Latvia will be hosting their own festival of opinion culture in Cesis on the 3rd and 4th of July – the organisers of the Sarunu festivals “LAMPA” or conversation festival LAMP have undoubtedly picked up some inspiration for their event from their Estonian colleagues.
The festival will be organised by Latvian foundation Dots (formerly the Soros Foundation), which sent its delegation of scouts to attend the Open Estonia Foundation’s XIX open society forum in September last year. OEF’s leader Mall Hellam took the opportunity to introduce the concept of a festival of opinion culture to the Latvians during the forum. “We’re pleased to see our inspiration bear fruit already this summer,” said Hellam. “It’ll be very interesting to see how they will develop their programme, what will be their main focus, whether we will be discussing the same problems, how much overlap will there be and what are the main differences between Estonia and Latvia. The first problems that spring to mind revolve around the capital city centric approach to governance, problems in the periphery, the development of border regions and integration issues.
Ieva Morica from the Dots Foundation explained that their vision is to create a meeting point for discussions, where anyone can exchange ideas and ordinary citizens get to converse with the politicians and the decision-makers about the future of Latvia.
The Swedish Almedalen and the Danish Folkemodet festivals have also served as inspiration to the Latvians, besides the Festival of Opinion Culture in Paide. A number of the organisers of the Estonian Festival of Opinion Culture have already marked the LAMP event in Latvia in their calendars.