FROM RIGA TO ADELAIDE
The 57th Australian Latvian Arts Festival could be considered as part of celebrations of the centenary of Latvia’s declaration of independence. On the 18th November 1918 Latvia’s provisional government declared the formation of the Republic of Latvia. Several years still had to elapse before peace was achieved, which lasted only 22 years. After the Second World War many Latvians arrived in Australia and founded the Latvian communities and associations in different cities. These communities continue to maintain the Latvian culture in Australia today.
This year the Festival is being held in Adelaide. Traditional events have been planned which will be bolstered by certain special guests from Australia and Latvia. The organising committee consists primarily of younger Australian Latvians born in this country. There is a lot of excitement and emotion since in Latvia there is also a song and dance festival which is only held every 5th year. Members of the committee will also be participating in this event.
Keeping this in mind, the AL57KD sybmol is a stork – a big, white, migratory bird that travels long distances and returns to its home. The first AL57KD poster is visible in Latvian community centres around Australia and New Zealand. In this poster the stork is fleeing stormy weather flying in dark and rainy conditions. This symbolises the Latvians fleeing from their homeland during the Second World War from the advancing communists. They faced a dark and unknown future. In the series of posters this year, you can follow the flight of the stork from Riga to Adelaide. Similar to the current weather changes, autumn is changing to winter and there are more dark clouds and rain. As is typical at this time of year, many Australian Latvians are preparing to travel to Latvia. In the coming weeks, many will be heading to Riga to participate as singers, dancers or to enjoy Latvian culture and festivities, but afterwards they will return – From Riga to Adelaide.
The Festival is also an opportunity to relive the impressions gained from the song and dance festival in Latvia. There will be songs and folk dances that were performed in Latvia that will be represented here in Adelaide in our festival. We can confirm that the Australian folk dancing ensemble Jurmalnieki will be performing. Those who will not be travelling to Latvia will be able to enjoy, albeit a small part, of that which was experienced in Latvia earlier in the year. Lets not forget the journey of Latvians who settled here in Australia and that we can enjoy the culture that joins us on both sides of the world. There’s always something new for every attendee to experience.
AL57KD organising committee