Young people of Cesis reflect on what it means to be young in the photo exhibition “Youth Manifesto”

During a four-day photography workshop lead by visual artist Vika Eksta the young people of Cesis discussed what it means to be young, trained their visual thinking and photo skills. Through mutual cooperation, they created photographs for the open-air exhibition “Youth Manifesto”, which can be seen in the Rucka Park in Cesis until August 28, 2022.

The year 2022 has been declared the European Year of Youth with the aim of promoting the young people’s involvement in social processes. Therefore, Rucka Art Foundation, in cooperation with visual artist and teacher Vika Eksta, offered a photography workshop to the youth of the Cesis between the ages of 12 and 18. Its purpose was to define the current problems among the youth of Cesis and to provide basic knowledge in photography and, through mutual cooperation, to create artworks that reflect on what it means to be a young person. During the four-day photography workshop, the participants discussed, got to know the technical basics of photography, the basic principles of creating visual images and worked in groups, creating works for the open-air exhibition “Youth Manifesto” in Rucka Park. The creative workshop and work on the exhibition gave young people the opportunity to get involved in social processes while allowing them to reflect on their youth.

“As a part of the workshop, we focused on learning the technical basics of photography as well as creative tasks, the purpose of which was to help participants formulate and translate their feelings about life and their place in it into the language of images. In my opinion, the ability to understand oneself and express one’s feelings in words, pictures or any other medium is very important for the psychological well-being of any person, as well as for the common progress towards a more inclusive society. A part of our work can be seen in the exhibition, but the second part, which some authors considered a too open expression of their thoughts, will be interesting for them to see ten years from now, when adult life has already started”, visual artist Vika Eksta shares her feelings about working with young people.

The authors of the works of the photo exhibition are twelve young people from Cesis – Amanda Asne, Pauls Dreibants, Astrīda Kalna, Luīze Kalniņa, Mārica Kraukle, Emīls Ķirsis, Adrija Lāce, Marta Malceniece, Anna Meldera, Mare Pāsa, Horens Olivers Pētersons, Made Vecā. The photography workshop was led by visual artist and teacher Vika Eksta. The project is implemented by Rucka Art Foundation with the financial support of the State Cultural Capital Foundation and technical support from Sony. Cooperation partners of the project are the gourmet movement “Gardu muti” and cafe “Pagrabiņš”.

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