Riga – Lyon How can we build a society that perceives diversity not as a threat, but as an enrichment?

In Latvia, given its history, freedom means first and foremost the absence of foreign domination. Freedom is, above all, something collective here. But aren’t “others” likely to be perceived as a threat to national unity and stability as a result? How developed in Latvian society is tolerance towards gay men and lesbians, migrants and people who simply (want to) live their lives differently? The Freiraum project is going to work with Rīga Stradiņš University to address all these questions.


The Lyon-Riga tandem have engaged a theatre in each city as their project partners. Their Freiraum questions are highly compatible: How are populists attempting to restrict liberties, howsoever they may be defined? And: How do we bring about a society that sees diversity not as a threat, but as an enrichment? Both are to be answered in a collaborative effort between the two theatres, Image Aiguë and Gertrudes iela teatris, in the form of a so-called "Escape Room": an interactive game, developed differently for each city, revolving around the central concept of “participation”. The participants will be given a space in which to get to know one another, to exchange and participate, as well as complete freedom to behave as they see fit. So the Escape Room is to become an open forum in which to debate current political issues and test limits. Starting in September 2018, Latvia’s Baltkom radio has begun broadcasting regular reports on the development of the project in “diary” form. Discussion events are to be held in both cities to round off the project. The Escape Room will be premiered in Lyon in February 2019 and in Riga in March 2019.

(September 2018)

Our Partner

The Žanis-Lipke memorial commemorates the Lipke family, which hid more than 50 inhabitants of the Jewish ghetto in Riga during the Second World War, saving them from the Nazi regime.

Ģertrūdes ielas teātris (GIT) in Riga is a forum for contemporary art, a venue for professional theatre, dance and performance art productions. Local and international artists perform their plays here. The GIT also holds non-commercial concerts and exhibitions and participates in various art mediation and education initiatives. Our guiding values are relevance, courage and audacity, sensitivity, creative exploration, openness, professionalism and determination to achieve well-conceived goals.

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Freiraum_Paris_TeaserParisLjubljana If we had the Freiraum – the time and the space – to do exactly what we want to do together, what would we do?
Freiraum_Riga_TeaserRigaLyon How can we build a society that perceives diversity not as a threat, but as an enrichment?
Freiraum_Helsinki_TeaserHelsinkiSofia How many rules are necessary at the very least to live together?
Freiraum_Sofia_TeaserSofiaHelsinki How can our society get back in touch with itself and overcome its internal rifts?
Freiraum_Tirana_TeaserTiranaBudapest Is freedom a burden or an opportunity?
Freiraum_Mailand_TeaserMilan OsloIs identity coexistence or conflict?
Freiraum_Lyon_TeaserLyonRiga How can we pass on freedom?
Freiraum_Barcelona-Madrid_TeaserBarcelona & MadridBelgrade Do the Roma embody the spirit of a Europe without borders?
Freiraum_Bukarest_TeaserBucharest VilniusIf identity is like a fruit salad, how can we add tolerance as an ingredient to tie all the flavours together?
Freiraum_Amsterdam_TeaserAmsterdamNaples How do we construct our individual and collective identity around the concept of freedom? We can we use freedom as a tool that includes without excluding and challenges our habitual ways of thinking?