Workshop led by Kaspars Goba (LV) un Andrejs Strokins (LV)
September – December 2013
Location: Tourism Network- Bolderāja creative space
In the autumn of 2013, in the Tourism Network – Bolderāja creative space, local residents had the chance to create self-portraits in the historical multigraph technique – taking photos with a system of mirrors that simultaneously generates 5 images. This system was used in Latvia at the beginning of the 20th century, while the last evidence of the multigraph technique in Europe comes from Poland in the early 1940s. Interestingly, photographs taken in this way have also been found in the Bolderāja neighbourhood. They were created during the first Latvian independence period by a photographer whose studio was on a ship – most of his subjects were sailors. Students from the local Maritime Academy were also invited to take part in the workshop.
Andrejs Strokins (1984) is a freelance photographer who has been working on a series on Bolderāja, People in the dunes, for several years. www.strokins.info
Kaspars Goba (1975) is a photographer, journalist and documentary filmmaker, mainly focusing on social and environmental issues in his work.
Workshop led by Andris Kozlovskis (LV)
November – December 2013
Location: Āgenskalns neighbourhood
Young people from the Āgenskalns, Torņakalns and Dzegužkalns areas created self-portraits in their own rooms, revealing the Pārdaugava neighbourhood (literally – over the Daugava river) and its inhabitants in all their diversity. Workshop leader Andris Kozlovskis took care of the technical side and gave each participant 20 minutes to take their self-portrait alone in their room. Each of the images also includes the view from the window, and the series provides insight into living spaces and urban diversity – from private houses to dorms, and from Khrushchyovkas to old wooden houses hiding in the yards.
Andris Kozlovskis (1975) works in the field of documentary photography, exploring social themes, individuals in their environments and the marks left by socialism. The experienced press photographer also teaches at the Riga Students’ Palace young people’s photo club. www.andriskozlovskis.lv
Workshop led by Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad (UK)
November – December 2013
Location: Bolderāja neighbourhood
The resulting images are of chance public encounters during a series of walks over three-days in Bolderāja, a largely Russian-speaking area of Riga that started out as a fishing village and housed factories and a large navy base during Soviet times. The public were requested to remotely photograph themselves and momentarily act out their everyday realities whilst continuing the action or activity in which they were encountered.
Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008, soon after establishing a studio practice that crosses formats and scale, producing images, spaces, furniture, food, games and products. His practice is concerned with exploring the role of photography within design research, and engaging social emergences within domestic and urban public spaces.www.bh-n.com
Workshop led by Eva Voutsaki (GR/UK)
November – December 2013
The participants, local women from Bolderāja, combined old family photographs, colours, shapes and word to create self-portraits that reflect their personal stories and memories. Using creativity and imagination, they explored and reinvented their life stories. The personal was linked to the collective history of Bolderāja, a largely Russian-speaking area of Riga that started out as a fishing village and housed factories and a large navy base during Soviet times.
Eva Voutsaki is a photographer and educator from Greece, currently living and working in Brighton, UK. Mythology, memory, fantasy and the unconscious form the basis for her creative work. www.evavoutsaki.com
Workshop led by Iveta Vaivode (LV)
The portrait as a means of creative expression is most often regarded in the context of visual art, while visual art is, of course, related to the ability to use sight as a key tool of perception. What happens if this sense is damaged or completely lost? Is it impossible to portray the world (and oneself) creatively? The workshop took place at the Strazdumuiža village for the visually impaired, on the outskirts of Riga. During the workshop, the participants created photographic self-portraits, as well as clay sculptures, helped by sculptor Valtis Barkāns. While making the busts, the participants touched the clay, then their own features, and then the clay again. The results of the workshop highlight the significance of the other senses – shown by the resemblance of the clay self-portraits to their authors, their proportionality and, in a sense, symmetry.
Iveta Vaivode (1979) is a photographer and photography educator. She currently lives and works in Riga and Helsinki, where she is studying in the Aalto University Master’s programme. www.ivetavaivode.com
Workshop led by Vesa Aaltonen
Location: Bolderāja Art and Music School, Senior Social Centre Ābeļzieds, Youth Centre Čiekurs
A mobile photography studio was set up in various neighbourhood community centres. The workshop offered participants the opportunity to explore the concept of self-image: “How do I see myself and how do I want others to see me?” A picture of oneself may be surprising and differ from one’s own conception. The participants photographed themselves as if looking in a mirror, deciding what their self-portraits will be like at the moment the pictures are taken.
Vesa Aaltonen is a freelance photographer and educator living and working in Turku, Finland. He has carried out community art projects and self-portrait workshops in Finland, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Latvia. www.aaltonenvesa.com
Workshop led by Vincen Beeckman (BE)
Location: Riga Central Bus Station and Imanta neighbourhood shopping centre
Using the old, analogue photo booths (soon to be replaced by up-to-date digital versions) still found in the Central Bus Station and an Imanta Shopping Centre, passing Rigans and Riga visitors were invited to take a series of playful self-portraits. In this unexpected turn in their daily routine, men, women, teenagers, pensioners and families all showed their openness and creativity by challenging the usually standard format of a passport photo.
Vincen Beeckman is a key figure in the Brussels art scene, working at the Recyclart centre and as part of the BlowUp and O.S.T. collectives. His work is rooted in day-to-day life, sociocultural context and the use of public space. www.www.vincenbeeckman.be