Riga 1941 – 1944, through the lens of a German officer’s Cinema Camera

Thursday 24 January 2019
Riga 1941 – 1944, through the lens of a German officer’s Cinema Camera

On January 24, 2019, at 17.00, the event "Riga 1941–1944, through the lens of a German officer’s Cinema Camera" will take place at the temporary premises of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia (Raiņa bulvāris 7). During the event, unique cinematographic materials, found during the Marie Skłodowska Curie Innovative Training Network project “Children Born of War – Past, Present and Future (CHIBOW),” will be premiered.

The event will feature a premier of films, taken by German officer Christoph Stribning on an 8mm camera, in Latvia during World War Two. Oskars Gruziņš, a PhD student at the University of Latvia (LU) and a researcher of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project “Children Born of War – Past, Present and Future (CHIBOW),” discovered these unique materials during his research on children born to local mothers and foreign soldiers in World War Two Latvia. In the summer of 2018 Oskars meet and interviewed Gunter Stribning, the son the officer who created these films. As a result of this meeting, this unique material has been donated to, and can now be found in, the archives of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia.

During the presentation, the audience will also be acquainted with the historical context surrounding these films, their author’s biography and the story of how they came to be in the museum’s collection. The event will also touch on Stribning’s family history, its member’s willingness and ability to converse about this complex family history, shrouded in silence and family secrets. Oskars Gruziņš, Doctor of Communication Science at the University of Latvia, will introduce the films and Stribning’s family history. The films will be historically contextualized and presented in four categories: 1) War, testimonies of repression and occupation in Latvia; 2) Views of Riga; 3) everyday life in Nazi occupied Latvia; 3) Germany during the war. The event will also be supplemented with presentations by Professor of the University of Latvia Dr. hist. Vita Zelče and historian of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia Dr. hist. Kārlis Dambītis.

The coordinator of the project "Children Born of War – Past, Present and Future" is the University of Birmingham (UK), and members include the University of Leipzig (Germany), the University of Augsburg (Germany), the University of Rouen (France), the University of Latvia, the University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland), the University of Klaipeda (Lithuania), the University of Greifswald (Germany), Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí (Czech Republic), the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the Research on Consequences of War (Austria), Psychotrauma Centre South Netherlands (Netherlands) and Utrecht University (Netherlands). Project partner organizations include GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (Germany), the ICON Institute (Germany), Facilitation for Peace and Development (Uganda), the BBC (United Kingdom) and the Russian State University for the Humanities. The "Children Born of War – Past, Present and Future" project is a part of the EU's "Horizon 2020" program.

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