Finding One’s Place: A New Book About the Immigrant Experience

cover-smallAt the age of five, Tony Mankus along with his family was forced to leave Lithuania during World War II. The feeling and even pain of being exiled has never left him, neither in his young days spent in the DP camp in Germany, nor in old age living in the United States. “Where do I belong? Where is my place?” are key questions that Mankus tries to answer in his book “Where Do I Belong To?: An Immigrant’s Quest for Identity”(2013). This frank and unsentimental story will be of a special interest to those readers who want to learn more about authentic experiences of immigrants.
Tony Mankus talks about his book on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=51&v=c9UoXSRYPyU


Deimantė Žukauskienė

Exhibition “Lithuanian Publishing in Post- WWII Europe”

On July 15-17, 2015 about 150 delegates from 33 countries gathered at the 25th Lithuanian World Community (LWC) Seimas in Vilnius. During the three-day event, the participants discussed the present and the future of the LWC, paying special attention to Lithuanian education and cooperation with the Lithuanian authorities.
Exhibition
On the first day of Seimas, Lituanica Department of Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania in Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania invited the delegates to the opening of a new exhibition “Lithuanian Publishing in Post-WWII Europe”.
Jolanta BudriunieneIn the opening speech, the head of the Department, Jolanta Budriūnienė, talked about the idea of the exhibition – using the rich collection of Lithuanian DP Publishing, 1945-1952, housed at the National Library of Lithuania to commemorate 70 years since the mass westward flight of the Baltic Displaced Persons, refugees from war-torn Lithuania. It should be noted that in 2011, the collection was recognised as part of Lithuania’s documentary heritage and included in the UNESCO’s program “World Memory” for the Lithuanian National Register.
Irena DegutieneThe Deputy Speaker of Lithuanian Parliament and the hostess of the exhibition, Irena Degutienė, stressed that at the end of WWII, while Europe was freeing itself, in Lithuania, guerrilla fighting had only intensified and the mass deportations were taking place. Thus, it is not surprising that Lithuanian publishing, exiled from the homeland, had to establish itself in the West. “Our language was alive and will be alive, because everything depends on our willingness to speak the language, regardless of where one lives,” Degutienė concluded her speech.
Dr. Vincas Bartusevičius, the director of Lithuanian Institute of Culture in Germany and the author of a monograph “The DP Camps in Germany, 1945-1951”, gave an overview of the historical context and the conditions under which Lithuanian publishing evolved in post-war Germany and other Western European countries.
The chair of the LWC Culture Commission, Jūratė Caspersen, invited Lithuanian diaspora communities to remember their historical origins by seizing the opportunity to exhibit the travelling exhibition “Lithuanian Publishing in Post-WW II Europe” in their host countries.
The exhibition was prepared by the Lituanica Department of the National Library of Lithuania in partnership with Lithuanian Institute of Culture in Germany. Support came from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania on the recommendation of Lithuanian Traditions and Heritage Commission.

Diaspora Researchers Gathered At The National Library of Lithuania

SecondSeminarFor the second year in a row, the Lituanica Department invited diaspora researchers to the seminar. During the one-day event, the participants heard three presentations about Lithuanian diaspora. Dr Ramūnas Čičelis, the lecturer at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), talked about the philotopic aspect in Jonas Mekas, an American Lithuanian artist; Akvilė Šimėnienė, who studies in the doctorate program at the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, shared her findings about Dr Birutė Ciplijauskaitė’s literary criticism; and the doctorate student at the Lithuanian Academy of Arts, Jolanta Bernotaitytė, discussed the representations of the Lithuanian American art in the 20th century during the sixties and nineties. Vilnius University historian Dr Tomas Balkelis, who spoke about the international aspect of diaspora and migration studies, urged the seminar’s participants to write theirarticles and books not only to a Lithuanian, but a foreign reader as well and their research to look for Lithuanian connections with other nations and communities.

The Head of the Lithuanian Literature Department at VMU, Assoc. Dr Dalia Kuizinienė, noticed that a lot of important research in the field of the Lithuanian diaspora had been carried out over the past 25 years. However, she noted that there are still quite a few holes and gaps remaining. She agreed with Assoc. Dr Žydronė Kolevinskienė, dean of Lithuanian Philology Faculty at the University of Educational Sciences that not a lot has been done to research the most recent Lithuanian emigrant literature, Lithuanian foreign press, as well as theatre and visual arts.

At the end of the seminar, a book presentation, The nostalgia and mimicry: Lithuanian and Latvian post-war diaspora novels by Laura Laurušaitė (Vilnius: Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore), took place. Guests, Dr Manfredas Žvirgždas, Assoc. Dr Kuizinienė and Dr Čičelis, stressed the novelty of the book, especially the methodological tools, comparative and postcolonial perspectives, and their successful adaptation for Lithuanian and Latvian emigrant novels. The author of the monograph noted that one of her main objectives while writing the book was to introduce Lithuanian readers to a rich Latvian diaspora prose, especially bearing in mind that not a single work from more than 400 Latvian diaspora novels published in post-war is available in Lithuanian language.


Dalia Cidzikaitė

The virtual exhibition “No, My Friends, We Won’t Go Slow”

2165_3762_regular_min-jimo-enklas-enklo-autorius-giedrius-reimeris-_The exhibition is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Lithuania’s independence. The title was inspired by the essay “No, my friends, we won’t go slow” written by émigré artist Jonas Mekas, published at the end of March 1990 in the New York Times, one of the largest circulation newspapers in the US.

The exhibition offers various articles by famous journalists and authors, as well as editorials in the regional press of 14 countries. The clippings were carefully collected and sent to the Library by Lithuanian émigrés and friends of Lithuania living abroad.

The project’s partner – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. We kindly thank prof. Dr. Nijolė Kašelionienė, Assoc. Dr. Carmen Caro Dugo, Rimantas Morkvėnas, Danutė Janutienė, Vitalija Gylikienė, Jonas Rimka, Vaclava Filipovič, Žana Tarasevič, Laura Tupe, Gabrielė Klimaitė-Želvienė, Vaidas Radavičius ir Gytis Marcinkevičius for their assistance in translating.

The virtual exhibition “No, My Friends, We Won’t Go Slow” >>> http://parodos.lnb.lt/en/exhibits/show/paroda-kovo-11

The exhibition was prepared by the Lituanica Department of the National Library of Lithuania. Authors: Dr. Dalia Cidzikaitė and Valdonė Budreckaitė. Visuals and design by Eglė Karalienė.

The Joint Project by Memory Institutions of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

2010_3302_zoomed_paroda_This year marks 70 years of one of the greatest Baltic emigration waves in the twentieth century, when at the end of the WW II, more than 280 000 Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian citizens avoiding Soviet repressions were forced to leave their homeland. The first temporary place to live became German DP camps, where the Balts very soon revived active social, cultural and social life.

To commemorate this anniversary, the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian memory institutions for more than two years worked together on an international project Refugees from the Baltic Countries in German Camps 1944-1951, which resulted in a virtual exhibition. In this project, our country was represented by the Lituanica Department of the National Library of Lithuania.

The exhibition presents the archives housed at the Lithuanian National Library, the Lithuanian Cultural Institute, the American Lithuanian Cultural Archives, the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center in the US, Chicago and personal collection of an Australian Lithuanian Pranas Nagys. The exhibition can be visited at >>>

Senior Researcher of the National Library of Lithuania Became the Lithuanian-American Community, Inc. Representative in Lithuania

Cidzikaite-Giedriaus Sulniaus photoOn December 2014, the Lithuanian-American Community, Inc. appointed dr. Dalia Cidzikaitė, a senior researcher at Lituanica Department of the National Library of Lithuania, as its new representative in Lithuania. 

Among other things, Ms. Cidzikaitės’ activities will include representing LAC at various events, meeting with the LAC members visiting Lithuania, and communicating with the Lithuanian media. Continue reading “Senior Researcher of the National Library of Lithuania Became the Lithuanian-American Community, Inc. Representative in Lithuania”