The Kaunas Biennial has already been participating for three years in the international solidarity program Hemispheres, the initiator of which is the French organization Freres des Hommes. Estonian, Italian, Catalonian and Irish organizations are participating in the program along with the Lithuanians and French. During 2009-2011, we sent almost thirty young artists to a three-week seminar in Paris for training, whose view and models for behavior are changed by information and presentations from speakers that come from countries from the southern hemisphere like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, Peru, Senegal, and Indonesia. Upon returning from their training, the young Lithuanian artists along with their colleagues from other European countries organize events that help to bring to life international solidarity and personal responsibility in local communities. Some of the first projects like “Sveiki atvykę į niekam nerūpi” (“Welcome to No One Cares”, on Kaunas’ Laisvės Street) and ecological creative workshops were organized during the last Kaunas Biennial TEXTILE’09. Later on they followed with bigger festival-like events, such as “Būti čia” (Being Here) (such as exhibitions, concerts, a dance performance, and kite-flying event among other things) or “Pažink tuos, kurių dėka valgei pietus” (“Let’s Know Those We Should Thank for Our Lunch”, an analysis of agriculture on a global scale with lectures, creative workshops, and graffiti works, which were supported by biennial friends the Osgemeos Brothers from Brazil). There were also film evenings or personal exhibitions on social themes.
During the opening week of the biennial, which invites artists from both hemispheres to Kaunas, the nucleus of these “hemisphere artists”, led by young artist Vėjūnė Sudarytė, is organizing the international project DAILY BREAD. Not only are all the Lithuanians that took part in the training invited to bring this project to life, but also friends of the program from other European countries. The young participants will hand out bread baking recipes from various parts of the world, and afterwards they will bake bread together, and then break bread on the long “global” table together with Kaunas residents and guests of the city and biennial. We are all united around the world by daily bread. The bread may have a different taste or color, but it is necessary to sustain life. Giving out bread in a public space reveals one of the most important aspects of the Kaunas Biennial, which is a good community feeling, and nurturing (in our case) through textile culture. Textile, like bread, is something that is every day. Thus let’s share this knowledge at the common table of experience.
Project consultant dr. Vytautas Tumėnas.