From September 6th to 16th the annual international contemporary art festival Survival Kit was taking place in Riga, Latvia. The focus of SURVIVAL KIT 2012, a tradition which began in 2009 as a reaction to the changes brought by the global economic crisis, is downshifting or “the escape from the rat’s race”. The concept encourages people to take a critical look at the habitual consuming standards and the traditional perception of success; moreover, it emphasizes the need to balance time for work and leisure, as well as to focus on personal fulfillment.
Each year SURVIVAL KIT attracts talented artists from all over the world, this time bringing the masterpieces of, for instance, Jaime Pitarch form Spain, Jussi Kivi from Finland, Nira Pereg form Israel, Camilla Berner form Denmark and many more. Latvia will be represented by such artists as Alnis Stakle, Kristine Alksne, Arturs Punte, Kristine Zelve, Krists Pudzens, Aija Bley and Izolde Cesniece.
Since 2009, there have been tree SURVIVAL KIT festivals in Riga, reaching approximately 65 000 people. Therefore, this year the art event has been taken to the next level, organizing 3 satellite-festivals in regional cities – Sigulda, Tukums and Aizpute. Although the SURVIVAL KIT festival is quite a new art initiative, its aim is to grow and develop into becoming the Riga Art Biennale in 2014, when Riga will be the European Capital of Culture. Participants of SURVIVAL KIT are not just artists but also representatives of various other fields – architects, scientists, new entrepreneurs, teachers and other energetic experts, developing and implementing creative strategies to survive the times of crisis.
SURVIVAL KIT 4 will take place in a pop-up art space in the artistic district of Riga – in the previously occupied Tobacco Factory on Miera – or Peace – Street. It is organized by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA), a dynamic unit seeking connections between art and the current processes in the society, claiming the city and the surrounding reality as a field of creative possibilities, reacting to changes in the global art space by cooperation with artists and other art organizations, production work, information distribution, education, analysis, research, provocation, questioning, naming and frequently also trespassing the usual borderlines, as well as encouraging people to participate and be socially active. Survival Kit is curated by Solvita Krese, the director of LCCA.