Greetings, fellow modernist!

Around 6000 buildings: this is the number of modernist objects in Kaunas city and its district surviving to this day. From luxurious concrete villas, temples and public buildings, schools and cultural institutions, to small wooden houses. These buildings are not only places worth visiting, in which we currently live, work, dine, send and receive parcels, study, learn, receive treatment and create our own everyday life. Each and every one of them is interesting in their unique stories, discoveries, ability to be open for creative and community-based initiatives. Each of them is an opportunity. That remains unused most of the time.

What we do and how we work?

The aim of this project for the interwar period, as well as its physical heritage and modernist architecture, to become the source of memory, identity, dialogue and creativity. Because every one of us can create the value of heritage!

  • Since 2018, we opened the social network of modernist heritage www.modernizmasateiciai.lt. In this database of knowledge and emotional experiences, we strive to unite an active and civic community of modernism fans and those who cherish it.
  • During creative workshops, excursions, meetings and other practical activities, we listen to and share the good practices, and together we strive to be socially responsible and learn to speak about the heritage.
  • Modernist heritage is an inspiration for contemporary art. We invite all artists to become the interpreters of modernism, and to take a creative and contemporary approach to the modernist heritage and its history.

With this project we aim to incite responsibility for the environment that surrounds us, initiate international research and bring the modernism of Kaunas into the European and global context.

  •  We welcomed 2018, the year of European cultural heritage, together with an international conference “Modernism for the Future” dedicated to the exploration of European modernism of the 1920–1930s, its diversity, connections, similarities and individual features. In other conferences, we will pay attention to the bond between the communities and the heritage and introduce scenarios of the future to the international audience.
  • In 2019, the second annual international modernism summer school will take place. It is an experimental lab of heritage that tries to answer the question how to create contemporary spaces, ensuring the new quality of life and saving the historical heritage of modernism in cases of Kaunas and Kaunas district.
  •  International forums organised since 2019, will be dedicated for the creation of networks of modernist cities. Together with the experts from Asmara, Berlin, Brazil, Gdynia, Le Havre, Rabat, Chandigarh, Tel Aviv and other places important for the modernism around the world, it will be decided how the historical heritage of modernism should be employed creating a sustainable and vivacious city.
  • In 2018, a joint project was organised together with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and Secretariat of the Lithuanian National Commission of UNESCO, an exhibition, “Architecture of Optimism: The Kaunas Phenomenon 1918–1940”, that travelled around 5 Lithuanian cities and thanks to the cooperation with Kaunas 2022, will continue its journey and will be presented in art and science spaces of other countries. The exhibition will be accompanied by lectures, discussions, creative workshops and introduction of the catalogue (in English).
  • Editing and publications of conferences, summer schools and other events.

One of the projects of Kaunas 2022 is the creation of a documentary / art film, the aim of which is to discuss different variations of tourism on the global level. There are hundreds of places around the world, where modernism has had an important role shaping the local identity, like Lviv, Harbin, or Asmara. Despite political or cultural differences, all of them have been united by the same global idea, and today it is our heritage.

It is the major opening event of 2022. It will connect the modernism heritage, its ideas and urban spaces of the city. The symbol of modernist Kaunas, Resurrection Church, is one of the most inspiring examples of the idea of Die Stadkrone (The City Crown) by a German expressionist Bruno Taut. When constructing this church, it was decided to illuminate it with powerful lights. This idea was never implemented. During the interwar period, the construction of the church started and was not completed, and during the Soviet times, it was turned into a radio factory. During the Festival of Lights, by employing various conceptual solutions, this and other city buildings will light up in new colours.

Programme curator

Viltė Migonytė-Petrulienė

vilte@kaunas2022.eu

Programme coordinator

Žilvinas Rinkšelis

zilvinas@kaunas2022.eu