Riga - Berlin
Close up 2016

Riga-Berlin Grafik: Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut’s Close-Up programme enables cultural journalists from the print, online and radio media to swap workplaces with a colleague from abroad for three to four weeks. In 2016, the journalist Ingvilda Strautmane went to Berlin to work for Deutsche Welle. Meanwhile, her colleague, Cornelius Wüllenkemper, reported for Latvijas radio in Riga. 


Cornelius Wüllenkemper Cornelius Wüllenkemper

Freelance critic and reporter (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Deutschlandradio, etc.)
Host medium: Latvijas radio in Riga   
Time of stay: Autumn 2016   
Would like to report on: Latvia, the largest of the small Baltic states – many Germans know no more than that. So there’s a lot to discover! How is the splintered commemoration of the past expressed, and how do they deal with the traces of the Soviet era? What topics do young artists grapple with, what are Latvian authors writing about today? After the invasion in Crimea, are the Latvians really so afraid of the Russians? After all, 175,000 Russian citizens live in the country of just under two million inhabitants. And why is the rejection of civil war refugees in Latvia so pronounced? What does the idea of the European Union mean for Latvians? You can often ask the best questions if you don’t know too much beforehand. That's exactly what I want to do in Latvia, in direct contact with my fellow journalists. In that way, I will perceive the country not only as an interested observer, but also as an involved participant. 


Ingvilda Strautmane Ingvilda Strautmane

Editor at Radio Lettland 1, Kultūras Rondo 
Host mediumDeutsche Welle in Berlin  
Time of stay: Autumn 2016   
Would like to report on: My chief interests are theatre, film and literature. I would like to focus my reporting on the culture, the personalities and the city of Berlin itself. 
How I’ve perceived my host country until now: My Germany is Berlin, Leipzig and Hamburg. Berlin is the modern city where you can find everything.