In preparation for the extraordinary presentation of Lithuania’s cultural presentation at this year’s international Leipzig book fair at the end of March, the Lithuanian Culture Institute organized a visit from the representatives of 12 of Germany’s largest media channels. During the visit, the journalists learned about many of the artists to be presented in Leipzig, explored the cities of Vilnius and Kaunas, discovered the connections between our countries, and experienced the beauty of winter outside of Lithuania’s larger cities as well.
The cultural editors of Germany’s largest national daily newspapers, television and radio channels, and cultural websites – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, Der Spiegel, Die Welt, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Börsenblatt u.a, ZDF, MDR, Deutschlandfunk, Leipziger Volkszeitung and the DPA news agency – visited Lithuania from January 23-27.
The ZDF Aspekte TV show shooted a documentary film about contemporary Lithuanian culture. Reports of the German media based on this press visit will serve to present Lithuania’s programme at Leipzig to German audiences in detail and provide a diverse panorama of contemporary Lithuanian culture as well.
On 23-26 of March, Lithuania will present as many as 26 new books in Leipzig written by Lithuanian writers and published by German and Austrian publishers. During the visit, journalists have met authors Alvydas Šlepikas, Undinė Radzevičiūtė, Laurynas Katkus, Giedra Radvilavičiūtė, Laimonas Briedis, Kęstutis Kasparavičius, Rimvydas Stankevičius, Renata Šerelytė, Prof. Ingė Lukšaitė, Mikalojus Vilutis, Antanas A. Jonynas and others, as well as Cornelius Hell and Markus Roduner, who have translated many literary works.
Translator Hell and writer Briedis presented journalists with an excursion through literary and historic Vilnius, showing how they see the city from historical and contemporary perspectives. The guests from Germany learned about Vilnius University, the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, the Vilnius Academy of Arts, Kaunas’ medieval and modern heritage, and other significant cultural spaces.
Journalists also became acquainted with a literary and cultural program involving the “Lithuanian Spring” in Leipzig: composer Arturas Bumšteinas discussed his Vargonų Safario Kronikos project, Operomanija producer Ana Ablamonova presented mono opera in the dark Confessions, photographer Arturas Valiauga shared the discoveries he made while looking for content for an exhibition about famous German poet Johannes Bobrowski called Abipus Nemuno: tarp Rytų ir Vakarų, and curator Virginija Vitkienė introduced her Oxymora exhibition.
The German journalists’ visit was crowned with a visit to poet and writer Eugenijus Ališanka’s homestead in the village of Zabarija.