January is Barricades Remembrance Month, so several events commemorating the turbulent events will take place in Riga, including concerts at the Riga City Hall and the Small Guild Hall, organised with the support of the Riga City Council. Everyone is also invited to attend the memorial bonfires, flower laying, exhibitions and screenings of a new film “January” by Viesturs Kairišs.
Traditionally, for 13 years now, a concert has been held at Riga City Hall, one of the most significant venues of the time, to commemorate the Barricade Defenders. This year Riga City Council invites the residents of Riga to the concert “Testimony of Time (Laika liecība). Prayer (Lūgšana)”, featuring the State Academic Choir “Latvia” conducted by Māris Sirmais, organist Aigars Reinis, pianist Vestards Šimkus, baritone Rihards Mačanovskis, saxophonist Aigars Raumanis, percussionist Guntars Freibergs, cellists Ēriks Kiršfelds and Māra Botmane, double-bass player Viktors Veļičko, vocal quintet – Agate Grīnhofa, Maija Beatrise Punka, Jēkabs Bernāts, Matīss Pēteris Circenis and Patriks Kārlis Stepe, as well as New Riga Theatre actors Baiba Broka and Matīss Ozols.
The concert programme will include compositions by Richard Dubra, Pēteris Vasks, Madara Pētersone, Valentīna Silvestrova and Romualds Jermaks. The concert is directed by Gerds Lapoška, lyrics by Kirils Ēcis, lighting by Niks Cipruss, artist Dace Ignatova. The concert will take place on 20 January at 19:00. It is organised by Riga City Council, Riga Cathedral (Rīgas Doms) and the 1991 Barricades Participants Association, free admission.
The message of the concert is a call to choose a fulfilled spiritual world, a soul without deceit and a community based on trust. “A concert as Prayer for Latvia, Prayer for Freedom, Prayer for Humanity and Ukraine. This is our hope and faith. And it is a reminder to ourselves – how important Latvia is to us," say the concert creators.
At the same time, a commemorative concert “January Fire” will be held in the Great Hall of the Riga Culture and Folk Art Centre “Small Guild”. The performers will include the mixed choir “Sonore” conducted by Andris Pujāts, the mixed choir “Mezgli” conducted by Elīna Skuja, the Latvian National Theatre actor Mārcis Maņjakovs and composer Valdis Zilveris. This concert is also free of charge.
As every year, in January everyone in Riga is invited to visit the memorial bonfires to reflect on the events that were so important for Latvia in the winter of 1991. On 13 January at 18:00 with the participation of young guards, a bonfire will be lit in Zaķusala, and on 20 January two bonfires will be lit in Old Riga – from 10:00 in Doma Square and from 16:00 at the Saeima building.
On 20 January the exhibition "Barricades in Latvia 1991 and Barricades in Ukraine 2014-2022" to be opened in Doma Square at 10:00, and until 19:00 everyone is invited to take part in candle-casting for Ukrainian soldiers.
Several free screenings of the film “January” to be scheduled in January. On 12 January at 14:00 in the Ziedonis Hall of the National Library of Latvia there will be a screening for secondary school students, followed by a conversation with the participants of the Barricades, and on 14 January at 12:00 the film will be screened in the hall of the 1991 Barricades Museum. Attendance by invitations only, available at the museum.
On 20 January, a special screening of Viesturs Kairišs' feature film “January” for the participants of the barricades will take place at the cinema “Splendid Palace” at 13:00. Tickets for adults are EUR 5.00 and for seniors EUR 4.50, upon presentation of a barricade participant status card. In the evening of the same day, at 19:30, a screening of the film “January” with the director and the film-maker will take place.
Various other events will also be held to commemorate the barricades - on 16 January at 16:00 there will be a flower laying and commemorative moment at Vecmīlgrāvis Bridge, and on 18 January at 12:00 there will be an event “20 January in Baku (1990) and Riga (1991)” at the 1991 Barricades Museum.
On 20 January from 13:50 to 14:30, there will be a solemn Guard of Honour at the memorial stones of the fallen at Bastejkalns and at the former Ministry of the Interior building at 6 Rainis Boulevard, and at 14:00 flowers will be laid at the Freedom Monument and memorials to the fallen at Bastejkalns
The exhibition of the 1991 Barricades Museum is open every day from 10:00 to 17:00.
Information was prepared by: Mārtiņš Vilemsons, Project Coordinator at External Communication Division of Riga City Council Communication Department, e-mail: email@example.com