by his performance at a festival in Ireland That was really really cool says Oliver Rando adds when people see us perform they

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/___pocket____full_of_sunshine_on_a_cloudy_day/ (2016-02-13)
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  • A legend of Latvia’s Jewish community celebrates his 90th birthday
    considers to be his major life achievement was initially intended to be a living memorial to the Latvian Jewish community most of whom had died during the Holocaust Later however the focus was broadened to include the whole of Jewish history in Latvia a rich and diverse history that spans almost five centuries The first permanent exhibition unveiled in 1996 was a sensation though it was not without controversy in Latvian society which had been slow to come to terms with the fate of Latvia s Jews during the Second World War Today the museum is run by Latvia s Jewish community and has a collection of more than 15 000 units it is visited by up to 10 000 people a year The museum has also become a key part of Riga s cultural life a focal point for exhibitions concerts and lectures as well as being an important academic institution in its own right Without the tireless work of Vestermanis it is uncertain how much of the museum s work would have been possible For his endeavours he has been awarded the prestigious Herbert Samuel Prize for having educated others to develop historical veracity and tolerance as well as an honorary doctorate from the Latvian Academy of Science He has also been honoured with Latvia s highest award the Order of Three Stars In a show of respect and admiration Latvia s State Secretary Pildegovics the ambassadors of Austria Israel Hungary and Germany attended the latest award ceremony on Sept 18 which took place at the University of Latvia in Riga Vestermanis noted that he greatly appreciated receiving the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Award on his 90th birthday and heartily thanked the Austrian Ambassador Vestermanis himself however thinks his work is anything but complete There is still a long

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/a_legend_of_latvia___s_jewish_community_celebrates_his_90th_birthday/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Made in Japan
    in no time The festival s patron is the Lithuanian Minister of Culture Sarunas Birutis who believes without doubt this project will inspire Lithuanian and Japanese creatives to collaborate and find new forms of creativity within their respective cultures According to Grigorjev the reason for hosting a MADE IN JAPAN festival is that over the last eight years he has noticed a growing Japanese interest in Vilnius and Lithuania He said if you ask people what they know about Japan it d be Sumo Sake Geishas Karaoke Anime and Cosplay these are all traditional or pop culture items There isn t much known about Japanese contemporary culture The project aims to present contemporary arts and industries It s an opportunity for Baltic people of the Baltic States to gain inspiration and get fresh and useful contacts for future endeavors It is also important for Japanese creatives to discover the resourcefulness of the Baltic States he continued I ve talked with quite a few marketing specialists from Japan and for them the Baltic region is mainly unknown and that s what makes it unique and likable It s something we can use to our vantage point The event is funded by the Foundation for Support of Culture of Lithuania and the Japanese Embassy in Lithuania Japanese private entities operating in Baltic region are also sponsoring the project The newly appointed Japanese Ambassador to Lithuania Toyoei Shigeeda stated 2016 will be the 25th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Lithuania I believe this festival would be a great contribution for further development of the relationship between Japan and Lithuania on a grassroots level he said As a result of the festival he added he hopes there will be an increase in Lithuanians taking an interest in Japan and Japanese products and culture The Ambassador further noted the involvement and investment of the Japanese company Hitachi in Lithuania In 2011 the multinational conglomerate was selected as a strategic investor for a new nuclear power plant to be built in Lithuania This project will bring not only a nuclear power plant itself but also gross direct indirect economic benefits in the region he told the Baltic Times Key benefits are the improvement of energy security low carbon energy and increased price stability We have also examined the benefits of employment the development of nuclear skills supply chain opportunities for local companies plus infrastructure development and development of human resources According to numbers from the Lithuanian Bureau of Statistics the number of Japanese tourists visiting Lithuania was 10 079 in 2013 and 14 526 in 2014 The Ambassador believes the number will continue to rise in 2015 In 2014 the number of Lithuanian tourists visiting Japan was 2 345 Further information on the Made in Japan Festival is available at the website www madeinjapan lt The first Japan Baltic Design Week MADE IN JAPAN runs from Oct 21 27 Comments Related Articles Vilnius gets vision Gingerbread Mania 2015 Latvian State Choir launches ambitious project

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/made_in_japan/ (2016-02-13)
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  • ARTS & EVENTS GUIDE
    about the eclectic nature of piano music in the 19th 20th and 21st century and to introduce people to the sound planets of Beethoven and other composers each of which has its own unrepeatable orbit Alongside the Steinway Sons piano on the Spikeri stage will be a harmonica a squeeze toy a toy piano and other tools of sound that have little to do with the piano as such but may have been derived in their day from the popular black and white keyboard instrument SATURDAY FEB 20 The Sound of Music 12 00 LNOB Normunds Vaicis conductor Concert Performance Education For the Family Gypsy Tunes concert 15 00 LNOB The LNOB Gypsy Ballads programme is built on two things works by Roma composers and works by prolific academic composers that were inspired by the rich tradition of Roma music Composers who have drawn on the magical folk art of this ancient and nomadic people include Liszt Brahms Bartok Sarasate Kreisler and of course the performers themselves JOSE CARRERAS A LIFE IN MUSIC 20 00 Riga Arena Skanstes iela 21 The legendary Tenor A Life in Music final world concert tour MONDAY FEB 22 SCORPIONS 19 30 Riga Arena Skanstes iela 21 WEDNESDAY FEB 24 ViennaClassics Beethoven and Schubert 19 00 Riga Small Guild Hall G Abele cello G Wyss piano Beethoven Schubert Brahms Webern ESTONIA THURSDAY FEB 11 Cardillac opera 19 00 Estonian National Opera ENO Paul Hindemith FRIDAY FEB 12 La Bayadere ballet 19 00 ENO Ludwig Minkus Paris La Belle Epoque 19 00 Tallinn Estonia Concert Hall 1st concert of the CITY LIGHTS series ENSO chamber ensembles Poulenc d Indy Roussel Francaix Stravinsky SATURDAY FEB 13 Aida opera 19 00 ENO Giuseppe Verdi Black Nights Wine Festival 14 00 Tallinn Nordic Hotel Forum Viru valjak 3 Try popular and rare wines from the Old and New World SOUND and LANGUAGE Saariaho Festival Mirrors 17 00 Tallinn Kanuti Gildi Saal Until 14 Feb 20 40 The festival will feature the music of Finland s most renowned contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho and works by Estonian composers Arvo Part Juri Reinvere and Helena Tulve Musicians from Estonia and abroad including A Savall soprano harpist Spain C Hoitenga flautist USA SUNDAY FEB 14 Saariaho Festival LONGING 16 00 Tallinn Kanuti Gildi Saal Pikk 20 Saariaho Reinvere Saariaho Festival PLAY 17 00 Tallinn Kanuti Gildi Saal Saariaho Tulve Concert series The Ringing Masterpieces in Kadriorg The concert introduces Konstantin Korovin s painting Poem 17 00 Tallinn Kadriorg Palace Olga Zaitseva soprano Siim Selis piano Alyabyev Glinka WEDNESDAY FEB 17 La boheme opera in four acts 19 00 ENO Giacomo Puccini THURSDAY FEB 18 Medea ballet 19 00 ENO Gianluca Schiavoni Music Stravinsky Schnittke Dead Can Dance FRIDAY FEB 19 Cardillac opera 19 00 ENO Paul Hindemith Attention Percussion Festival Percussion Plus 2016 19 00 Tallinn Estonia Concert Hall 4th concert of the ESPRESSIVO series PEDRO CARNEIRO percussion Estonian National Symphony Orchestra Paul Magi conductor Kozlova Johannes Clues premiere Psathas Djinn Wallin Tides

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/arts___events_guide_213677866756bbbbd8aa3cd/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Estonia: A nation shaped by the sea
    as a maritime country Most of the events have been mainly organised for the Estonian public and the Ministry has put 200 000 euros towards funding the programme But it is expected that tourists will be interested in the bigger events of the summer The biggest events will be the annual Tallinn Maritime Days taking place from July 15 to 17 and Kuressaare Maritime Days on the island of Saaremaa in August There will also be coastal trips from April to October to port and harbour towns and villages across the north and west of the country Experts will speak about the role of the sea in each area and how it has shaped the way of life of the people who live there There will be local handicrafts food and local music and dancing Most tours will be in Estonian Speaking at the launch culture minister Indrek Saar said The nation has its own history and culture and the sea has played a big role in this The sea is not just the water around us but it is part of our culture our identity work food and education and traditions I hope that the Maritime Culture year brings us all closer to the sea both directly and indirectly Every year the Ministry of Culture chooses a theme for the year s events It made 2015 the Year of Music To find out more about this year s events visit http merekultuur ee Comments Related Articles Gingerbread Mania 2015 Latvian State Choir launches ambitious project for nation s centenary Latvian Radio Choir Celebrates Rainis and Aspazija in Nationalist Concert Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles ARTS EVENTS GUIDE The Capital of Empty Spaces Dealing with the shrinking of the

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/estonia___a_nation_shaped_by_the_sea/ (2016-02-13)
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  • ‘The Capital of Empty Spaces’: Dealing with the shrinking of the Great Baltic City
    Rubenis assure me was dealt with and the woman was pacified In fact by the end of the week she told them she would be sorry to see the Swiss leave even though she didn t understand anything they were saying Not everyone connected with Riga s development shares the organisation s optimism however Urbanist Janis Kinasts describes himself a placemaker and has been involved in a number of projects in Riga over the last few years including the co working space DarbaVieta and Nebetja who are in their own words consultants for urban planning and creative design But he s recently moved from the capital to Cesis a pretty country town about two hours journey north About his former home he says in a slightly wounded tone there s something very broken about this city Over the next hour he tells me about his frustrations which seem to largely stem from a belief on the part of those in power in Riga in the return of the vertiginous growth of the early years of the previous decade which was fuelled by a housing boom at points during which the average value of property doubled year on year And it s not only the boom years that exert a hold over Riga s planners according to Kinasts he maintains that despite Latvia s fierce opposition to Communism and their forced Soviet heritage the box ticking quantity over quality mentality encouraged by the previous regime remains prevalent We still use Soviet era planning methods simplifying stuff thinking spatially not socially thinking functionally not in time thinking in the short term His ire is particularly drawn by the government s focus on building vast new structures as an apparent spur for development singling out the Southern Bridge a wildly over budget project that took 10 years to complete and the new National Library of Latvia building over the river as examples as well as the continuing construction of areas of housing All the things that we are willing to have here bigger malls bigger skyscrapers bigger developments For whom Kinasts says that the city is very unlikely to recover its former population but that this is not necessarily a problem it is the use made of it that is important Speaking of temporary use he says that people like Free Riga are up against an inflexible way of thinking about space What you do with abandoned property you don t do anything you wait for investment There have been previous high profile occasions of temporary use in Riga however and one particularly key example took place in a building that did more than perhaps any other to fire Riga s growth to make it the preoccupied bustling city seen in Baltie Zvani VEF Valsts Elektrotehnika Fabrika roughly State Electrical Factory was founded in 1919 at the very start of Latvia s first period of independence but was expanded massively by the Soviets when Latvia and Riga became synonymous in a certain area with high quality electrical products development dynamism The first Soviet mass produced transistor radio the Spidola was a VEF product and by the 1960s two out of every three phones produced in the Soviet Union came from VEF But released onto the world market after the restoration of independence VEF found it hard to compete and in 1999 it was split into a number of smaller companies only three of which still exist The cluster of buildings at the scrappier end of Riga s central thoroughfare Brivibas iela were left derelict including its bizarre calling card a sandpaper coloured Roman arch crammed structure adorned with a statue of Prometheus But in 2005 Kaspars Lielgalvis a Riga based artist began to use one of the former VEF buildings as a workshop for a decoration business he was running at the time When the building was sold he relocated to the abandoned second floor of a larger warehouse building part of the same complex after renovation of the windows and flooring had been completed artists began to move in and within two years there were 15 studios In 2008 Lielgalvis started to organise exhibitions and workshops for artists in different buildings of the factory and in 2011 the art centre took the name Totaldobze Totaldobze became known throughout the country for the exhibitions concerts and poetry readings held periodically in the vast former VEF hall although there was a cut off point just before the winter due to the impossibility of heating the space adequately The art centre left the factory at the end of 2013 as an explanation Lielgalvis mentions his desire at the time for a location closer to the centre but also says that the landlord s decision to increase the initially very low rent apparently in response to the project s success made it very hard to continue especially given the great expense of heating the space Totaldobze has recently run projects in Estonia and Spain and in the coastal Latvian city of Liepaja but as of the moment of writing is still looking for a new home in Riga The Preses Nams Press House a huge upright grey slab across the river was considered but the cost of renovation was found to be prohibitive The VEF complex is now largely empty although many of the artists who moved in during the Totaldobze days retain their studios Lielgalvis tells me of vague plans afoot to turn the area into a cultural quarter along the line of Spikeri a recently renovated pedestrianised and scrubbed up warehouse district poking into Maskacka hosting a blend of museums art spaces and shiny restaurants Lielgalvis says that the centre attempted to support itself by running a bar during events and received periodic funding from the Latvian Cultural Capital fund and once annually from the city council when Totaldobze took place at Balta Nakts White Night festival He placed some hope on Riga s stint as European Cultural Capital They were always mentioning this

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/___the_capital_of_empty_spaces_____dealing_with_the_shrinking_of_the_great_baltic_city/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Italian: Riga’s Casa Nostra restaurant
    feeling you are in Italy not Latvia People who visit Casa Nostra feel they are becoming part of a meaningful experience Becoming part of our culinary movement but also becoming part of a public discourse in Riga through the cultural nights which we organise He points out that one of the dining areas is equipped to hold business events centered around the dining experience and various social events like the teaching of Italian language courses In reviewing Casa Nostra I came prepared as one also holding a rich Italian culinary tradition Cooking and food was not a passion for my Italian parents it constituted their way of life I felt a similar spirit at Casa Nostra Introduced to new olive varieties and tempted into ordering a white lasagne with walnuts interspersed between the pasta sheet layers topped with truffles I was also treated to one of the finest Sicilian wines I ve consumed Without doubt it was one of the most exquisite Italian dining experiences I can recall It brought me right back to our trip to Sicily and dining at the foot of Mount Etna What one takes away from the city of Catania and the region is the sense of awe and respect in which the local inhabitants speak of Mt Etna The 3000 Mt Etna is spoken as iddu him in a manner which makes one think that a family member is being spoken of The volcano is venerated and yet feared Eruptions has turned this region around Catania into one of the most richest agricultural regions of Italy in which in an extremely fertile soil vines and citrus fruits thrive said Sandra Sandra jokingly adds that she read that Mt Etna being likened to an enormous house cat that quietly purrs awakening every now and then it yawns stretches lazily and accidentally paw at this or that valley destroying towns gardens and vineyards This is a volcano of risk and geology but moreover culture and myth once stated an Italian writer There are also several wines characterized by Volcanic soil from the region of Mt Etna and Catania said Adriano The volcanic soil of the region has high levels of potassium which in conducive to the wine products final quality The grapes from the region around Mt Etna have high potassium hence are sugary What potassium in the soil does is that it assists in the development of the leaves helping to carry nutritional elements around the entire grape plant For many wine producers in Sicily geology is of utter importance in wine production to obtain the prestigious DOC classification stated Adriano A Sicilian wine marked DOC is produced in a specific well defined region in Sicily according to defined wine making rules that are designed to preserve local traditi The rest of the menu is also devilishly tempting including pizza a huge and impressive Italian antipasti buffet traditional pasta dishes such as Amatriciana and Caccio e Pepe Lasagna Ravioli and main dishes such as Saltimbocca

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/italian__riga___s_casa_nostra_restaurant/ (2016-02-13)
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