Extensive Barricades commemorative program confirmed

Rīga City Council has announced a series of commemorative events to mark this year's anniversary of the 1991 barricades which saw Latvia defending its right to self-determination. 

"Everyone is invited to visit the commemorative bonfires, laying of flowers, exhibitions and screenings of director Viesturs Kairišs' new movie 'January'," said advance information.

Traditionally, a concert has been held in memory of the defenders of the barricades at Rīga City Hall. This year, Riga City Council invites residents to the concert "Testimony of Time. Prayer". The concert program will include compositions by Rihards Dubras, Pēteris Vasks and Madara Pētersone. The concert will take place on January 20 at 19.00 and admission is free.

Another commemorative concert - "January Bonfire" - will be held in the Great Hall of the Riga Culture and Folk Art Center "Mazā gilde" (Small guild) featuring the mixed choirs "Sonore" and "Mezgli". Admission to this concert is also free.

As every year, in January, everyone in Riga is invited to visit commemorative bonfires in order to remember the events so important to Latvia in the winter of 1991. On January 13 at 18.00, a bonfire will be lit at Zaķusala, and on January 20, two bonfires will be lit in Old Riga – from 10.00 in Dome square and from 16.00 at the Saeima building.

On January 20 in Dome Square at 10.00 there will be the opening of the exhibition "Barricades in Latvia 1991 and barricades in Ukraine 2014-2022", and at 19.00 everyone is invited to take part in lighting candles for Ukrainian soldiers.

In January, several free screenings of the film "January" are planned. On January 12 at 14.00 in the Ziedonis Hall of the Latvian National Library, there will be a screening for high school students, after which there will be a conversation with the participants of the barricades, and on January 14 at 12.00 the film will be shown in the hall of the 1991 Barricades Museum. Invitations are available at the museum.

On January 20 at the cinema "Splendid Palace" there will be a special screening of "Janvāris" by the director Viesturs Kairis for the participants of the barricades. In the evening of the same day at at 19.30 there will be another screening of the film together with the director and crew.

In commemoration of the barricades, various other events will also take place: on January 16 at 16.00 laying of flowers and a moment of remembrance at the Vecmīlgravis bridge, and on January 18 at 12.00 in the 1991 barricade museum there will be an event "20 January in Baku (1990) and Riga (1991)".

On January 20 from 1:50 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., there will be a solemn Guard of Honor at the memorial stones of the deceased in Bastejkalns and at the former Ministry of the Interior building at 6 Raina boulevard, and at 14.00, flowers will be laid at the Freedom Monument and at the places of remembrance of the fallen.

If you would like to learn more about the events of that time, and can get to Rīga, the first stop should naturally be the 1991 Barricades Museum. For those further afield, we recommend this story from our archives and the short documentary film below from LTV, which comes complete with English subtitles.

 

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