Contemporary Self Portraits

Contemporary Self-Portraits and Portraits
September 2012 – August 2014

The Contemporary Self-Portraits Project focuses on individuals and local communities in four European regions: Finland (Turku), Estonia (Tallinn), Ireland (Dublin), Latvia (Riga) and Sweden (Umeå). The project was aimed to give local inhabitants a voice in expressing their personal and collective identity through self-portraits created at a series of assisted self-portrait workshops in and around the project locations. The self-portrait processes contributed in creating a picture of a local European identity as well as encouraging the development and sharing of communal art methodology and community development through arts. The results were presented at exhibitions in each partner country and a Final Symposium in Umea in 2014, as well as in a printed project publication.

© Hertta Kiiski, Una, 2010

In Riga, eleven assisted self-portrait workshops were be held within three selected suburban areas: Bolderāja, Āgenskalns and Ķengarags. The first series of workshops were led in late 2012 - early 2013 by invited foreign experts - Vincen Beeckman, Vesa Aaltonen, Eva Voutsaki and Bahbak Hashemi Nezhad, while local artists Iveta Vaivode, Kaspars Goba, Andrejs Strokins and Andris Kozlovskis held follow-up workshops in each of the suburbs in 2013. Both local and visiting artists-photographers also created their own series of inhabitants’ portraits in the project area they are working in.

ISSP 2013 hosted a project workshop by Elina Brotherus "A New Approach to Autobiography", where the participants were students from the partner countries. More here

The presentation of the project results were part of the Riga EU Capital of Culture 2014 programme, and were realized in cooperation with Foundation Riga 2014. An extensive exhibition is planned in summer 2014, combining both the self-portraits and portraits of Riga’s inhabitants, as well as non-traditional presentations and events in the project suburbs. Additionally, Argentinean photographer Marcos Lopez visited Riga for an artistic residency, creating portraits of the suburban population in his unique and colorful pop-latino style.

The partners of the CSP project are Turku University of Applied Sciences (Finland), Estonian Academy of Arts, the National College of Art and Design (Ireland), ISSP (Latvia) and Bildmuseet of Umeå University (Sweden). 

The project is funded by the EU Culture Programme and Foundation Riga 2014.

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