Series of video stories 'What is literature?'

What is literature and what is a library? Answers to these questions are sought in the series of video stories 'What is literature' prepared within the framework of the Project 'Library'. Answers are given by Latvian writers and other energetic creators of the literary life in Latvia.

Valerijs Belokons

Valērijs Belokoņs

The owner of Baltic International Bank. A philanthropist and supporter of Latvian literature. Financially supported the publishing of more than 20 Latvian original literary works.
Valērijs Belokoņs has said ‘books contain everything that is necessary for our lives and a fulfilled soul’. The video reweals why he and many others choose to support the development of Latvian literature!

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga

President of Latvia, 1999-2007. President of the World Leadership Alliance ‘Club de Madrid’ since 2014.
‘Literature has an impact on both the national self-confidence of the people, and the development of other arts,’ says Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. In the interview, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga reveals how her relationship with books and literature has developed.

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga
Nora Ikstena

Nora Ikstena

Latvian writer, author of 25 books published in more than 30 countries. ‘Hold on to the Latvian language. Hold your reader in high regard and your path into the world will unfold,’ an advice to the young Latvian writers from the acclaimed writer Nora Ikstena. Watch the video of Nora Ikstena sharing her thoughts on reading and writing!

Zbigņevs Stankevičs

Metropolitan archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church.
‘Literature in essence is the reflection of a person, a nation, or even the humanity as a whole' says Zbigņevs Stankevičs. In the interview he profoundly explains the meaning and significance of a word and contemplates the Book of books – the Bible – and how to understand it. Watch the full interview!

Zbigņevs Stankevičs

Andris Vilks

Director of the National Library of Latvia.
‘One must discover the pathway to books by themself’ claims Andris Vilks. In his interview he outlines the development of libraries in Latvia. Watch the video!

Kārina Pētersone

Translator, editor, director of the Latvian National Library Support Society. Minister of Culture (1998 – 2002).
‘What good would the sky be without stars, what good would the trees be without their leafy crown, and what good would our life be without literature,’ says Kārina Pētersone contemplating the world of books. Her story is one about growing up and living among libraries, when at library you very much feel at home.

Imants Lancmanis

Latvian art historian, restorer of art and architecture, heraldry and art specialist. Painter and author of several books. Director of Rundāle Palace museum.
‘Literature is everything; it is only through literature that one can actualise the totality of their knowledge,’ says Imants Lancmanis. Watch the video and learn more on how books have forged him to be the person he is now, and how useful the knowledge of heraldry has proved to be when working with books!

Uldis Bērziņš

Latvian poet and translator. Masterful translator of poetry.
‘Literature is one of the stages in the creation of the World,’ says Uldis Bērziņš, and adds that the that the planetary library consists of all languages. Watch the video to find out the full explanation!

Uldis Bērziņš
Maris Berzins

Māris Bērziņš

Latvian writer, author of nine books, characters of which have ‘come to life’ both in feature films and theatre performances.
‘For me to explain what literatue means to me would be the same as for an electrician to explain what electricity means to him,’ reveals Māris Bērziņš. Watch the video to see how he explains the comparison!

Sanita Stinkule

Connoisseur and editor of books on cultural history. Head of the Department of Ethnography of the National History Museum of Latvia.
‘In the history and culture of Latvia there are numerous blank pages that we now have the opportunity to write,’ says Sanita Stinkule. Watch the video to learn what she does to fill in these pages.