Three years ago a group of artists (photographers, painters, musicians, poets & documentary filmmakers) from Latvia (Riga) and Sweden (Stockholm) discovered a place called Karosta - Warharbour - a suburban district in the city of Liepaja on the Latvian west coast. Karosta is a very special place which has experienced Imperial Russia (Russian Tzar Alexander III built it to be a military harbour), the Soviet era (as a closed military base with 25.000 militaries - inhabitants today 7.000) and now with great suspense waiting for new Western experiences to come... After the Soviet army left Latvia, most part of Karostas inhabitants are so called "leftovers" from the military contingent. Today Karosta is a place where many "everyday tourists" are heading to take a look at what Misery is like... Social conditions and processes, ethnical suspicions and misunderstandings enforce indifference, apathy, lack of information and poverty. But too seldom these visitors try to look under the surface to find the potencials and needs of this group of, in many cases consisting of socially and materially excluded inhabitants. The above mentioned artists fell in love with Karosta. The first summer they stayed around and worked on the multi-art & culture project SubjectiveObjective, and the next summer - The summer of Zero - the artists in addition to their own work also organized different workshops for local children and youth.
With a support from the Regional Housing Council of Karosta, we have since 1999 been renting a large multi-roomed house - "The House of Two Admirals" at Katedrales street 2, for the workshops. Right now this house is being renovated and reconstructed into K@2 - a Culture and Information center in Karosta that will try to cover a wide spectra of cultural activities for children and youth in the area and artists, writers, film and theatre people from other cities and countries. For this NGO-project we have on board representatives from the Regional Housing Council in Karosta, the City Council Liepaja, the Naturalization Council, film studio Locomotive International, the Special Economic Zone in Liepaja and many other institutions and individuals. The creative partners are Youth Technical house Annas 2 in Riga and RIXC - New Media & Culture Center in Riga. The activities provided by the center will deal with photo, new media, music, theatre, film & video, animation, radio and others.
The aim with this is to give a chance for inhabitants in Karosta to work in a creative way and provoke this creativity through culture activities. We believe that the work done by K@2 will help to solve also socialeconomical questions as well as the integration of the society.
Future The building is still step-by-step renovating. On a 10 years spectra creation of a full-worty community center focusing on art, information and social issues.
Former use : naval head quarters
Surface of the site : 1.206.33 m2, (in two floors).
Location : Suburb, Former naval base.
Foundation year : 2000.
Type of occupation : rental on a 15 year basis with the local government.The renovation costs we have are being reducted from the rent.
Owner of the building :local government.
K@2 - main building - 1.206.33 m2
2 language courses/lecture halls
Youth hostel "Obshaga" (35 beds)
Summer restaurant/winter cafe
Public internet hook-up point
Bigger conference room
Local Karosta office of Liepaja City Council
Work employment bureau
Kinoosta/Cineport : Small cinema club & conference spaces - 250 m2
Exhibition spaces - 125 m2
Public internet hook-up point
Klubene :Multifunctional theatre & music stage - 450 m2
UNDER CONSTRUCTION IS:
* Living spaces for a total of 100+ students, (showers, sauna, laundromats, i-cafe, library/readingroom).
* Open-air-stage possible to use all around the year, (specially designed for out-door film screenings).
* Exhibition hall: - 600 square meters, 13 meter ceiling, aquarium.
* Restaurant - "Karosta Edinaashanas Salons".
* 2 x 125 m2 big attic studios for Artists-in-Residence
Discplines and Activities
Contemporary theatre : Workshop
Music :Creation / concerts
Heritage / architecture : Debates / Lecture /Conferences
Visual art : Residencies / Creation /Production /Diffusion / Training /
Workshop / Spaces rental /Debates / festivals
Circus : Workshop
Multimedia : Residencies /Creation /Production / Diffusion /Training / Workshop / Spaces rental /Debates /Lecture / festival
Cinema /Audiovisual : Residencies /Creation /Production / Diffusion /Training Workshop / Spaces rental / Debates / festivals
Radio /Television : Debates / Lecture/ Conferences / festivals
Solidarity / Citizenship :Training / Workshop / Spaces rental /Debates/Lecture/Conferences
Literature / Poetry : Debates / Lecture / Conferences
Financial support : Only projectly based
Center for New Media Culture
(Training programme on new media and cultural management)