Participants of the World Lithuanian Writers Forum Gathered at the National Library of Lithuania

On May 5-7, 2019 the First World Lithuanian Writers Forum took place in Vilnius. It was attended by more than 30 writers, translators and literary critics from fifteen countries. The program of the forum offered a variety of activities—from literary readings to the presentation of the anthology of world Lithuanian authors, Exodica, to a book exhibition of the Lithuanian émigré writers organized by the National Library of Lithuania.

The organizers of the Forum aimed at achieving several goals. The first one was to get to know each other and share different experiences and perceptions of the world. The event also commemorated the Lithuanian Press Restoration, Language and Book Day.


The participants of the Forum took a picture on the steps of the National Library of Lithuania.

On May 6, the participants of the Forum visited the National Library of Lithuania. Jolanta Budriūnienė, the director of the Documentary Heritage Research Department of the National Library of Lithuania, presented the writers to a wide range of library’s activities. She noted that the Library has become a place where more than thousand various cultural events take place every year and the space for the cultural diplomacy. “We cooperate with the embassies of the Republic of Lithuania abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture. We have broadened the scope of joint works and projects in the East and West. The library is a unique place, because it traces the signs of cultural diplomacy. It’s a place where we systematically collect and house the books of Lithuanian authors published abroad. Today these publications are an important part of the Lithuanian documentary heritage,” Budriūnienė said.

The writers who gathered at the National Library of Lithuania presented the director of the Documentary Heritage Research Department with their books and publications published abroad and in Lithuania. Afterwards, the participants of the Forum were given an extensive tour of the Library.

The LAC Exhibition at the National Library of Lithuania


The exhibition at the Library. Photo: National Library of Lithuania

The travelling exhibition “We Created the Lithuanian State Together: The Lithuanian-American Community, Inc. 1951-2018” at the National Library of Lithuania highlights the fact that Lithuanian-Americans have always kept close contact with the homeland and have contributed to country’s development.

Lithuanian diaspora is an integral part of Lithuanian history. Despite the geographical distance, the Lithuanian immigrants tirelessly worked on behalf of Lithuania. Various initiatives of many relief organizations, the financial support, active propaganda work, and the establishment and strengthening of political, economic, and cultural relations between the US and Lithuania are undeniable evidence of the united struggle for Lithuanian independence.

Fighting for the independence of Lithuania was one of the main goals of the Lithuanian-American Community, Inc. founded in 1951. When Lithuania regained its independence, the LAC, which unites all Lithuanians living in the US, has actively cooperated with the homeland and its institutions, contributed to the development of ties between Lithuanian and the US government and business representatives.

Today, the ultimate goal of the LAC is to preserve Lithuanian culture and traditions and pass it onto the future generations. The organization’s main emphasis is on Lithuanian education, cultural, scientific, social, economic, religious, and sport and other activities in the US. It cooperates with other Lithuanian-American organizations, the US non-governmental organizations, and introduces Americans to Lithuania. Americans of Lithuanian descent and their non-Lithuanian spouses are also welcomed in the LAC.

The exhibition, which runs at the Library until the end of May, testifies to the glorious history of the LAC and introduces to its past and present activities.

Lithuanian Writers from All over the World Will Gather in Vilnius

The Lithuanian World Community, Inc. together with the Lithuanian Writers’ Union and the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore is organizing the first congress of world Lithuanian writers in Vilnius. The event, which will take place on 5-7 May, 2019, will host 50 Lithuanian writers and/or writers of Lithuanian origin who currently live outside Lithuania.

During the event, the participants will meet with Lithuanian writers. They will visit the Lithuanian Writers’ Union, the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore and the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. Readings will take place during the event. At the end of the congress, an almanac of the participants’ fiction and poetry will be published.

The Book “Nylon Curtain”


Book presentation at the Library.
Photo: National Library of Lithuania

The two-volume monograph Nylon Curtain. Lithuanian Music in the Context of International History of Cold War, by the musicologists, Prof. Rūta Stanevičiūtė, Prof. Danutė Petrauskaitė, and Prof. Vita Gruodytė, was presented at the National Library of Lithuania. The book, published in 2018 by the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater, consists of two volumes: a collective monograph, entitled Nylon Curtain. Cold War, International Exchanges and Lithuanian Music and a collection of correspondence, Foreign Correspondence of the Lithuanian Musicians, 1945-1990.

In the collective monograph, the authors using extensive archival documents gathered from the state and private archives, as well as published sources, analyze the channels of the exchange of musical information among the individuals and institutions in Lithuania and foreign countries that took place during the Soviet period. They also looked into the reasons that encouraged promoting personal and transnational relations between the two musical environments divided by the ideological confrontation of the Cold War, and posed questions, such as: which ideological, economic, and cultural constraints and differences limited such exchange and what impact international exchanges had on the national music scene.

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Reinforcing the Field of Cultural Diplomacy

On January 22, 2019 Jurgis Giedrys, former cultural attaché of the Republic of Lithuania to Ukraine, visited the National Library of Lithuania. During the meeting with the representatives of Library, Mr. Giedrys donated numerous documents, booklets and books which he collected during his term in Ukraine, from 2015 to 2018.

More than 200 events were organized in Ukraine during Mr. Giedrys’ fouryear term of office. People of Ukraine met with more than 700 Lithuanian artists. Events were advertised and written about by over 400 traditional or e-media outlets, as well as social media. The events dedicated to Lithuania and Lithuanian themes attracted more than 100,000 people.

The National Library of Lithuania has been increasing its activities in cultural diplomacy. It promotes the dissemination of Lithuanian culture abroad, supports the efforts of foreign embassies, cultural centers and institutes in Lithuania to present projects reflecting the world’s cultural diversity. The Library carries out its exclusive mission by collecting the Lithuanian documentary heritage created abroad.

Mstislavas Dobužinskis and Latvia

Jurgita Kristina Pačkauskienė

What do we know about painter Mstislavas Dobužinskis’s links with Latvia? According to philosopher Antanas Andrijauskas, before leaving for Western Europe Dobužinskis visited Riga with exhibitions [1]. What he did not mention was that the artist not only visited Riga, he lived there!

On 6 March 1924, opera “Eugene Onegin” featuring Dobužinskis’s scenography and costumes was performed in Dresden Opera. After the performance, the artist instead of Kaunas travels to Riga. While in Riga, he visits K. Bauls Photo-Studio located on Alexander St. 17 and orders a stack of photo postcards featuring his sets from the Dresden performance.

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