Finnish documentary night in Liepāja to welcome the marine research vessel Aranda

Finnish documentary night in Liepāja to welcome the marine research vessel Aranda

Several events will be held in Liepāja on 14 and 15 June to boost public interest and engagement in environmental and climate action, introducing everyone to ocean literacy – a key 21st century competency and attitude for understanding our impacts and interactions with the sea and ocean.

In collaboration with the Embassy of Finland in Latvia, two Finnish documentaries will be screened on 14 June at 20:00 at the Culture House “Wiktorija”, taking on a journey around the world, exploring people’s personal links with the ocean and its own biological intelligence to communicate with us, using the plastic produced by humans as a medium for the message. The film screening also introduces the documentary story of the Finnish research vessel Aranda, which is contributing greatly to the observation and monitoring of the oceans, and which will dock in Liepāja on 15 June, welcoming on board anyone who is curious about marine research.

On 14 June, Culture House “Wiktorija”, at 20:00, Documentary “Walk the Tideline” (Meren tuomat), 2020, 56 min, dir. Anna Antsalo, Finland.

Beachcombers are treasure hunters on the ocean shore. Ocean currents wash different things onto the beaches. Some shores are littered with light bulbs, others are flooded with Lego blocks or old bones.

The film focuses on three beach walkers. Rob, from Cornwall, leaves nothing behind on the beach if he has touched it. He is passionate about cleaning beaches. Rob considers himself a civic scientist and stores all the items he finds on the shore in a sea container packed with all kinds of treasures found on the shore. Jolanda, a Dutch archaeologist, studies the erosion of objects to understand the effects of the time on them. Our lives, full of little fragments, form a visible archaeological layer on Earth. Shigeo, a Japanese art teacher, is afraid of the ocean. The tide line, he believes, is the boundary between life and death.

The film builds an image of a human through the objects found in the tide line. The things we leave behind are kept by the sea, and spit back out, carrying messages from times gone by.

The event is free of charge. A Latvian translation will be provided.

On 14 June, Culture House “Wiktorija”, at 21:00, Documentary “Aranda. Letter from the blue planet”, 2011, 59 min, dir. Anu Kuivalainen, Finland.

Aranda is a marine vessel unlike any other. On board, a team of scientists explore the oceans in the four corners of our planet: men and women in search of knowledge, journeying towards the unknown, lost in infinity. The vessel is their microcosm, and the sea is their horizon. A film full of mystery, wrapped in the marine stillness and rhythm of life.

The event is free of charge. A Latvian translation will be provided, On 15 June, Trade Canal opposite the Customs House, at Vecā ostmala 54, from 13:00 to 18:00, Visit of the marine research vessel “Aranda” and activities on the Old Harbour Promenade

The Finnish research vessel “Aranda”, a fully-fledged floating laboratory with an extensive arsenal of data collection and sampling tools, is a major contributor to the observation and monitoring of the seas and oceans. Visiting time for organised school groups will be from 9:00 to 12:00. For the general public, the 66-metre-long vessel will be open from 13:00 to 18:00. In addition to visiting the ship, everyone will have the opportunity to participate in a range of workshops and educational activities from 13:00 to 18:00 in the tent camp, set up opposite the Customs House.

Visit the tents of the Latvian Institute of Hydro Ecology to explore the colourful Baltic Sea underwater realm and try on scuba diving equipment, see relics of the Baltic Sea Ice Age, and learn about alien species from other parts of the world. Discover what organisms are used to detect temporary pollution and how much microplastic pollution there is on the Baltic Sea beach.

At the Nature Conservation Agency’s tent, you can question scientists about the natural values of marine protected areas and check out an exhibition of underwater photographs. Of particular interest among the exhibits, you will find a scanned photograph of a shipwreck at the bottom of the Irbe Strait.  

At the tents of the Science and Education Innovation Centre of the Liepāja City Education Department you will be able to try out various water-related activities and discover the vastness of the water world - learn about water research tools, conduct experiments with water, get to know the water ecosystem and its creatures by looking through a microscope and virtual reality glasses, try controlling waterproof robots, and take part in a fastest boat race.

At the Liepāja University tent, you will have the opportunity to take part in making algae-paper and algae nursery pots using Baltic Sea pink algae, Furcellaria, and recycled materials. Take a look at the water monitoring boat built by the students and equipped with modern sensor technologies, providing data on water quality, the state of the aquatic environment and the topography of the waterbed.

The events are all free of charge and are organised as part of the international project BALTICITIES and the Liepāja City Municipality Administration’s Blue Flag Eco-certificate programme of public education activities.

Parking in the parking lot opposite the Customs House, Vecā ostmala 54, will be restricted on Thursday, 15 June from 6:00 to 20:00 to accommodate the tent construction works and the educational activities.

Contact for information: Liepāja City Municipality Administration Environment Department, Diāna Stendzeniece,  +371 63 404 745.

Contact for groups of schoolchildren to visit the vessel: Liepāja Municipality Education Department, Renāte Meļķe,  +3712 61 647 39.