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Riga Photomonth 2019 coming up in May

The annual photography festival Riga Photomonth will take place from 13 May until 16 June offering 11 exhibitions and various public events, such as artist talks, guided tours and film screenings. One of the events – the portfolio review, taking place during the festival opening days on 16 May, is still open for worldwide applications. This year the reviewers include Kati Kivinen from Kiasma in Helsinki, Berndt Arell from Fotografiska in Stockholm, Markéta Kinterová from Fotograf Gallery & Magazine & Festival in Prague, Malcolm Dickson from Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow, Olga Osipova from Bird in Flight Magazine among others. Visit the festival website for application details.

Photo by Viacheslav Poliakov

This year’s festival theme Eating Pineapples on the Moon was inspired by a student essay from 1960, written in in one of Kuibishev’s elementary schools in Soviet Russia, in which she describes her idealized and utopian vision of communism in 1981. The exhibition has emerged from thinking about an era in which we have realised that not only we have experienced everything, and most of us are sceptical about the great visions of the past generations who dreamt how to make the world a better and more beautiful place, but we have also realised that disappointment in politics, religion, society, and collective truths has not brought any new common understanding of the meaning of life. Utopian future scenarios from the past have not experienced an apocalypse, and thus it cannot be said that we are living in the ruins of the past failures. Instead, utopian visions of the past have sunk into the ideas of corruption, bureaucracy, kleptocracy, populism and national romanticism. Everything has ended without even having started and we have all willingly become the half-truths of social networks and the citizens of the global village overwhelmed by procrastination. The main exhibition of the same title will be held at the Museum of Occupation of Latvia and will include artists such as Mathias Lovgreen (Denmark), Karolina Wojtas (Poland) and Viacheslav Poliakov (Ukraine) among others, who turn to various collective utopias within the discourse of post-democracy ideas. During the festival opening days (15-18 May) various events will take place, such as an open-air projection of the shortlisted projects from the open call, guided tours and artist talks, as well as openings of solo exhibitions by young Latvian photographers, such as Eva Saukāne at the Museum of Architecture and Elīna Semane at bar Čē, as well as internationally renowned artists, such as Martin Kollar (Slovakia) at ISSP Gallery, Andreas Meichsner at the Latvian War Museum and Marija Kapajeva (Estonia/UK) at the Latvian Museum of Photography. In the following weeks the festival will also offer solo exhibitions by Jari Silomaki (Finland), Jānis Deinats (Latvia) and Iveta Gabaliņa-Vaivode (Latvia) as well as topical lectures by sociologists and media critics at the Museum of Occupation.