Already this week, on 8–11 October, the CityTelling festival “Life Interrupted” organised by “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” will spread around the streets of Kaunas and Kaunas district, offering visitors and participants more than 30 events by organisers and partners: street artworks, narrative performances, excursions, video art project, even an artistic experiment using artificial intelligence. An important part of the festival this year became literary texts – interpretations, created by writers based on real memories of people who had lived in Kaunas. Another important innovation of the second CityTelling Festival is the live streaming of events on social networks, of which there will be as many as 9.

Every day of the Festival, visitors will be invited to the evening events: on the first evening of the festival in the centre of Kaunas, in the Ramybės Park, a place where four confessions are united, visitors will be able to hear the sound installation of a unique musical work – cantata “Peace, Peace…” (Lith. Ramybės, ramybės…) in different places of the park. This year this work will be performed in memory of composer Vidmantas Bartulis. On the next evening of the festival, independent creators Rūta Vyžintaitė-Lajienė and Rytis Titas in the video art project “Shimmering Forest” (Lith. “Žvangantis miškas”) will let the secrets of guerrilla warfare spread from the lips of the remaining witnesses. The theme of life interrupted by war will be extended by the theatrical youth show “Youth Talks About War” (Lith. “Jaunimas kalba apie karą”) directed by Rokas Bertulis. In the Kaunas Culture Centre, young people will present how they have heard and understood the devastating stories of the war.

At noons, the CityTelling festival will invite its visitors to different lunches – as a part of the festival programme “Stories for Lunch” will tell various stories in different places of Kaunas: about the crowd in Aleksotas waiting for the pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas, the ones interested in Kaunas identity and its memory will be able to hear the story of the formation of those times elite Vaižgantas street, try to feel the euphoria when celebrating the national freedom during the excursion at the Unity Square (Vienybės aikštė), take a deeper look at the secrets of Jewish heritage in Vincas Kudirka library and Maironis museum, and to relive the traumatic experiences of a writer Balys Sruoga.

One of the highlights of the programme will be an exclusive art experiment created specifically for the CityTelling festival. Creators Gytis and Ignas Davydaitis and Matas Gumbinas will invite you to experience the devastating interrupted life stories by creating artificial intelligence installation “Stories of Interrupted Life. Mirror of Permafrost” that combines art and technology and in a very personal way allows visitors to feel the reality of deportations. The installation of artificial intelligence will be held in “Kaunas 2022” office: the visitor wishing to go through this experience will be photographed by the software and the artificial intelligence will generate a unique story of deportation, revealing human experiences in exile.

This year, the authentic stories of interrupted life has inspired three new works of art on buildings located in Kaunas and Kaunas District: old pictures recreated on the walls of the buildings by artists Tadas Vincaitis-Plūgas, Vytenis Jakas, and Linas Kaziulionis, will remind us of notabled persons that lived in Kaunas: Rosian Bagriansky with his mother Gerta, poet Lea Goldberg, and inventor as well as the photographer of the ghetto George Kadish.

The full programme of the festival can be found here.

The CityTelling festival is one of the biggest events of „Kaunas 2022“, focused on remembering the multi-ethnic past of Kaunas and Kaunas district, invoking pride in the place where we live as well as reinforcing dialogue, openess, and empathy.

In 2022, Kaunas and Kaunas district will become the European Capital of Culture. The project implements an 8-directions programme, an important part of which is the development of cultural partnerships with 64 cultural organisations. “Kaunas 2022” is a movement from the temporary capital towards contemporary by implementing projects that promote change in Kaunas culture sector.