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|Starpnozaru mākslas grupa SERDE|
Interdisciplinary Art Group SERDE [en]
Atmodas iela 9
Tel.: +371 29 81 71 80
Fecha de creación: 2002
- oral traditions and expressions
- identification, documentation,
research (including inventory-making)
The Interdisciplinary Art Group SERDE is an NGO, which seeks to develop the regional and international collaboration between different cultural fields, organizations and professionals. SERDE’s activities create dialogue between arts, science and education, which includes organizing residencies, workshops, expeditions and publishing thematic notebooks, among other things. Developing regional and international cooperation among culture and arts organizations and individuals from various sectors are also in the core of SERDE’s activities.
Since 2005, SERDE organizes fieldworks and expeditions to document practices, skills, stories in different communities in Latvia. Since 2008, SERDE has collaborated with the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO, organizing several folklore studies and expeditions for UNESCO-associated school teachers and youngsters. All the documented materials later is publishes in the SERDE's series of books «Notebook of Traditions».
SERDE is one of the more visible NGO in Latvia who organizes residencies for artists and culture workers, produces various culture events and works in the culture heritage field. SERDE's residencies centre is located in the historical centre of Aizpute – one of oldest town of Kurzeme, and the centre's building complex (~1500 m2) is an unique example of wood and red-brick architecture in Latvia built in the 18th century. The residency centre was started in collaboration with Aizpute municipality and State inspection for Heritage protection of the Kurzeme region with the aim to protect and restore this unique house complex.
SERDE is a co-founder and member of the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations for Contemporary Culture and has a good network among and with other contemporary art and culture organizations in Latvia.
SERDE has three Members of the board – the Chairman of the Board is Uģis Pucens who is ceramic artist and restorer and practically develops SERDE's historical house complex research and restoration processes; Vice chairman is Jānis Zvirgzds-Zvirgzdiņš who is sculptor and sculptor teacher in art college and has works as co-restorer in SERDE. The Member of the board Signe Pucena is the researcher of the traditional culture, artist and producer who is responsible for international affairs and programs.
SERDE has active members – researchers Ieva Vitola and Una Smilgaine, artists Kārlis Alainis, Mārcis Bendiks, Māris Grosbahs, Egons Baranovs, manager Ance Ausmane and restorers Jānis Tolpežņikovs, Ingus Briedis, Didzis Golubovs, Armands Ausmanis.
SERDE members Ieva Vitola and Signe Pucena was involved in Latvian expert group on 2014, for Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and in the framework of Subsidiary Body prepared the resolutions about the nominations for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. SERDE members Ieva Vitola and Signe Pucena had worked in experts commission in the State Culture Capital foundation and was involved in the development of Latvian Intangible Cultural Heritage Law.
On 2005 SERDE artists began to collaborate with researchers of folklore and traditional culture in response to the perceived loss of important living practices and memories. This activity included fieldwork/expeditions to rural areas of Latvia to investigate traditions—maintained from generation to generation—and to collect stories about recent history still preserved in living memory. The gathered materials were published by SERDE in a ‘Notebook of Traditions’ book series (currently 14 books although the process is ongoing) in which two distinct themes emerge: the preservation of living practices and the preservation of stories/ memories.
'Preserving living practices' includes memories and practical skills referring back to the day-to-day Soviet Era in which consumer products were not readily available and had to be home-produced or collected from nature. As research objects we chose vodka and beer production, pig slaughtering, and foraging in the forests and meadows (this includes traditional medicinal knowledge). We included contributors from different rural areas in Latvia, all of whom were active practitioners of specific skills passed down from parents or grandparents and preserved throughout the Soviet Era.
The 'Preserving stories' books are dedicated to memories gathered from various communities. A principle theme here relates to the Second World War, for example the 'Narratives about Jews in Aizpute' were gathered from people who were children and young adults in Aizpute at the time of the Holocaust. 'Closed Zone' is a collection of memories of inhabitants of seaside villages which were military zones and closed to the general public. Another book deals with the experiences of an Old Believers community and 'Suiti Stories' is themed around the Latvian refugees who escaped to Gotland in Sweden.
The principal method employed by SERDE is fieldwork/expeditions, inviting specialists of folklore/living culture, artists and students to the chosen rural areas. The folklore specialists compile questions and organize the interviews whilst artists document the environment, processes and people. The gathered audio interviews are later transcribed and together with colour photo documentation are designed by artists and printed in book form. Public events are held to celebrate the book publication including a presentation of the book and additional hands-on workshops with reconstruction of old recipes or storytelling events in which the local community are invited to publicly recount their personal stories. Our experience shows that workshops often attract visitors who also wish to share their knowledge and a younger generation who are eager to learn, hence a transfer of knowledge and preservation of skills continues to take place.
SERDE believes its preservation practices are important and vital because knowledge is slowly disappearing for a variety of reasons such as new regulations and laws concerning food and drink production, the development of consumerism in Latvia and generational change. Activities like fieldwork and expeditions which culminate in presentations and workshops for the community in which the knowledge was gained “safeguard the intangible cultural heritage” and “raise awareness at the local, national and international levels of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage..” (UNESCO)
SERDES's creative and innovative approach to cultural heritage work was recognised with the Latvian Folklore Grand Prize in 2007 and local history nomination on 2015 of national poet Imants Ziedonis foundation “Viegli”.
SERDEs experience in the preservation of intangible culture heritage is based on close collaboration with communities and individuals who are willing to share their stories and skills. Usually the community members we find with the help of local history museums, local libraries, interest clubs or local history enthusiasts. After each research what was done in certain community, SERDE organizes the public event to present the gathered and published material. These events usually strengthens the community members and raises positive energy.
In national level SERDEs activities in culture heritage field is supported and patronize by State Culture Capital foundation (support for documentation, publications and workshops) State inspection for Heritage protection (patronize for restoration), Latvian National Commission for UNESCO (expeditions with UNESCO schools; Baltic Way stories), Latvian National Culture centre (collaboration for the methodology guidelines for beginners in cultural heritage preservation).
Internationally SERDE's projects and performances what is strongly connected with Latvian traditions was shown in art and culture festivals in Finland (Helsinki “Kiasma” and Tampere “Herbologies-Foraging networks”), Germany (Duisburg “ISEA” and Berlin “Ueber-lebenskunst”), Switzerland (Friburg “Belluard Bollwerk” and Bern “Auawirlieben”), Sweden (Oland “Art&Agriculture” and Stockholm “Supermarket Art Fair”), Lithuania (Klaipeda “Šakotis” and Nida “ResArtis meeting”) and Estonia (Tallin “Art Depo”).
|World Ethnosport Society|
Visku iela 13-13, Riga, LV-1057
- social practices, rituals and festive
- identification, documentation,
research (including inventory-making)