AFTER YEARS OF WONDERING what was in the cities and countries of the Baltic States, we finally went over there to see. There was a lot of anticipation, curiosity, and zero-page expectations. An open notebook. A conversation stream that would, in fact, be one of the most fluttery and jittery, plus agitated and full-on, if ever we have been to a place that invites the most extraordinary kinds of things to pop out of ‘what the heck was that,’ as indicated in quite deep and difficult shapes of feelings in the blog post by Veena Vera, about an ‘instagram party’ that made us… well… that kicked us out of the ‘business as usual’ zone when it comes to art and made us… think. Yes, think. And that is what our own variety of art-making purports to do. How was it, then, that we got to Latvia, how we made space there, even while DK got into messes, arguments, tiffs, and more, stuff that I don’t want to write ere because it would go against the very nice, very home-y feeling that we like to share when we are making our many, many kinds of invitations. To salons. Workshops. Ateliers. Conversation parties. And the co-creation of ‘zines,’ in the ateliers we call Atelier S P A C E. So yeah. A lot.
But those who know DK personally know that there is grit and consternation, frustration and angst, deep in the dark corners of the things that we write and share. It’s not just philosophy of the moment, or the people whom you meet who talk, ‘blah blah, yes yes, me too’, but the differences amongst us that we are looking to understand. To exchange and understand. It is part of the big work here. To make. To make the kind of S P A C E that, well, matters. Especially in the era we are entering, now. Racism is a thing, a real thing, a thing we are talking about more and more, and more and more openly, too. I read a lot on AlJazeera these days. I read and I write and I go and find stories from people in ‘the field,’ and report back, in creative nonfiction style, here in S P A C E. Sometimes it goes well. (Sometimes it’s terribly dismal, like in Singapore, when I really had to almost quit because participation was so… nonexistent and the concept was way, way too abstract for the likes of that city-state, sorry if that offends, but you know, it really had to take much more openness and ‘what the ?’ style of thinking to get into it. Deep, deep into it. The place where you fish out the things that make you go, ‘What??’ and then, ‘Right…’ And that is where we found it, ladies and gentlemen. The kinds of things that got DK out of its own comfort zone.
These are the blog posts from that journey.
Below are the covers for the 4 issues made in Latvia over April, May and part of June…
The issues are on sale in Riga at Roberts Bookshop. They’re also in our online store. Click each image to go to the page where you can get them.
S P A C E | Latvia
WORKING OUT OF cafes, borrowed living rooms, and kitchen tables since April 16, 2019, DK and friends are making S P A C E stories in photo essay, illustration, collage, and creative nonfiction. There will be four issues of our international zine collection that will be set right in Rīga.
They are in our online shop.
- S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Sunny Side of the Street”
- S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Drift’
- S P A C E | Rīga, ‘The Weather Report’
- S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Lūdzu’
For this collection, the works were created by a unique international team: Zafar Imran, Alexis Jokela, BOSS,creative consultation with: Nils Don Sihvola (IG) and S P A C E contributing editor, Mike Dynamo. Big thanks also to Zina Olehnoviča for co-hosting ‘Art of Conversation’ with DK in real life at her shop Tortik Time, and to Samir Shukla for commissioning new writing from us, writing about Latvia, for our ongoing column for Saathee Magazine.
There are so many people whose paths crossed with DK’s, and whose conversations moved us and made us think in new ways about so much. People. New. Like D, north side of town, like, way, for showing me around and telling it like it is. Don’t know if you’ll see this and know this ‘D’ is you, but wow, you really helped me get going on this project. Couldn’t have made this without your frank comments, dark humor, and other flat and honest sideways observations. Also have to thank I., M., S., and M. for those very good conversations, right at the end of June. And A. at B.. For the honest advice. And G. and R., for the jazzy jam. All of you all… you know who you are. A lot more, ahead. Stay in touch with me? Connect at the link at the end of the ‘About’ page. It’s where I’m sharing the things for 2020, if all goes well.