Coming of age during the barricades

One of the privileges of my work at the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia is teaching and discussing with Latvian high school students the difficult chapters of our history under occupation regimes. I realize that for these teenagers it can be very abstract to talk about events in the 20th century. Also, it does…Read more Coming of age during the barricades

Because they loved Latvia

I will admit that I have never been keen on using the word "patriot" or "patriotism" because it is, firstly, overused, secondly, misused, and, thirdly, abused in so many ways by many powers throughout history. Still, it is unavoidable for me to wrestle with this concept and phenomenon. For example, I think of the description…Read more Because they loved Latvia

(un)learning lessons from the 20th century

A beautiful, well-dressed older woman and her good-looking adult son came to the front entrance just as I was about to close the main gate of the museum. Asking to see the exhibition, they quickly added that they were from Belarus and that their time in Rīga was limited. Belarus - it was the keyword…Read more (un)learning lessons from the 20th century

There and back : #FreedomWay for Belarus

Last Sunday, August 23, I went on a very special pilgrimage to Lithuania. Quite different from what some may expect when hearing this word, but the kind I find the most meaningful spiritually - for a special cause and on behalf of others. This time to show support for the ordinary people of Belarus who…Read more There and back : #FreedomWay for Belarus

Courage to be available

Courage is something I think about often and have fantasized about it a lot. Whether simply speaking my mind, taking a risky decision, confronting a challenging situation or dealing with a peer pressure. I have noticed that I am always drawn to the real life people or fictitious characters who display the unexpected and practical…Read more Courage to be available

Communicative memory through three or four generations of family

I love browsing through my grandmother's photo albums, especially, searching for visual glimpses of her life before or during World War II, before and during the Soviet, then Nazi and then again Soviet regime. There are not many photos to find.. First of all, they were a simple farming family who did not have many…Read more Communicative memory through three or four generations of family

In the church this side of the barricades

In January expect a real winter in Latvia. Icy sidewalks, snow piles, slush, messy driving... this time of the year I walk the streets of Riga watching every step and practicing good balance. January with its cold temperatures is also a month that brings memories from 1991. Every year Latvia commemorates January 20 and The…Read more In the church this side of the barricades

Wrestling with the antisemitism of the past and of the present

I have wanted to write this for a while but kept postponing... and tried to understand why?! One of the simple explanations is that it is extremely difficult to write about national shame, inhumane ideologies, ordinary people with extraordinary hatred or indifference. It is difficult to say something about all of this without too many…Read more Wrestling with the antisemitism of the past and of the present