1st – 3rd December, journalists from the UK were visiting Riga to learn more about Latvian contemporary literature, our Centenary celebration programme, as well as see various tourist attractions. The trip has been jointly organised by the “Latvian Literature” platform, the Latvian Institute (LI), and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA).
Five British literary, travel and lifestyle journalists — Virginia Blackburn (The Daily Express), William Cook (The Oldie), Stephanie Boland (Prospect Magazine), Nicholas Lezard (The Guardian) and Brendan Harding, as well as the Midas PR Agency representative Hannah McMillan, and Cultural Attaché at European Commission, Jeremy O’Sullivan — were invited by the “Latvian Literature” platform to visit Latvia and learn more about its culture and book industry.
In a series of lectures, the guests were learning more about Latvia as a tourist destination, about Latvia's Centenary celebration programme, our contemporary literature and publishing industry, as well as the projects connected to Latvia's participation in the London Book Fair 2018. During their trip, the journalists were meeting Latvian writers whose works are scheduled to be soon printed by British publishing houses. Informative excursions around the Art Nouveau streets of Riga, the Central Market, and the National Library were also on the agenda. For some of the journalists a visit to the opera, a shopping-tour around Latvia's design stores, and sightseeing in Kurzeme had been arranged separately. “If we wish for Latvia and its literature to be known abroad, we must not only visit other countries but also be enthusiastic about inviting publishers and journalist to Latvia. This is the only way to allow others to see our society, culture and life-style with their own eyes. Moreover, every time we have greeted foreign book and publishing industry representatives, we have learnt something interesting about ourselves,” elaborates Inga Bodnarjuka-Mrazauskas, director of the “Latvian Literature” platform.
The visit was arranged as part of Latvia's preparation for the London Book Fair. 10th – 12th April 2018, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania will be participating in the London Book Fair as Market Focus countries, therefore our literature will be extensively promoted, translated and published in English. You may follow the campaign on the “Latvian Literature” Facebook page – Facebook.com/LatvianLiterature.