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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Book “Invented in Lithuania: Things, Ideas, and People”

When did the first invention take place in Lithuania? Did Lithuanians have their own Thomas Edison? Why one magazine called the transatlantic flight performed by Darius and Girėnas a technical invention? Has anything changed in the world of inventions after Lithuania’s Independence in 1990s? What inventions do Lithuanians are famous for today? To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the restored Lithuania and the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Lithuania Patent Law (passed on 14 May 1928), the monograph about inventions invented by Lithuanians was published in 2018. The book written by six historians tells a story about Lithuanian inventors and inventions—from pagan times and tribal Baltic society to the present day. The book also contains a chapter written by Dr. Giedrė Milerytė-Japertienė on inventions of Lithuanian scientists who lived and worked in exile.

Two books on Lithuanian-American Contribution to Lithuania’s Independence

This year, two capital books about Lithuanian-American contribution to Lithuania’s statehood and independence were published in Lithuania.

The first book, Long Live Lithuania! Lithuanian American Contribution to Lithuania’s Statehood is a compilation of documents, discussions, articles, correspondence and comments of various US governmental institutions and Lithuanian-American Community, Inc. related to the long-standing efforts by Lithuanian-Americans to fight for Lithuania’s freedom. The compiler of the book, Regina Narusis, JD, the chairman of the Royal Palace Restoration Committee for the USA and along-time chairman of Lithuanian-American Community, Inc. and World Lithuanian Community, hopes that the new book will contribute to a better understanding of Lithuanian-American input into the restoration and consolidation of Lithuania’s statehood from the late 19th century to the present day.

The second book, Lithuanian American Support for Lithuania 1918-2018 by prof. Juozas Skirius, based on archival documents, periodicals, memoirs and other sources, sheds light on the activities of Lithuanian-Americans from 1918 to 2018. The author distinguishes three main periods, during which Lithuanian immigrants in the US have provided financial, political, informational and cultural support to their compatriots in the homeland and Lithuanian state. They defended Lithuania’s independence and made efforts to liberate Lithuanian nation from multiple occupations.The book also discusses the activities of Lithuanian-American charity organizations and their attempts to provide financial support to Lithuania and its people.

A Ph.D. Thesis about Lithuanian Electronic Media in the US

This fall, a Ph.D. candidate Ina Ėmužienė defended her thesis on Lithuanian radio and TV programs in the US from 1944 to 1990. Electronic media is a new theme in Lithuanian diaspora history. Inher research, Ina analyzes radio and TV programs broadcasted in the US territory and mostly aimed at Lithuanian-American community. She looks at 58 radio programs and 2 TV shows describing their operating principles,organizational scale, various forms and impact on Lithuanian-American community. In doing so, Ina analyzes the US federal policy toward audio-visual media creators of national ethnic groups, explains the electronic media “strategy” developed by the Lithuanian-American community and its goals, reconstructs thespace of the audio-visual communication media within the community, its organizational principles and policies, and analyzes the role of radio broadcasts in breakthrough stages of the development of Lithuanian diaspora. While analyzing the content of Lithuanian-American radio and television programs, Ina reveals the most acute problems of Lithuanian diaspora community and attempts by radio and TV to solve them. The doctoral thesis (in Lithuanian) can be accessed at >> 

The Conference Discussed the Challenges of Diaspora and Migration

Conference on diaspora and migration.
Photo: The Valdas Adamkus Presidential Library-Museum

On September 28, 2018, the Valdas Adamkus Presidential Library-Museum and the Vytautas Magnus University Lithuanian Emigration Institute invited to the second international conference “Diaspora and Migration: Theoretical Approaches, Complex and Interdisciplinary Research.” The conference was aimed at the history of Lithuanian diaspora, the challenges of modern migration, as well as other ethnic diaspora communities, history and activities of various émigré organizations, specific aspects of the diaspora culture, and comparative diaspora studies of the Baltic States.

The conference drew researchers from Lithuania, Great Britain, Poland, Latvia and Finland, who presented their research in the field of history of Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian diaspora communities,as well as the latest studies on migration processes that had taken place inrecent decades. The conference focused on theoretical insights on modern diaspora and migration research, discussed the possibilities for interdisciplinary research.

The conference was organized by the Vytautas Magnus University Lithuanian Emigration Institute, which for more than two decades has been researching the history of diaspora and migration processesand serving as an archive and library for Lithuanian diaspora heritage. The Institute has been organizing scientific conferences, seminars and exhibitions dedicated to the history of diaspora.