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Lithuanian days in Scotland festival held in Edinburgh and Glasgow
Lithuanian Days in Scotland, a festival aimed at fostering cultural, social and academic ties between the two North European nations, was held in Edinburgh and Glasgow on 22-25 October. Having succeeded in catching the interest of both the local Lithuanian diaspora and a Scottish audience the festival started on a musical note as two Lithuanian virtuoso musicians in pianist Petras Geniušas and multi-instrumentalist Liudas Mockūnas performed The Sea in The Forest improvisation. The piece was inspired by the symphonic poems The Sea and In the Forest by one of Lithuania’s most celebrated composers Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911).
Ambassador of Lithuania Renatas Norkus addressing the audience at the opening concert expressed his hope that the established partnerships throughout the course of the festival would emerge into a more tangible future cooperation. The Scottish Government minister for Europe, Migration and International Development Ben Macpherson on his behalf acknowledged and pointed out the significant contribution of Lithuanian diaspora to Scotland’s economy and prosperity. There are currently around 15 thousand Lithuanians residing in Scotland.
One of the highlights of the Lithuanian Days in Scotland was a public discussion From the Past to the Future Scotland-Lithuania-Europe held at Edinburgh University on October 23. It featured one of Lithuania’s most eminent intellectuals, professor emeritus at Yale university, Tomas Venclova and prof. Robert I. Frost of Aberdeen University, an acclaimed expert in the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The thought provoking discussion centered around historical and cultural links between Lithuania and Scotland. It also received instant recognition from writer and literary critic Johnny Rodger who expressed his intent to feature an article on Tomas Venclova in the literary magazine The Drouth.
On October 23 one of the participants in the Lithuanian Days in Scotland, a contemporary storyteller Daiva Ivanauskaite presented her series of stories entitled Garden of Tales: Stories from Lithuania. Inspired by Lithuanian folk tradition her performance was included in the Scottish International Storytelling Festival Beyond Words. The Lithuanian Days in Scotland festival events in Edinburgh and Glasgow also included screenings of Cinematic Inclusions: Documentary Traditions and Experiments in Lithuanian Cinema.
The last event of Lithuanian days in Scotland took place on October 25 at the Collective gallery, where Adomas Narkevičius, curator for the culture centre Rupert presented a lecture Desire in Whispers. It explored the aesthetics of lust in 20-21th centuries.
Lithuanian Days in Scotland were organized by the Lithuanian embassy together with the Lithuanian cultural attaché in the United Kingdom and the Lithuanian Culture Institute. The Programme of events was supported by the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Go Vilnius, the official development agency of the City of Vilnius.