After two and a half years of work, the publication “Coat of Arms in Modern Latvia” will be published at the beginning of November. This edition will present both the officially registered family coats of arms and the coats of arms of religious persons, as well as the family stories of the holders of coats of arms, the representatives of the reading promotion project “Library” informed. The descriptions of the coat of arms will also be translated into English.
“The formation of family coats of arms in Latvia is essentially a 21st century phenomenon, and the specific edition is the pioneer of this exciting process,” says Ramona Umblija, author, compiler and editor of the edition’s concept, in the preface to the first book. “The first book of the publication reveals the result of the peculiar cooperation of the peculiar trinity – the holders of the coat of arms, the artists and the acceptor of the coat of arms. The English translation allows foreigners to get to know this process as well. The second book of the edition, in turn, throws itself into life. 60 short stories reveal the roots from which the coat of arms grew. This is real life, through which the coat of arms was made. Pride and severe pain, mutual respect, love, laughter and loss, but at the same time – determination, a strong determination to be something more than you are. It could be called the path of the heart of anyone who has entrusted the making of the deep personal to the public. ”
“One has come to think that history can only be written in words, but it is a delusion.
History can be expressed in various forms, and one of them is the coat of arms. In addition, this type of notation allows you to speak not only words but also images.
The coat of arms performs a certain function – it creates associations. Looking at the coat of arms of one’s family, one sees and feels not only oneself, but also one’s family – both those who were once and those who are yet to come. The coat of arms of the family symbolizes the infinity of the family and the family in time, ”commented Valērijs Belokoņs, a long-term patron of Latvian literature, with whose support and initiative this edition was made.
The publication has been created in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture of Latvia and has been developed by an editorial board of eight people. The concept and content of the publication was created by art historian Ramona Umblija. The project was led by Jekaterina Belokoņa, she is also a co-author of the publication. Latvian art historian, heraldry specialist Imants Lancmanis has written the introduction to the first part of the publication “Birth Coats of Arms”. Scientist, philosopher, semiotics specialist Daina Teters is the introductory author of the second part of the publication “Family and Coat of Arms”. Historian and heraldry specialist Armands Vijups has created heraldic descriptions of heraldic dictionaries and coats of arms in English. Laimonis Šēnbergs, the chairman of the State Heraldry Commission, has advised on the creation of the artistic design of the publication. Former President Vaira Vike-Freiberga and the main shareholder of Baltic International Bank, patron of Latvian literature Valērijs Belokoņs, also contributed. The artistic design of the publication was created by the artist Tatjana Raičenica; photo sessions: Santa Savisko-Jēkabsone.
Both books have been published in a limited edition – 1,000 copies, most of which will end up in the hands of Latvian families. Due to the pandemic, the planned ambitious launch event has been postponed until the situation has improved. The planned distribution process of the book has also changed. The editorial board and the families involved in the creation of the publication, as well as the project team will receive copies of the publication in the beginning of November. However, how to get the book owned by other people is still being considered, and information will be provided soon.
“Family Coats of Arms in Modern Latvia” is one of the publications of the reading promotion project “Library”. The project “Library” is a social project initiated by the Latvian literary patron “Baltic International Bank” with the aim to promote reading and writing in Latvia. The “Library” started its operation in 2018, publishing a series of interviews with important people in Latvian literature and culture about the value of literature in human life. Thanks to the public response and involvement, in 2019 the project was continued with the creation of the traveling exhibition “Family Book”. Within the framework of the project, initiatives and appeals are regularly developed for various groups of the society, with the aim to draw attention to literature as an inheritable value and to promote the development of reading habits in the society.
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