The annual international research conference “Culture Crossroads XIV” taking place for a whole week this year: call for applications for the break-out sessions of the conference


If you are interested in researching culture and art phenomena, you are kindly invited to apply for participation at the Latvian Academy of Culture (LAC) International Research Conference “Culture Crossroads XIV”, which will take place for a whole week:

02.11.-06.11., 2020. November 6 will be a Section Day, which will take place on November 6 at the LAC Theatre House Zirgu pasts to share research results, conclusions and suggestions. The deadline for applications to participate is October 11, 2020.

The Latvian Academy of Culture (LAC) International Research Conference will include several events, highlighting the most current cultural and artistic processes on a global and local scale. Venues: the Latvian Academy of Culture (Ludzas iela 24) and the LAC Theatre House Zirgu pasts (Dzirnavu iela 36). In parallel with the live events, the conference series will also be available – on the LAC Facebook page.

The plenary of the International Research Conference “Culture Crossroads XIV” will be held in the Latvian Academy of Culture (LAC) hall on November 2. It will be dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Latvian Academy of Culture with the title “Latvian Academy of Culture in Education and Arts”. The plenary session will disclose the achievements of the Latvian Academy of Culture, and its role in the higher education system in Latvia, its results in advancement of research and acquisition of new knowledge. The session will foster the discussion about cultural and art phenomena, as well as the role of the LAC in the development of the Latvian art space and cultural environment. The plenary session will end with presentations of the recent editions of the LAC research collections “Culture Crossroads” and “Culture and Art Research”. Working language – Latvian.

On November 3 an International Conference Day will be dedicated of “The Impact of Arts and Cultural Education: Arguments and Evidence”, which will take place online.

The framework of the conference includes analysis and highlights on the diverse contribution to arts and cultural education at the national, community, and individual levels. Researchers and industry professionals from different European countries and Latvia will share their experience and conclusions on the theoretical, practical and communicative aspects of art and cultural education. Working language – English. The International Day takes place within the framework of international network meetings: ENO (The European Network of Observatories in the Field of Arts and Cultural Education) and ACEnet (Network of European policy makers, civil servants and academics working in the fields of arts and cultural education).

On November 4 at, the International Forum “Modernism in Culture, Global and local succession strategies and approaches”, will take place from 10.00 – 16.00. It is dedicated to an important period of art development in Europe in the 20th century – modernism and the peculiarities of its trends and phenomena in art, architecture, literature, theatre, cinema and music in Latvia, and the global and local tendencies and challenges in the area of cultural heritage, its re-creating and interpretation. In the forum, academic and business experts will analyse controversial views on the manifestation of modernism in culture and art. At the end of the Forum Day discussion will turn to features of modernism in architecture and their significance in the context of cultural heritage.

Working language – English.

Dealing with November 5 at 10.00-16.00, the Baltic Drama Forum will take place at the LAC Theatre House Zirgu pasts, which will invite Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian performing arts theorists and practitioners to focus on the latest technological developments in theatre and different theatre viewing practices. A collection of articles, dedicated to the recent decade will be presented at the Latvian theatre, will be presented at the end of the Forum, at 16.30–17.30.

On November 6, the conference will take place in ten sections at the LAC Theatre House Zirgu pasts, at 9.00-18.00:

  1.  Sociology of culture and art; culture policies.
  2.  Arts education and cultural education.
  3.  Preservation of cultural heritage, rights, ethics, governance, pedagogy and communication aspects.
  4.  Performing arts.
  5.  Tangible and intangible culture heritage: folklore, ethnology, archaeology, cultural anthropology.
  6.  Creative industries and cultural management.
  7.  Audio-visual art. ‘’To be Juris Podnieks’’ (section time: December 4).
  8.  Intercultural communication, cross-cultural communication, intercultural communication and intercultural competence in Latvia and the role of language in culture.
  9.  Visual arts.
  10.  Literature and visuality.

 Working languages: Latvian and English

As part of the Baltic Drama Forum, the Performing Arts Section will start a discussion “Theatre and audience relations in the next 100 years”, assessing the future perspectives of the Baltic theatre.

Working language - English.

On 6th of November, the Riga Film Museum of the Latvian Academy of Culture will present a short film series “Stories of Objects” in the foyer of the ground floor of Zirgu pasts. Eight well-known Latvian experts will introduce viewers to the repositories of the museum. The guests will have an opportunity to see the work of

the cinema editing table and the camera, learn about the restoration of films, the way how the costumes are made for films and how the actors are chosen for the films.

Experts will talk about the treasures of the museum's collection: costume designer Keita, film director Janis Putnins, film scientist Inga Perkone-Redovica, film restorer Ruta Sudakova and others. The project was created with the support of the State Culture Capital Fund.

In order to apply for participation at a conference section  (November 6), please fill in the online application form at:

It is possible to apply for the conference by October 11 (included), 2020. We kindly ask you to attach your photo for the conference booklet. The Book of Abstracts will be published by the International Research Conference “Cultural Crossroads 2020”. The presentation time is 20 minutes (questions included). Participation in the conference is free of charge. Papers submitted to the conference will be peer reviewed. The programme of sections may change, depending on the contents of the abstracts.

After the conference, participants will be invited to submit their research articles for the peer reviewed collection of research articles "Crossroads: Research in Art and Culture" (assigned with an ISSN number) and/or “Culture Crossroads” (indexed at, ERIH+, EBSCO  and ULRICH’S databases,

The conference is organised and the conference materials are developed in accordance with the framework of the European Regional Development Fund project “Development of research at the Latvian Academy of Culture”, No 1.1.1. 5/18/I/017.

The organiser of the conference is the LAC Research Centre in cooperation with the Union of Theatre Staff, the Faculty of Pedagogy, Psychology and Art of the University of Latvia, the Latvian National Cultural Centre, the UNESCO Latvian National Commission, and the Ministry of Culture.

The focus of the research at the LAC is on interdisciplinarity in the study of cultural and artistic phenomena.  In the twelve-year history of “Cultural Crossroads”, the annual LAC International Research Conference acquires the status of a special event. Its multidisciplinary programme is attractive to experienced researchers, students, practitioners of culture industry. The annual programme allows us to implement the strategic goal of the conference: to develop a communicative platform for theoretical and applied approbation of the results of research in culture and arts.

The main mission of the conference is to publish the results of research on culture and arts issues, which are significant for Latvia, and to promote academic discussion on the role and social responsibility of the cultural, artistic and creative sector under the conditions of political, economic and demographic changes.

A particular challenge for conference organisers is the integration of research and creative activity in the study on cultural phenomena, especially at a time when researchers are talking about crossing the boundaries between arts and research and creating an ever-widening space for arts and research.

Recommended but not restrictive topics in the sections:

The main themes of the section: traditional and contemporary manifestations of cultural and artistic phenomena, their transformations in different societies, global and local cultural practices, diversity of cultural operators (state, municipalities, NGOs, business sector) and participation models, barriers to cultural inequalities and their manifestations, accessibility to culture, different audience segments, cultural needs, cultural consumption and forms of participation, cultural and artistic life in the media and the environment, specific features of research creativity, diversity of cultural and arts research approaches, and convergence of research disciplines in studies of culture and arts, diversity of methodology in culture and arts research, cross-discipline research in culture and arts studies. 

The place of culture and art in society, including the media, has always been complex, ambiguous and ambivalent. Both personal and individual freedom is rooted in community experiences. Researchers from various fields (culture, sociology, communication, media, arts etc.) are invited to present the results of their research on cultural and arts processes in society: cities and their suburbs, metropolises, countryside; their specific features in different communities and social groups. The conference will also dwell on the resonance of cultural and artistic events in the media; access to culture and audience satisfaction in the existing status of cultural performance.


Over the last two decades, there has been considerable evidence that arts, culture and education provide diverse benefits to children, young people and adults: fostering innovation capacity, creativity, collaborative and critical thinking skills, improving the mental health of individuals and promoting community cohesion.

In discussions on the role of arts and culture education, not only the benefits of personal development but also wider social issues, such as the social justice aspect, are increasingly at the forefront of the debate on the rights to equal access to opportunities, which are vital to life and work in the 21st century.

We invite researchers, practitioners and cultural policy makers to apply to submit presentations that analyse and highlight the diverse values and roles of the individual in arts and culture education at local and national level, as well as the theoretical, practical and communication aspects of arts and cultural education.

The main topics of the section:

  • Diverse influences and roles of arts and cultural education (social, cultural, economic, individual, collective etc.).
  • Effective ways of promoting and communicating the benefits of arts education and cultural education to both society and cultural policy makers.
  • Evaluation of specific political tools and initiatives in the field of arts education and cultural education.
  • Application of the concept of cultural education and literacy in the field of culture: cultural literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, film literacy, etc.


The main themes of the section: contemporary challenges in cultural heritage preservation, law and ethics, governance, pedagogy and communication.

We invite both tangible and intangible heritage theorists, and specialists from memory institutions, representatives of local and international organisations to share experience and research on current cultural heritage practices, experiences, challenges, and innovations in Latvia and the world, heritage ethics issues, as well as community and local population involvement in heritage evaluation, use and communication.

The section is organised in the framework of the project ‘’Community Participation in Cultural Heritage Management: Practices, Developments and Challenges’’ (No Izp-2018 / 2-0280, funded by: the Latvian Science Council).

The main themes of the section: the theatre and the audience in a changing reality.
We invite performing arts researchers and practitioners to share their observations, experiences and research on the forms, communication possibilities and perspectives of the theatre and the audience in both historical and contemporary contexts. The dictated hierarchy and transformation of the stage and the auditorium in a classical theatre building in experiments of direction; the role of the audience in environmental and local theatre projects; immersive theatre practices. All these are just some of the possible directions of reflection. In particular, we invite you to think about changing the means of theatrical expression and the role of the audience in the modern theatre, when performances are made remotely and reach a significantly smaller audience or vice versa. Digital forms of the theatre are created for an unlimited number of audience members. Papers addressing theatrical phenomena for a specific audience are also welcome, such as children’s and youth theatre, theatre festivals, educational programmes, social projects etc.
tangible and intangible heritage: folklore, ethnology, archeology, cultural anthropology

Can there be any tangible and intangible heritage that is not based on tradition? The section will have a close look at the origins of tradition, the course of its development and their golden age, persistence or sustainability of the tradition, beginning of the end of the tradition and its disappearance, and various methods of recordings tradition and its survival in tangible and intangible heritage.

Reflections are expected on various traditions and their manifestations from the point of view of folklore, ethnology, archaeology, cultural anthropology and other branches of arts and sciences in the past and today.


The main themes of the section:  the development of the cultural and creative sector, processes of cultural management and marketing, operations and leadership of cultural organisations, development of cultural economy, and perspectives of the development of creative entrepreneurship and creative industries.
The cultural and creative sector has faced significant challenges this year and the need to look for new ways to meet its audience, users and customers. It is more important than ever to better understand both the significant features of the sector and to analyse the sector’s resources. Successively, case studies of individual sub-sectors can show how their place and role are being defined, creatively interpreting their opportunities and finding new allies. The management of cultural organisations in times of crisis call for an understanding of new approaches and related changes, the specifics of employment and funding, the sustainability of cultural organisations, changes in the concept of a cultural event, and the emergence of new formats in the industry of event planning.                                                                                                          

We invite cultural management and creative industry practitioners, researchers in the arts and social sciences, doctoral students, and LAC graduates to participate in the section. We expect to hear analysis and new findings on the development of the cultural and creative sector, specific development issues and challenges of various creative industries.

AUDIOVISUAL ART. "TO BE JURIS PODNIEKS" (Time of the section: novembre 4)

This year we are celebrating the anniversary of the world-famous master of documentary cinema – director and cameraman Juris Podnieks (1959/05/12 – 1992/23/06).

Juris Podnieks started his career as a cameraman at the Riga Film Studio, shooting film previews and documentaries. With his work as a cinematographer on Herz Frank’s film “The Restricted Area” (1975), Juris Podnieks acquired a BA degree in cinematography at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow.

Juris Podnieks made his film direction debut with the thematic film preview Šūpulis (The Cradle) (Soviet Latvia, No 3, 1977), and since the early 1980s, every film, which he made, became a significant artistic and social event. The film ‘’Is it easy to be young?’’ became a revolutionary event not only in the Latvian cinema, but in the entire Soviet system, becoming one of the driving forces towards the end of the Soviet Empire. Juris Podnieks together with his colleagues and like-minded peers also recorded how the Empire collapses and sought new imagery for the era and people who were striving for freedom and independence.

In order to be able to pay as much attention as possible to Juris Podnieks life and work, and to mark his birthday together, we plan this section of the conference “Culture Crossroads” on December 4, 2020, which is the day before Juris Podnieks’ birthday.

We invite you to submit papers on topics related to Juris Podnieks and the documentary cinema (Feel free to modify your theme):

  • Juris Podnieks and his time.
  • Juris Podnieks and co-authors of his films.
  • Juris Podnieks’ cinematography.
  • Stylistic and content analysis of Juris Podnieks film(-s).
  • Juris Podnieks’ activities in the context of the Latvian documentary cinema.
  • Juris Podnieks’ films in the context of world documentary cinema.
  • Juris Podnieks’ cooperation with foreign TV stations and others.

Cultural and cross-cultural communication, its communication competence in latvia and the role of language in culture

The main themes of the section: Cultural communication in education, culture, in the creative industries; culture in language, language in culture; a creative use of languages, the development of cross-cultural communication competence, and the role of education in the development of cross-cultural communication competence.

We invite researchers and practitioners from various fields to share the results of original research and findings on the issues of cultural communication and their role in the successful organisation of cooperation. Researchers exploring the relationship and interaction between languages, culture and creativity in an interdisciplinary way, are also invited to participate in this section. This year, the Latvian Academy of Culture is celebrating its 30th anniversary, therefore we are especially looking forward to the papers of researchers who have researched the history and activities of the Academy. We invite you to discuss other important and topical themes for cross-cultural communication.


The main themes of the section:the Academy in art and art at the Academy.

We invite visual art researchers, curators, as well as artists to participate in the visual arts section. We are going to reflect on the relationship of the Academy with art and its growth at different stages of its development in order to highlight the significance of academic education. welcome are those reflectants, which will deal with the issue of correlation between the knowledge acquired in the Academy and the knowledge acquired in practice. Reflections on outstanding personalities are also welcome – the work of artists and theorists at both the Art Academy of Latvia and the Latvian Academy of Culture. 

We invite researchers from various fields to look at the impact of the Academy on the development of art processes.


The main themes of the section: literary text, its perception and interpretation in different contexts, change of literary functions and their use in the modern world. 

We invite researchers from different fields to take a closer look at the connection between fiction and visualisation - the importance of visualisation in the reading process, visual and graphic elements in the text, visualisation of literature in everyday life, during the learning process and in the virtual environment. It is essential to pay attention to the interaction of text and image, changing their functions and their role in cultural memory. It is equally important to raise issues related to visualisation and its representation in translations of fiction.