Monthly Archives: February 2017

“when the maps were white,” talk by Filippa Arrias and Jesper Nordahl


“when the maps were white” refers to the Soviet era when the Eastern Baltics were off-limits to everyday Scandinavians, coastal areas were off-limits to local residents in countries like Latvia and Estonia.

speakers: Filippa Arrias and Jesper Nordahl.

Arrias and Nordahl spent the summers in Karosta. It is a former naval base next to Liepaja. “We stayed in Karosta and all activities of the project was in Karosta. Karosta is like a suburb to Liepaja. according to the legend Peter the Great came  area of Karosta and thought that it was so beautiful so he decided to build a war port there. I do not know how much he did then, as most of the buildings are from Tsar Nikolai II, who built the Cathedral, Summer Palace and all officers buildings. then a lot of buildings are from the Stalin era. Later on a lot of buildings were added during the Sovjet rule in the Eighties.

The town features a  Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Later converted into  a sport arena and cinema during the Sovjet time. it was consecrated by Tsar Nikolai II in 1904.

The key collaborators  were Tove Torbjörnsson, Kristine Bride and Carl Björsmark who were very central to what happened there. “


“the intention was not to make an integration project but then it just came together, the children were both Latvian and Russian and they played together.”

Jesper’s links following his talks.

Crazy girls (8:25 min. 2001):

Field trip (94 min. 2002). The video that I showed the excerpts from)

And here a re a couple of other videos that I also made in Karosta.

Kanon (5:22 min. 2000)

Breakdance (1:45. 2004)

Jesper’s  website with the photographs of the buildings.


The telescope antenna in the photo above  was in Irbene.

Recommendations thing to do and see in Riga:

 Riga Art space:

Kim  (gallery):

rixc (media lab)

LCCA (Latvian Centre for Contemorary Art)