At the end of summer, on August 20 and 21, the seventh LAMPA Conversation Festival will take place online and at multiple locations in the town of Cēsis. If the epidemiological conditions allow for conversations in person, LAMPA will move from its usual location at Cēsis Castle Park to new locations in town squares, in its streets, green spaces, and all around the town, offering a new experience for its participants and attendees – more intimate conversations at a safe distance.
In a time when people are becoming harsher in their opinions and attitudes towards one another, LAMPA is choosing respect and dignity as its overarching theme for this year. “People say that truth is born in dispute. Even if we don't agree with each other and cannot get along, only respectful conversation can help us find common ground, interact and move towards growth. A conversation with no respect becomes a fight leading to the polarization of society, the loss of mutual respect, and even violence. In a clash of opinions where respect is lost, everyone is a loser,” says director of LAMPA Conversation Festival Ieva Morica.
“This year, we want to encourage society and, to a certain extent, challenge them to a conversation about what constitutes a dignified life, how to maintain self-esteem in relationships, how consideration towards nature, the generations of today and tomorrow affect our decisions, and how to increase the level of respect in everyday communication and society as a whole. Only respectful interaction and communication can help us maintain our democracy and join in shaping a country where human dignity is a value rather than an empty sound,” Ieva Morica adds.
The team of LAMPA takes the most valuable experiences from the previous festival, which mainly took place online, and hopes that audiences will be able to experience LAMPA not only online but also in the urban environment of Cēsis. Under favorable epidemiological conditions, events are planned in various public spaces – squares, streets, parks, etc. Spreading the events across multiple locations will allow us to avoid mass gatherings of people and enjoy the festival in a safe and calm manner.
“The circumstances of our current lives mean that we must be ready for possible changes and adjustments each day. Last year proved that the team of LAMPA, event organizers, and attendees can deal with that perfectly; therefore, in the anticipation of this festival, we are also ready for various developments. For now, we simply hope that the spread of the virus will reduce by the end of the summer and we will be able to have conversations while looking into each other’s eyes,” says Ieva Morica.
As usual, anyone can apply and organize their own event within LAMPA. Event applications will be taken from March 1 to April 15. Detailed information on the application procedure will follow.
The team behind the festival are: DOTS Foundation for an Open Society, Swedbank Latvija, Cēsis District Municipality, communication management agency Deep White, advertisement agency Armadillo, and the British Council in Latvia. The festival is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, Society Integration Foundation, German Federal Foreign Office, European Commission Representation in Latvia, as well as enterprises Latvijas Finieris, Enefit, and SCHWENK Latvija.