It should be mentioned preemptively that the biggest gift for modernists – the old and the new ones, Kaunas residents and those observing our city from the outside – would be the news about our city’s interwar period architecture and its urban fabric’s inclusion in the World Heritage List, and we will definitely learn about it in 2022.
Kaunas’ step into UNESCO is a challenge for both professionals and also all residents of Kaunas and Kaunas district. After all, international experts don’t create or protect anything, they simply recognize what is valuable and how it should be treated. So, the main goal of the Kaunas 2022 program Modernism for the Future is to make us feel responsible for our environment and help create an emotional connection with the urban landscape and culture.
Thousands of buildings that were erected in Kaunas and around it during the interwar period as well as their architects, builders, owners, and residents including their fates are important elements in discussing the legacy that we see, pass by, explore and use on a daily basis. It is not the bare walls, but the way of thinking – architecture permeated with individual stories and meanings – that is of great value.
Modernism for the Future is a space for initiatives and meetings (that was created 5 years ago) where professionals from different fields, building owners, the heritage community and cultural initiatives meet for joint discussions, workshops, artistic and cultural activities to create scenarios for preserving, interpreting and disseminating modernist heritage.
Like other Kaunas 2022 programs, this one would not be as rich without the partners who offered their ideas, connections and opportunities. It is thanks to them that the audience interested in heritage and its integration is being expanded as well as the news about Kaunas as a city of exceptional architecture is being spread more effectively.
Together with dancers, painters, photographers and representatives of various other fields of art, musicians are an important element of this modernist array. Contemporary sounds composed by Patris Židelevičius and Arūnas Periokas can be heard in the main exhibition of Modernism for the Furure in the Kaunas Central Post Office; world music concerts are to be held in modernist buildings later this year. Optimismo, an event focusing on reviving the industrial heritage with experimental and electronic music sounds, steps in boldly into the programme for the year 2022. See you on June 3–5 in Kaunas.