Laimikis.lt is an interdisciplinary platform for community art, urban research, activism, and non-formal learning. Our mission is to promote participatory urban regeneration through creative activities. As a creative group we have got more than 7 years experience in curating public art projects, developing and putting into action scenarios for revitalization of deactivated public spaces, initiating research and educational activities focused on participatory citizenship, developing urban games and arranging urban festivals. In our work we apply art-based and participatory research approaches. In 2009 “Laimikis.lt” was registered as an civil society organization (NGO).
The organization will contribute to the partnership with its expertise in art-based research and patricipatory research methods, which encourage citizen participation in regeneration of the neighbourhood. In the framework of “Inside Views” partnership “Laimikis.lt” develops a local project, focused on the material culture and memory of the wooden neighbourhood of Šnipiškės (Vilnius). The Lithuanian team continues the work, which was started in the context of InterContext partnership.
Cases of use of the anthropological approach in civic, cultural or intercultural education in the previous Laimikis.lt practice:
• Street Lucky Catch, interviews with passers-by and city mapping / Gatvės Laimikiai, foto interviu su praeiviais ir miesto kartografavimas [in English and Lithuanian, pdf]
A series of photo-interviews with passers-by, made in Vilnius and other Lithuanian and European cities. The goal was to create a cultural map a changing city of Vilnius (and other cities) through the everyday routes and cultural preferences of the passers-by. By focusing attention to the favourite city locations, music, films, internet sites, travel destinations, books and hobbies of passers-by it was also sought to bring public interest to the everyday life of citizens, who usually do not get attention of media as experts in cinema, literature, fashion, urban places, etc.
• Street Blog, a platfrom for discussions / Gatvės Blogas, mobili diskusijų platforma [in English and Lithuanian, pdf]
A mobile interactive installation, which serve as a communication tool and a community development method. The object was installed in various city spaces for to initiate written and verbal discussions on burning urban topics (for example, the reconstruction of the public spaces) or just for exchanging messages, pictures and small items. Urban spaces, where the Street Blog was installed were activated by attracting people, and the temporal communities of active users of the Street Blog emerge.
• Street Mosaic Workshop / Gatvės mozaikos dirbtuvės Šnipiškėse [in English, slideshow].
A community art format, developed by Laimikis.lt for the revitalization of the wooden neighbourhood of Šnipiškės, which used to be famous for its ceramic workshops in 16-18th centuries. A community art is not only a form of participatory research [see publication], but also an effective networking and placemaking tool. Street Mosaic workshop takes place in the streets of the neighbourhood each week. The format is open and everyone is invited to join. There are different forms of participating in creating starting from decorating electric pole the participants were invited to decorate facades of local bicycle shop. The initiative is sustainable, as the tiles nd other materials are donated and collected by the residents.
Jekaterina Lavrinec is a Vilnius-based curator of community art initiatives, researcher and educator in the fields of Urban and Media Studies. She received a PhD in Humanities from Vilnius University in 2008. As an associate professor at the Faculty of Creative Industries (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University) and as a visiting lecturer, she teaches courses in Urban Studies and Creative Communication. As an invited tutor she leads workshops and summer schools in participatory planning and public art practices.
Since 2o13 she has been working on cultural development of a wooden neighbourhood of Šnipiškės as a member of “Laimikis.lt”. In her practice she implements arts-based and participatory research approaches and focuses on the issues of temporal urban solidarities and cooperation, usability of public spaces, revitalization of abandoned urban places. Together with Julius Narkūnas she took part in a number of collective exhibitions as street photographer and urban interventionist.
Julius Narkūnas, graduated as an architect at Vilnius Academy of Arts in 2004. His academic interests lay in the field of urban morphology and his practical interests embrace community building and communication. Since 2007 he started working as a creative director and executive for public relation and advertising companies.
Together with dr. Jekaterina Lavrinec he is a co-founder of “Laimikis.lt“. He is one of the initiators of street actions and urban installations, which aim to reanimate public spaces, seek to activate creative local communities for creative actions and to build street tools for intensive communication between passers-by. Being a member of “Laimikis.lt” group Julius Narkūnas has participated in a number of exhibitions and publishing projects devoted to the city life. He also works as a trainer, running workshops on active citizenship and non-formal education.