Sunday, November 7, 2010

In Latvia, vindictive repression hits the "rag trade"

Normally, Riga Fashion Week would be way beyond my sphere of interest -- babes on the edge of anorexia strutting down runways in far-out outfits you never see on the street or in offices (although Latvian women generally dress well). Good for them and on to the next subject...
But wait, it now seems that the organizers of Riga Fashion Week have expelled Agnese Kleina, a fashion blogger, journalist and editor of the magazine Deko (which is all about fashion, design, style and all that stuff). Agnese, it seems, criticized the poster for the event. I mean, that is what fashion/design/style journalists do, isn't it? They tell the rest of us why they think something is well designed or in good or bad taste, sort of like film critics write about movies and food critics about restaurants. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and seldom is there just one viewpoint. Take the film Amaya (a film shot in Hong Kong by a Latvian director who works in Lithuania). Some critics thought it was great. I saw it and I would give it five WTF?s (I found myself thinking those words at least five times, starting with when the camera panned down to actress Kristīne Nevarauska's legs so as not to show that she was not voicing the accented English lines she was supposed to be saying).  So should I now be expelled from Latvian movie houses?
What makes the case of Agnese Kleina even stranger is that when she was declined accreditation by the organizers of the event, she went there as the personal guest of one of her favorite designers, just to see her show off her collection. Even so, she was escorted out of the event by security people. WTF? How about the right of a participant and exhibitor to invite whomever she wants?
While you could argue that private events do not have to follow rules and practices about the freedom of speech (this derives from the freedom of non-state actors to be total assholes if they so choose or are intellectually doomed to be just that), the fashion event did take place at Riga Airport, a public facility and with the moral support of the Riga City Council,  a public authority whose reputation can be tainted by being dragged into, excuse the sexist terminology -- bitch fights.

Agnese writes about the incident in the English-language portion of her fashion blog:

Riga Fashion week? Been there, done that. Although with no press accreditation whatsoever as my official application was denied for the first time (I guess, some post on some poster is to be blamed), but still. Some birdie told me that similar ‘reasons’ have put TV fashion journalist Gundega Skudrina in the same list of persona non grata. Well, shit happens. I hope, it won’t go further down and doors won’t be showed to theatre reviewers, fallen in the disgrace of some theatre directors.


Oh well, this is Latvia, what else can one expect.... or am I wrong?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tiešām boringstafs, Juri, tikai parādīji, ka no modes Tu tiešām neko nesaproti.

reņģis said...

No anonīmā komentētāja gan varētu pamācīties, kā būt saturīgam un interesantam.

Miķelis said...

Nav jāsaprot pat pārāk daudz no modes, lai saprastu, ka notikušais ir liela aprobežotības paraugstunda. Un pats raksts ir ir nevis boringstafs, bet laba nostājas un viedokļa paušana.

Melns Nezvērs said...

Piedevām nevis tikai "editor" bet gan "editor in chief of the magazine Deko"

Kasparsf said...

Vai nav tā ka divi zaķi ar vienu šāvienu? Es, cilvēks kurš nekad nav dzirdējis par šo pasākumu, tagad no visām pusēm tieku par to informēts.

Raimonds said...

Tas gan ir par citu tēmu - bet arī varētu būt aktuāli Free Speech Emergency kontekstā: gandrīz notikusī Kristovska atstādināšana, kam par pamatu kļuva visai apšaubāmos apstākļos publicēta privāta e-sarakste. Šķiet, ka vārda brīvība Latvijā pagaidām nav atcelta? Nebūt neuzskatu, ka Ģ.V.K. būtu īstais cilvēks īstajā vietā, bet šis nav tas kritērijs, pēc kura viņš būtu vērtējams. Tas nedaudz atgādina šūmēšanos par Oskaru Godāram.

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Journalist of agency said...

Riga Fashion Week refused my application this year after be in the event by 2 years. The last years I wrote in media that organization is arrogant people and naiv. Last year I tried to access to the backstage as in mnay other events like Paris and they refused mem, only the "staff photographers" can be inside. But i put my nose inside when the security guys don't watch the door and I can see how the models need to change the dress and cloths. It is totally inhumane and not professional. After ask girls if they want to talk some of them say "we can't talk here". Riga Fashion Week don;t will be anymore covered by the international agency where I work and already RFW is a black name in the fashion events.