Border-crossing in art and research, folk oratorio and more than 80 research papers presented within the international research conference "Culture Crossroads XIII"


For 4 days in the autumn of 2019, from October 29 to November 1 the Latvian Academy of Culture is organising the 13th annual international research conference in the field of culture and arts „Culture Crossroads”, which will incorporate several unique events, including a folk oratorio at the National Library of Latvia, international day with world renowned researchers, plenary session with local artists and field experts, who will present their best practices and research results on the various forms of interaction between research and art, as well as break-out sessions with more than 80 research papers presented in nine parallel sessions. The conference is organized by the Latvian Academy of Culture.

The conference will be launched by the premiere of the folk oratorio ‘Rivers of our Being’ on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at the Ziedonis Hall of the National Library of Latvia (3 Mūkusalas Street, Riga, Latvia).

The folk oratorio is composed by the Latvian composer, researcher and ethnomusicologist prof. Valdis Muktupāvels and produced by the Latvian Academy of Culture with performance by the mixed choir of the Latvian Academy of Culture “Sōla” led by the Latvian conductor Kaspars Ādamsons. The oratory is a striking example of border-crossing and interaction between research and art, which is also the main topic of the conference this year.

The performance, drawing on European folk musical traditions, is the representation and also the interpretation of the research results of the international research project CoHERE. Critical Heritages: Performing and representing identities in Europe with 12 partners including the Latvian Academy of Culture involved in the research process. Prof. Valdis Muktupāvels has thus entwined his research findings into an innovative form of artwork – a folk oratorio ‘Rivers of our Being’. During the event another research result of the project will be presented – the monograph ‘Heritage and Festivals in Europe. Performing Identities’ published by Routledge and including research articles by prof. Rūta Muktupāvela, prof. Anda Laķe and principal investigator of the LAC Research Centre Baiba Tjarve.

The International Day of the conference will take place on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at the main hall of the Latvian Academy of Culture (24 Ludzas Street). During the international session of the conference researchers from all over the world will share their methodological insights and research-based experiences on synergies between art and research, thus initiating the theme of ‘Border-Crossing: Research-based Art and Arts-based Research’. Among the presenters visitors will be able to hear rector of the Latvian Academy of Culture, Prof. Rūta Muktupāvela (Making sense of art-related research: rationalization and realization), Dāvis Sīmanis (Recovering of Historical Trauma: Practical Research in Film), Dace Melbārde (Research at the interface with Song and Dance Celebration) and Andris Teikmanis (Future of Artistic

Research). Partners from the international research project CoHERE: Prof. Chris Whitehead, Gönül Bozoğlu Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh will also be present in the conference, as well as other international researchers and artists, such as stage director Davide Giovanzana and Ramune Baleviciute from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. The working language of the day is English.

The Plenary Session of the conference will take place on Thursday, October 31, 2019 at the main hall of the Latvian Academy of Culture (24 Ludzas Street) dedicated to research-based art and arts-based research.

The Opening Speech of the Plenary Session will be delivered by the Vice-Rector for Research of the Latvian Academy of Culture Anda Laķe. Visitors will have the opportunity to hear field experts, such as, Vice-Rector for Creative Work of the Latvian Academy of Culture Elmārs Seņkovs, stage director Laura Groza-Ķibere, film director Jānis Ābele, curator of the exhibition "Emoji poetry" Elvīra Bloma together with the artists Vika Ekste, stage director and choreographer Linda Krūmiņa, Head of the MA programme of the Art Academy of Latvia and the project manager of the exhibition ‘Academia’ Antra Priede, Mārtiņš Gulbis and Vladislavs Šavlovskis from the Science Theatre, Valdis Bernhofs and Jachin Pousson from the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, researcher of the Latvian Academy of Culture Ance Kristāla and Iveta Ķešāne, project manager for the drama camp ‘Plays for the county of Madona’ Līga Ulberte, Evarts Melnalksnis from KVADRIFRONS, The Plenary Session will be concluded with a discussion ‘The Falsification of Truth in Art and in Life’. Presenters of the Plenary Sessions are invited to explore the diverse forms of interaction and synergy between arts and research, either based on theoretical concepts (artistic research, arts-based research, art as research, social art, etc.), or based on their cultural, artistic and creative experiences. The session will also be translated live online.

The Break-out Sessions of the conference “Culture Crossroads XIII” will take place on Friday, November 1, 2019 at the Theatre House of the Latvian Academy of Culture “Zirgu Pasts” (46 Dzirnavu Street). More than 80 researchers and practitioners in the field of culture and arts will share their research findings, conclusions and suggestions in nine different sessions: Sociology of culture, Cultural education, Culture and Media literacy, Culture in Digital and Social Media, Performing Arts, Folklore Studies, Ethnology, Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Heritage and Heritage Institutions, Culture Management and Leadership, Cultural Policy, Culture Economics, Creative Entrepreneurship and Creative Industries, Audiovisual Art. Wanted: Aloizs Brencs, Cultural and Intercultural Communication and the Significance of Language in Culture, Visual and Fine Art, Literature and Translation.

At 13:00 in the Karamazov Hall participants and visitors of the conference are all invited to attend the presentation by the New Riga Theatre actor Vilis Daudziņš titled ‘Poetic Research’. At the end of the day a seminar will hosted by the postdoctoral researcher Maija Spuriņa "Should a researcher of humanities know how to use their computer?" For more information visit:

The conference is organized within the fundamental and applied research project ‘Community Participation in Cultural Heritage Governance: Practices, Developments and Challenges’, project No. lzp-2018/2-0280.

Entrance in all events of the conference is free of charge.