May

May – “Kaunas Spring”. This city holds its traumatic traces, ideas of freedom and the culture that has taken off its Soviet clothing. The events of May 1972 are now even more relevant due to the events in Ukraine, so this month’s programme is dedicated to Romas Kalanta and the culture that grew out of the underground. It becomes an even more important message about struggle, freedom and citizenship. Culture will change its shapes: it will sail together with the cultural ship “Nemunas7”, will spread in the Courtyard festival, and will sound on the Summer Stage. For a perfect ending – the second act of the contemporary myth of Kaunas trilogy – the “Confluence” (Santaka). The large-scale event with the entire three-day programme is about to become the largest birthday celebration of Kaunas both for the people of the city and its guests

Highlights of the month

May 4-8 International Writers’ and Book Festival “Kaunas Literature Week”

May 4-8

International Writers’ and Book Festival “Kaunas Literature Week”

Book lovers will be delighted – Kaunas will host an International Literature Festival! The programme of the festival includes foreign and Lithuanian, young and famous writers and poets who are well known to readers. On 4th of May, the festival will be opened by a meeting with Vaiva Grainytė, the poet and writer who won the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture. The event will be closed by a solidarity event with Halyna Kruk and other Ukrainian authors. The horizons of literature this year will extend from France to Indonesia. Follow the programme of the festival on www.literaturossavaite.lt

When: May 4-8

Where: various places in Kaunas

Organizer: Vytautas Magnus University

The event is free

8 May Europe Day. Symphony of Unity

Europe Day. Symphony of Unity

The 8th of May will be dedicated to peace and unity in Europe! Europe Day will be celebrated in the European Capital of Culture: a special event will invite you to listen to the music and participate in important conversations. The European of the Year will be awarded during the evening.

When: 8 May

Where: Kaunas Town Hall square

Organizers: Representation of the European Commission in Lithuania and “Kaunas 2022”
The event is free

From 14 May Exhibition “1972: Breaking through the Wall”

From 14 May

Exhibition “1972: Breaking through the Wall”

We are sure that every visitor will be touched by this exhibition. Our city will be as open to itself as never before. The exhibition “1972: Breaking the Wall” will take the viewer to the communities of people who disobeyed and resisted the system in the 1960s and 1970s: youth rock bands, actors of drama and pantomime from Kaunas, rebellious hippies, modern artists of Kaunas and Vilnius. Paintings, photographs and films, documentary testimonies of musical life, youth fashion of this period and other artefacts tell about alternative culture and non-Soviet way of life in Soviet Lithuania.

When: from 14 May

Where: Kaunas Central Post Office

Organizer: “Kaunas 2022”

Tickets: on site

13-14 May International Conference “Forgiving or Forgetting – Dealing with a Painful Past”

13-14 May

International Conference “Forgiving or Forgetting – Dealing with a Painful Past”

How to deal with the painful history of the 20th century? To conveniently forget it and allow separate interpretations of the past to thrive, or perhaps to go deeper in search of forgiveness and agreement? The international scientific conference “Forgiving or Forgetting – Dealing with a Painful Past” will seek to bring together people who can share the experiences and methods of recognizing the painful past and encourage Kaunas residents to understand and reconcile with the unspoken history of their city.

 

When: 13-14 May

Where: Vytautas Magnus University

Organizer: VMU Andrei Sakharov Research Centre for Democratic Development

13–15 May Theatre play “Kaunas Spring’72”

13–15 May

Theatre play “Kaunas Spring’72”

The theatre play “Kaunas Spring’72” of the Kaunas National Drama Theatre intertwines documentary material and today’s look at the events of 1972 in Kaunas. Theatre director Jonas Tertelis raises the question of how the act of 19-year-old Romas Kalanta resonates in today’s society. The analysed moods, expectations and tensions of that time become a surreal fragment of collective memory in the great picture of European and global movements for liberation. Are these events really just the past, or is history really repeating itself, and what are you personally trapped in?

 

When: 13–15 May

Where: Kaunas National Drama Theater

Organizer: Kaunas National Drama Theater

Tickets: HERE

14 May Premiere of rock opera “1972” dedicated to Romas Kalanta

14 May

Premiere of rock opera “1972” dedicated to Romas Kalanta

Rock opera is best suited to remember Romas Kalanta. Just outside of Kaunas State Musical Theatre on May 14, 1972, 19-year-old Romas Kalanta, in protest against the Soviet regime, poured gasoline on himself and having set himself of fire, shouted: “Freedom for Lithuania!”. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of this significant event, the personality of Romas Kalanta revealed in the rock opera “1972” is an artistic expression of that time, filled with the spirit of protest and youthful energy, and a unique musical experiment combining documentary and fiction with the sound of a modernly interpreted psychedelic rock classic.

 

When: 14 May

Where: Kaunas State Musical Theatre

Organizer: Kaunas State Musical Theatre

Tickets: HERE

19–20 May European Capital of Culture Forum 2022. LEGACY

19–20 May

European Capital of Culture Forum 2022. LEGACY

Although the most dynamic season of the programme is ahead of us, the year of Kaunas – European Capital of Culture each day is approaching its last day. What awaits the city, the district after this year? Answers and solutions will be sought as usual for the programme of “Kaunas 2022” – in cooperation, involving participants, creators, partners and researchers of the Capital of Culture programme.

When: 19–20 May

Where: Kaunas

Organizer: “Kaunas 2022”

The event is free

20 May Courtyard Festival

20 May

Courtyard Festival

This traditional event is aimed at strengthening the community and friendship spirit of the residents of Kaunas city and Kaunas district, and commemorating the upcoming International Neighbours’ Day. The participants of the event include communities, organizations and neighbours who will bring their chairs and tables to the city centre and decorate them with white tablecloths and flowers. During the event, music will be played in unexpected places, participants will be surprised by various creative installations and performances, some of which you will be able to create yourselves – residents and guests of the city.

When: 20 May

Where: Laisvės Alėja and Vilnius Street

Organizer: “Kaunas 2022”

The event is free

20-22 May The great event of the year: CONFLUENCE. Act 2 of the Trilogy

20-22 May

The great event of the year: CONFLUENCE. Act 2 of the Trilogy

“Confluence” is the second major event of the “Trilogy of Contemporary Myth of Kaunas”, which will once again fill the entire city. For the Birthday of Kaunas – in one of the most impressive places in Lithuania – at the confluence of Kaunas – we invite the visitors to resolve their internal contradictions and celebrate unity. At sunset, the city celebrating its birthday will be greeted by a performance on the water of an unprecedented scale in Lithuania, and for the rest of the weekend, the audience and guests of the city will be amazed by the performances of acrobats, contemporary circus performances, the introductory events of the international puppet theatre festival “Kaunas Puppet 22”, the initiatives “Let’s celebrate the River” will invite visitors to the river bank, musical picnics to the settlements of Kaunas and Kaunas district located by the rivers. Get ready everyone – days full of events are awaiting.

When: 20-22 May

Where: Confluence of the Nemunas and Neris, various places near the rivers in Kaunas and Kaunas district

Organizer: “Kaunas 2022”

The event is free

May 22 The great ship of culture “Nemunas7”. Opening

May 22

The great ship of culture “Nemunas7”. Opening

“Nemuno7” is a unique river art and landscape design project in Europe that will serve as a public cultural space. The object combines history of technology, heritage and contemporary architecture for local residents, guests from Lithuania and abroad will become a new place of attraction in Kaunas district. 22nd of May is worth marking in the calendar as it will be the opening day of the ship-excavating machine “Nemunas7”, where the audience will be invited to experience the water from the perspective of art, architecture or science.

When: May 22, 21:30

Where: Left bank of the River Nemunas in Zapyškis, Kaunas Disctrict

Organizer: “Ars Futuri” VšĮ

The event is free

From 27 May Exhibition of artists’ group “Konsortium” “Memory / Future” (Germany)

From 27 May

Exhibition of artists’ group “Konsortium” “Memory / Future” (Germany)

There are a lot of modernist buildings in Kaunas. International and intercultural exchanges started here, architects and artists came here not only from Lithuania but also from Germany, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the USA. A group of artist-curators “Konsortium” (Germany) invited over fifty artists from various countries of the world to collaborate in creating a collective sculpture dedicated to this historical period of Kaunas.

 

From the end of May to the beginning of July, artists will present a temporary exhibition in the historic building of Kaunas Old Town. In the vicinity of the historical presidential palace of the Republic of Lithuania there will be a “mini museum”, a three-dimensional map of the city consisting of paintings and sculptures.

 

When: from 27 May

Where: Gimnazijos g. 4

Organizer: “Kaunas 2022”

23 April – 28 August Exhibition “Kaunas – Vilnius: Moving Mountains”

23 April – 28 August

Exhibition “Kaunas – Vilnius: Moving Mountains”

Kaunas and Vilnius, Vilnius and Kaunas. The largest cities in Lithuania. Competing, disagreeing, but also in need of each other. The pride and superstitions that have filled the life of Vilnius and Kaunas hide the truth – indeed, these cities need each other. This is told by the exhibition “Kaunas–Vilnius: Moving Mountains” taking place at the MO Museum in Vilnius and Kaunas City Museum at the same time. Would like to see the entire exhibition? Then get ready to visit both cities!

 

When: 23 April – 28 August

Where: Temporary M. K. Čiurlionis Gallery in Kaunas, MO Museum in Vilnius

Organizer: Kaunas City Museum, MO Museum

Until 30 July Marina Abramović’s exhibition “Memory of Being”

Until 30 July

Marina Abramović’s exhibition “Memory of Being”

One of the most anticipated art events in Kaunas and all of Lithuania is the exhibition “Memory of Being” by Marina Abramović, one of the most famous performance artists in the world, which is to be presented for the first time. The exhibition offers a detailed presentation of the works by Abramović from the 1960s to recent years; the exhibition also draws attention in a unique form – for the first time it is prepared as an impressive video installation from selected documentaries and films of the artist’s performances.

When: until 30 July

Where: Kaunas Picture Gallery

Tickets HERE.

Organizer: Art Park Gallery “Meno parkas”

12 May – 17 September Summer stage of Kaunas 2022

12 May – 17 September

Summer stage of Kaunas 2022

Throughout the warm season, the heart of Kaunas Old Town – the Town Hall Square – will beat with the rhythm of culture. Residents and guests of Kaunas will be delighted by the most memorable performances, concerts, tastings and meetings by the summer stage of “Kaunas 2022” that will be located here. From May to September, you may enjoy the weekends of a carefully prepared artistic program and hundreds of free events with the best Lithuanian and foreign music performers and other performances.

When: 12 May – 17 September

Where: Kaunas Town Hall Square

Organizer: “Kaunas 2022”

Events are free

31 May – 4 June Robert Magro’s Contemporary Circus Performance “Visions”

31 May – 4 June

Robert Magro’s Contemporary Circus Performance “Visions”

The works of contemporary circus director Roberto Magro have already become an integral part of the activities of “Kaunas 2022”. The Italian director’s performances reveal bold and unexpected creative decisions and respect for the local population and the environment. We have great news – Roberto Magro and his circus group are returning to Kaunas district and will invite you to see the mysterious theatre performance “Visions”.

When: 31 May – 4 June

Where: Batniava

Organizer: “Kaunas 2022”

Tickets will be available soon

The Never-Ending Programme of May 

Residents of the city are invited to check the programme every day, as it offers: an international puppet theatre festival “Kaunas Puppet 22”, a concert “Nemunas seven” (duo “Tykumos” and choir “Kamerton”), Putvinskis Street Day, kite festival “Between Earth and Sky”, a documentary performance “TAXI”, 3×3 basketball tournament “A Street Beast”. The organizers remind you that creative inspirations may be sought in exhibitions that have already been opened and are still on open and which feature familiar faces, big names and even greater ideas. The M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art hosts an exhibition “That Which We Do Not Remember” by William Kentridge, and Yoko Ono’s installation “Ex It” at the Bank of Lithuania.

 

Full programme of events is available here www.kaunas2022.eu or can be downloaded by the mobile application “Kaunas 2022”.