Interview with Baiba Ripa, 04.07.2019

See also: Piazzetta Riga

Baipa Ripa organised Piazzetta Riga and is now a freelance artist.

Interviewer: You met the group and Mike Hentz in particular that got involved with…that organised Piazza virtuale.

Baiba Ripa: Yes. So, how I met Mike. So, that was – yeah, of course, that was nothing concerning Piazza virtuale because I met Mike but he was in other project on a tour through the post-Soviet places to Petersburg and he arrived in Riga. But we didn’t met in Riga because I was traveling in a country and we met in Tallinn so that was our meeting, the first. And then after, it was a lot of talk…

Interviewer: What year exactly? When was that?

Baiba Ripa: Well, ’89 I guess.

Interviewer: Mhm. So, before the war came down? When it was still the Soviet Union.

Baiba Ripa: 1989, ’89 I guess yeah, ’89 in the summer I think. It was really in a first moment when somebody was allowed to come in more easy with yeah, everything. So, that was…

Interviewer: The Riga in particular.

Baiba Ripa: Yeah.

Interviewer: So, ja what was your common interest? Why did you hook up? Why did you get interested in each other?

Baiba Ripa: It’s a common interest. It’s life I guess. No, it was like of course the – I did some project and I was interested about everything, what was new and then he was on a – interest in a Soviet, post-Soviet places and everything, what’s going on here. Just that if you ask like that, I don’t remember easily. But that was like we had a very good connection. And then after I got the invitation from Berlin and when I was in Berlin, I was in connection with the underground scenes and a lot of clubs in Berlin. And then after it just was invitation from Mike to come to Hamburg and we met in academy and I see work of him and we stayed in contact. And the next times when Mike came to Riga, so that starts also this project with piazza. And we get in contact again and yeah, that worked.

Interviewer: Ja. Staying in contact must have been quite difficult at that time. There was no email, no Skype, no nothing, how did you stay in contact?

Baiba Ripa: I think that was the best way to stay in contact because if you met someone who interests you in a reasons of art or private or whatever, you just keep the contact in mind and when you met again, you would just have this contact.

Interviewer: So, you…

Baiba Ripa: You actually don’t need the Skype and WhatsApp and (laughs) phones and stuff.

Interviewer: Ja. So, you didn’t write letters or anything, it was more based on actual activities that you got together?

Baiba Ripa: Yes. I know. It’s, I mean when you go somewhere you have one or two contacts and Mike has some contacts in mind from the previous visit and then of course he came. Okay, that was the fax and the phones and yeah. That was the connections.

Interviewer: Okay. So, what did he tell you about Piazza virtuale before it started because it was a project, you know there was no predecessor almost, there was very little to demonstrate what they were planning. What was your idea what they were going to do and why were you interested in that?

Baiba Ripa: No. Basically it was like there was – I had no idea about the all new medias and all new technical part because I was totally in art and graphic and paintings and some performance parts in the arts. And in this way, as I remember, he came and started to talk about the project as a connection and as a – okay, I knew about the project, what he did before with Minus Delta T with the television.

Interviewer: Mhm.

Baiba Ripa: And then was like, yeah, he explained the whole idea and the idea of how it works. And then after he teach me all the techniques how it has to be connected. So, I mean in the principal, in a way not the technical way.

Interviewer: Mhm. And when was that? Do you remember when he first invited you to participate in that?

Baiba Ripa: I think it was the – it was half a year before or something like that. It’s, before it starts. It was in – it was, the main project was in the summer as I remember (unclear)

Interviewer: Ja. Sorry. I keep hearing these background noises. Where is this? Julian is that you or? Okay. So, thank you. All right. So, half year before you learn about it, which is a little bit about on short notice. Why were you interested in participating in that at all? You were saying you had a background in more traditional art. Why did you think, “I want to be part of this”?

Baiba Ripa: No. It was interesting project organised. So, it was like more I was working as a curator or a manager for the whole project because I connect all the places and all the spots in Riga and all connections. And technically of course there was another thing. So, it for me was interesting to work with a project where there’s so much connection between the people, between the east and west so that was my main interest because I was like I see how the west, how the east was so closed in the Soviet times and then you get so much information abroad. And when they opened the wall and also the Soviets fallen down so there was a lot of interest to exchange knowledge and all the interest to show how we work, how we are, how we live, so.

Interviewer: Ja. The Piazzetta in Riga is very particular about that that you have for these programmes about traditions and customs and music and stuff like that so it really seems like you made a big effort to present your country as a nation?

Baiba Ripa: Yeah. That was also – that’s what everybody wants to do because I mean I especially doesn’t organise that but that was kind of way like to show that we are, that we’re proud of this, what we are (laughs) and all the things what we have because it was a famous artist and journalists and politicians (laughs) and musicians so everybody was involved. And there was a lot of people on the streets who came to the place to Piazzetta and talked.

Interviewer: Mhm. Ja. I think in Latvia it also had to do with the fact that you had been occupied by the Soviets for such a long time and this was kind of like the first wave of national, I don’t know what’s the word, reawakening or something. Or the first time you could open the express national sentiments again. Is that true?

Baiba Ripa: Yeah, that’s true. That was the – that was the first year when it happened. When people was – of course, a lot of people was afraid still, a lot of afraid and there was also people who said to me that, “Do I really understand what I’m involved and do I really understand what the project are and so on?” But yeah. I had – I was maybe too young and I didn’t take it. And basically, that was very interesting. The people act very differently. Somebody talked a lot about that, somebody not at all, so.

Interviewer: Mhm. I am going through the files of Mike now and then you will also remember Kathy Rae Huffman who was traveling with him?

Baiba Ripa: Yes.

Interviewer: And she kept making – she made – she kept writing these memoires about the different meetings and also you know the reception of the programme. And she said that many people felt that the Latvian Piazzetta was too nationalistic, you know the Italians didn’t talk about Italy all the time. And can you see that from the western point of view or from the outsider point of view maybe you, you know you forced a very strong national again agenda that others didn’t to that extent?

Baiba Ripa: Yes, but maybe that was because it’s like – yeah, you know, I don’t think that someone in that time really realised that moment what was for Riga to be in such a project because Italians, it was Italians and they took part on that and Germans was the Germans and they took part on it. And in this time that this project where the Latvians could be part of something global and not in Soviet Union. I think this took also some moments. So, because it’s like – but it was not only Latvians. So there was also some-, I mean there was different people on it so that was not a special. That as I said, it was not special organised but in the same time, in that year and the next years, that was a lot of movements about the to be Latvian, not the Soviet Union person. So, that’s-, I think it was like a kind of mixture but of course from the abroad it looked differently.

Interviewer: Mhm. And why, you know you were the only one, I think you were maybe the main organiser in Latvia but of course a lot of other people were involved. Why do you think did they get involved? What did they think, you know why was it interesting for other artists or performers or actors?

Baiba Ripa: I think it was like, as I said, that was free communication. It was some way that you can express yourself very naturally, not like through the telephone lines where you wait for many hours to get in connection. And in the same time, it’s – I think it’s like always something which interests people when you can see someone in abroad and how he looks, how he dresses, what he talks and what is the situation on the street and about what we are talking. And that was the – I mean I don’t know how everybody who was involved, what they saw but basically with whom we talked it was very open-minded. And after Soviet times it was like (theme? #00:10:46-1#) which was quite hidden. So, that was the project where you can talk openly about everything and express yourself and your personality and interest about some other places and see what is common. And yeah, different nationalities and different ages.

Interviewer: Mhm. And you did it entirely out of idealism. There was no, you didn’t get paid for it or anything. There was no budget. You just got the equipment and then you had to work with that. Right?

Baiba Ripa: I think there was like – I mean there was some, we got some sponsors to organise it at a scene because it was a huge rent in the city. But like I mean this was kind of budget for the working, I mean the paper and all the technical parts and for the rooms and things like that. So, I mean I did remember that I got some special honour I mean for the time of the project, everything was settled for the working because the flat where it was the office, it was permanently full with different people. Because there was the organisation and technically and there was only a few persons who take care about the techniques because there was not so much knowledge but there was technicians which had done very well and also there was all the sponsors who helped with like telecom, no, the mobile phone Latvian and things like that.
So, the technical part that took part of the one group and then the Croatian and there was involved also a Latvian culture ministry and it was-, it was quite official project in, I can say not quite but it was very official project in Latvia because another way, still in that times, you can’t get the place in Latvian television. So, I mean you can’t use the Latvian television if you don’t have partners in a governmental level. So, I think something like this.

Interviewer: Ja. That was actually the next thing I wanted to ask about. Latvia was one of the countries where Piazza virtuale was actually on air. Right? Can you talk a little bit about that? That you know you could actually see the show in Latvia?

Baiba Ripa: Yes. But not – yeah that was in a night I guess somewhere. In a television in a night spots very late I guess. And then in the daytime, that was the spots which was where you can meet people and be on a stage like on an open piazzettas where the people could come.

Interviewer: Mhm. But was that broadcast internationally or was the broadcast the state programmes only in Latvia?

Baiba Ripa: No, only in Latvia. Sure.

Interviewer: So, you had your own programme tools? That was only – I didn’t understand that. Ja.

Baiba Ripa: No, I think it’s because you, if you broadcast in Latvian television so you can broadcast somewhere, you have only one country (laughs) so that’s nothing. Yes.

Interviewer: Okay. And you had quite elaborate setup. You had a number of different places throughout the city from which you were broadcasting. Could you talk a little bit about that?

Baiba Ripa: Yes. So, there was the Piazzetta in a centre of the city, which was quite important for all Latvians because there’s the spot in-between the old and new city and I mean this is the central part of the city if I may say. And then there was, I think, I don’t remember really because about the places and setting of the places it was also very much Mike’s idea to make this Piazzetta in different places not in the same all the time.

Interviewer: But that must have also made it technically more difficult. Right?

Baiba Ripa: Yes. But there was like basically there was – as I remember there was three places because one was like a closed place. It was like our office, which was not far from this open space and there was one in a central old city which was near to the radio. So that was all connected to the technical possibilities because I mean the satellite, it was a television satellite bus how we make it and the mobile phone that was all. There was no other possibility. There was no cables and nothing. So, I mean…

Interviewer: Yeah, that’s actually another thing I wanted to ask about the – how was the technical situation? I guess you also had to do a lot of pioneering work there because yeah, the telephone system was not set up yet for digital data or for streaming video. Right?

Baiba Ripa: No, no. Sure (laughs). That was – but we had very, as I remember there was the one guy who was very updated in all this technical part regarding internet and regarding all new techniques. And he did very well. So, he was one of the youngest in the group but he did perfectly everything.

Interviewer: But you still needed, you know I think that was also why you needed sponsors because there was no mobile phone yet and ja, how was the technical infrastructure when you started?

Baiba Ripa: There was nothing. I mean the television and the talk, radio and television. So, the mobile phones was like appear old in that time in our country. So, that was one of the first projects what they did it, so.

Interviewer: And one of the main sponsors was the Finnish Telecom as I understand it.

Baiba Ripa: No. Why do you think so?

Interviewer: Because I have some letters or some receipts that they also gave money.

Baiba Ripa: Right.

Interviewer: Yes (laughs). So, who provided the infrastructure then?

Baiba Ripa: No. Just like all the telephone was – I mean the mobile phones, it was the mobile phones of the private company, the Latvian mobile phone.

Interviewer: Mhm.

Baiba Ripa: I don’t remember. Maybe in that time, they had some part of Finnish. I don’t remember anymore. But basically there was no Finnish in the ground so there was maybe only connecting to the mobile phones. Regarding some of the partners of mobile phone or something like that. And there was the ministry, the cultural ministry and also the ministry who had television. So, I mean this was like governmentally was a television, culture ministry and kind of support of foreign ministry or something like that. That allowed to do this project or something. Like I mean there was not really official document but of course everybody was involved, there was a group of people with whom it was agreed in a sense of content and things like that.

Interviewer: Okay. And as far as the – no, right. This is one show. No, no. Right. I remember what I wanted to ask. Yes. In some of the shows you can see that people are sitting in front of the picture telephones but you still use a mobile phone. Why is that? What was the purpose of that? You know if Mike should give you all this very well-taken beautiful black and white pictures of you and others during the broadcast and you always this huge mobile phones in hand and keep that and to put that into people’s faces. What was that for? Was the audio connection so bad or?

Baiba Ripa: Yeah. It was audio connection. It’s only. It’s kind of, I don’t remember all details at all but I think it was like a microphone or something like this.

Interviewer: So, you had – but I’m asking because the picture telephones had an in-built microphone so that wasn’t good enough or that was…

Baiba Ripa: This I don’t remember, or it was not working, or it was, because it permanently was thousand levels which was not working or connecting was bad or something or this or that. And then on the places, on the different spots we had to set up. But I think it was kind of way that it was good audio from the phones and picture phones could get only the picture because as you see now in the Skype, so if you want everything in good quality, you have to turn something down, so.

Interviewer: Ja, even now. But did you have – right. That’s the other technical thing I wanted to ask. Did you have ISDN? Because without ISDN you only had – you could only broadcast picture by picture by picture, slow scan. But I think for most of the broadcast you did have ISDN. Right?

Baiba Ripa: I think so. Something was like that. But as I said, so then I had to prepare the stock. I have to check (laughs) a lot of things. So, because I know that we had a broadcasting bus which was the satellite and through this bus was a lot of connections possible but absolutely directly I can’t. The concrete things I can’t tell you. So, like…

Interviewer: Right. So, how about the people in the Riga or in Latvia, what do you think? Why were they interested in the programme? Because in the-, especially in the street interviews you see that people they are very involved, you know they really made use of this medium, they really talk relatively openly. Yeah, what was behind that?

Baiba Ripa: (Laughs) Just like that-, that was the people who came there and who had interest but I can’t say that mostly – the mostly was involved it was from the art scene and media, the all people. And then the people on the streets, it was coincidence who came there, so. It was not very special groups or something like this. So, there was people who was-, who wanted to talk and there was totally different groups of people. I mean there was politically orientated and or expressed personally or something like that. So, that’s-, I think there was something or some girls or some kids which was going round so, because of course we used all from the crowd to make the event there in Piazzetta so I mean it’s a Piazzetta where you see all the people who are coming and you take a chance to communicating in-between.

Interviewer: Ja, but some of these people you know, and that’s not the media or the art people. These are the regular people.

Baiba Ripa: Yeah, that’s what I said. They came there. So, we didn’t organise them. So that means if they came and they wanted to talk, we tried to organise that they possibility to talk. So, I mean there was, like as you see in the pictures, there was one of the speaker is a German (unclear) who was in Latvia in that time. He was also very involved in this project and he liked it very much. And he was also in Piazzetta. He came and there were some other people who hear what he is talking. Of course, there is a question. There’s a lot of people who don’t speak English so that’s of course there was those people who could speak English.

Interviewer: Ja.

Baiba Ripa: Or they speak Latvian and so there’s also the parts where they speak Latvian and Russian so that’s all. I mean, the communication level was very, yeah, it was only possible if you had the language or the body language or you are singing (laughs), so (laughs).

Interviewer: Well, sometimes, especially the one Piazzetta with the German ambassador, that was also – there were also translations. But the point I’m getting is that some of these, you know regular people get very passionate, you know they speak into the camera and they start to talk about their personal problems or the problem with the health care sector. They’re giving these speeches. That’s – isn’t it interesting? Or isn’t it? Why do they do that?

Baiba Ripa: Yeah. I think it’s just like, in some way that’s concerning the moment in that political situation that in the past nobody take care and has interest about normal people. If there are television and nobody, everybody saw that is television project. And if there is a television, it’s some famous people or known people or governmental people and now there was a possibility that yeah, please come and talk what you want or what is your interest. So, and they express themselves. So, what was important for them.

Interviewer: When we talked in Berlin you said at one point it was like they were talking to God or to the universe and trying to say the same things on camera so that’s why I keep asking about that.

Baiba Ripa: No, no. That’s exactly, yeah. So, that’s what this is. So, that they had a feeling that they can express himself to someone who maybe hears it and maybe helps it because of course in that time it was a bit feeling that the Europe is interested to us and that maybe they will come to help us.

Interviewer: (Laughs) And there’s this one particular Piazzetta with the German, what did you say he was? Not ambassador but the German representative?

Baiba Ripa: No, it was ambassador. Yeah, yeah. That was ambassador.

Interviewer: Ja, right. And there’s this demonstration. Can you talk about that? Was that? You know because my sense, well, you told me that it was kind of staged for this particular situation. They knew that the cameras were there or they knew that piazza would take place there. Could you talk about that please?

Baiba Ripa: No, that was like, in that moment, it’s regarding, I mean this is, my English is not so like I can express everything but there is like a question about that moment when people can open talk about everything, politicians or what is bad and what is good and so on and so on and nobody puts him in the prison or takes away and something. And there was like a lot of people was expressed like they have not enough money or there’s a pension or some Russia and house they live in now. And there was kind of health problems and something. So, they put the papers and stands on there because of course in the-, there was several times when we made it and there was-, yeah, of course they are interested to show like a kind of background.

Interviewer: Ja, but there’s this one Piazzetta that you have an extra political rally. People marching over the square with slogans and posters.

Baiba Ripa: Yeah. Because they think it’s like this Piazzetta is political Piazzetta in some way in Riga. And in that time that was a place where people sometimes walked with the slogans also when was not our project at all. And as we also use that, it’s like very (lebendish?) (laughs). It’s just like that. That there’s a place where the people express themselves as they want. They’re street singers and still now so there is not so much political demonstrations but there’s the…

Interviewer: So, the demonstration didn’t happen because the Piazzetta was there.

Baiba Ripa: No, not really. I don’t remember it that way. So, I mean…

Interviewer: Ja. That’s too bad. I thought this was like an early example of smart market where people come together because the internet or the network has to…

Baiba Ripa: I think that someone uses it but not – I can’t say that it was really the main reason for everything, so.

Interviewer: All right, whatever. What was the aftermath?

Baiba Ripa: What I-, I’m just sorry that I confused that when I have to translate also mine. So, there’s a place of freedom monument in this. So, it’s a Piazzetta or freedom monument and there is a lot of things going around this Piazzetta, it’s very special in Latvia. And it’s very national and it’s like a yeah, proudness of Latvia that place in some way. The piazzettas place where we took it. So, and there’s a lot of people going around so we use all this situation which was around all the communication was happening these days. And also I can say honestly that there was of course there was a lot of people who were thinking that it’s just some recording for some Latvian television show or something like that.

Interviewer: Mhm. But…

Baiba Ripa: We understand that the real sense of all the Piazzettas so it’s for sure.

Interviewer: Were there also people who were suspicious about that? You know before it was the Stasi or the KGB that we call it and use video? Did you also get this sentiment?

Baiba Ripa: Maybe but I don’t remember (laughs).

Interviewer: (Laughs) Okay. And you were saying that Piazza virtuale also had this after life, that there was a whole TV station that kind of took its concept a little bit from Piazza virtuale. Can you talk about that?

Baiba Ripa: Yeah. That was of course this time when the regular television was like separating from the Russian programmes and there was just the Latvian television and then after it’s starting the private televisions which was open up. There was a possibility that they got the frequency and there was just channels where you can see films. And then also was the private channels which was organised after the project, which took the design of the monitor, so the layout. That there is a different, there was a chart under. So, one which took like even the name, there was a pizza TV in Latvia so the pizza TV, it’s like a pizza, piazzas or whatever.
And later complete all the design of the screen of the chat under it and the picture in it. And they did I think from, I don’t know five years I think or more, a long time. So, it’s quite good, quite interesting and quite creative. So, that was what was totally, it was commercial television, private commercial television but it’s, the beginning was very creative, very interesting with the content and so on. And then after it was developed, it was just very, very normal commercial television. So, it’s like with a different name. And piazza was also one smaller television which was also all the time live. So, the other channel was TV 4 and it was, I think it exists two or three years but it was completely live. All that transmit, all the talks was live and they were recorded on these three different (themes?). And it was very, yeah, fluently the next step of Piazza virtuale (laughs).

Interviewer: What was the name of this other station that you just mentioned?

Baiba Ripa: TV 4.

Interviewer: TV 4? So, that was non-stop on the street interviews. Did I get that right?

Baiba Ripa: No, they organised the (themes?) and then they had the interviews on a studio and they parallel record the different interviews on the streets.

Interviewer: And Piazza TV was also like a permanent 24-hour call in show, people could chat about whatever they wanted.

Baiba Ripa: No, no, no, no. That’s for the commercial television. It was commercial television, there’s different programmes and part of them was live and you can call in or you can play the games or you can talk about the problems or you can discuss or…

Interviewer: That’s Piazza TV now?

Baiba Ripa: Yeah.

Interviewer: Ja. Okay. And did they – did they also improve on this original concept because one of the problems with Piazza virtuale was that people were just rumbling on or were just talking about the weather or just said, “Hello. Hello.” Did they introduce some sort of moderation or some sort of, I don’t know moderators?

Baiba Ripa: No, they took – the both of concept, it was just a television concept. It was not like, there was like moderators and there was, the whole system was organised. It was not like free calls in or something like this. It was, I think in the beginning maybe it was nobody can, nobody controls it but then after there was some changes also on it that it’s not all the chat is coming online.

Interviewer: Ja. I looked on YouTube and I didn’t find any – any relics of that you know? Rather with German news source from the 1950s, you still find a snippet here a snippet there but Piazza TV doesn’t you know, I cannot find anything online on that.

Baiba Ripa: I will check.

Interviewer: (Laughs) If you find anything…

Baiba Ripa: That could be because it was really time, I don’t know. Basically, I think they have something but it’s a question. I can’t say. Yeah, it was a private TV. I have no idea why they…

Interviewer: Ja, but sometimes people just recorded things you know off the air and put it on YouTube later on. If you find any, anything from that station please send me a link.

Baiba Ripa: Okay.

Interviewer: So, what did that mean for you personally to be involved with all that in the long run? How did it influence your life after Piazza virtuale?

Baiba Ripa: No, I had worked eight years in television (laughs), so.

Interviewer: So, it really led you to change your careers in a way from art to?

Baiba Ripa: No, just like after the studying art in Hamburg so yeah, I was working in this next, in Piazza TV, I was working and also on channel, a little bit Channel 4 and to make some connections and things like that but I was working as a, yeah, producer, organiser who organise and connect and things like that, so.

Interviewer: But I mean you were the expert, you were involved with original. Did it give you some special statures there?

Baiba Ripa: Not really. I used my knowledge that’s all (laughs), everything that I knew.

Interviewer: And apart from that, do you think? You know what was the long-term effects of that in Latvia or in the art scene? Do you see any other long-term consequences that this project had?

Baiba Ripa: No, I think-, I think that the main influence really wasn’t this television programmes because there was like things. I think five or six years or even more. It was very creative scene in television. So, of course in that moment, I was not thinking like that because I think it’s still very commercial television. But when we see nowadays that the commercial television also on Riga, it’s very boring. It’s so boring as even you don’t want to work there. But when that time that we was working, there was a lot of young people, very creative people. There was a lot of programmes which was produced here and not just that recorded with the Latvian like language or things like that. And we had also the life that the reality shows we made a lot of things so that also was kind of part what I did. So, we did like three or four live shows and then some of them we produced like originally here. And that’s, yeah, it’s some kind of part of open-mind thinking or something like that (laughs).

Interviewer: Okay. And just to come back to the project there for a minute, it went on for 100 days. You had a good number of shows, more than many other Piazzettas.

Baiba Ripa: That I don’t know (laughs).

Interviewer: Now did you feel-, come again?

Baiba Ripa: No. I didn’t see the numbers then, no. No, no, no time because there was so much job that we did and we was happy that everything happens, not bog downs or something like that.

Interviewer: Ja. But that was what I wanted to ask were you glad that it was over, was very stressful and you were happy that you know the stress was gone or?

Baiba Ripa: No, in the end we did very good party (laughs).

Interviewer: Yes, all right (laughs).

Baiba Ripa: No, everything was fine. So, it really was an enjoyable time and then after, yeah, I was pretty excited and went to the Germany to study (laughs).

Interviewer: Okay. One more thing. Right. There was also this one Piazzetta that you did together with Bremen. Do you remember anything about that? How did that come about?

Baiba Ripa: No. But I think Bremen in some way it’s Bremen and Riga was some friend cities or something but I don’t remember. Really this moment I don’t remember at all.

Interviewer: Ja, there’s one joint show where they broadcast from Bremen.

Baiba Ripa: Yes.

Interviewer: There’s actually one artist from Latvia is in Bremen?

Baiba Ripa: Yeah, that was also because this is very connected, these cities in that moment. And there was maybe some artist who was living there and-, because main part of the all the people it was really maybe an art scene which was connection, it’s a Documenta as a cultural project that was like the main reason why we did it. And that was the way how we expressed this kind of performance, this kind of art project. And there was so much involved with the art scene.

Interviewer: All right. Thank you very much. It’s good that we finally managed to get together and thank you for your time. I typically have all these interviews transcribed. If you want to have a copy of the transcription, I’m happy to send you one.

Baiba Ripa: Yeah.

Interviewer: And ja, once we start editing the film, we are going to use clips from this interview. And I take you agree to us using the interview. Julian is going to send you – you have to – unfortunately you have to sign this form, you know this, what should I call it again? The release.

Baiba Ripa: Yeah, yeah. Okay. So, it’s not…

Interviewer: All right.

Baiba Ripa: I’m not very happy of the – I mean for me it’s very difficult to talk about all this and I really don’t know what you will ask and there is so much themes and so much works and so much expression about this whole project because I can say one thing which was we were starting after we was talking in Berlin so we were starting to talk about maybe to make some kind of project part in Riga or some kind of, I don’t know whatever exhibition or whatever but with everybody whom we talked even with the mobile phone for everybody it was like such a confusion that they don’t understand it belongs to the art, it belongs to the foreign ministry or it belongs in which level it belongs and with him to talk about it still now.
So, I mean I can say only that I have a group of people who remember is who we can talk who understand the project but still it’s really, and then after they think, yeah, who is playing in Germany? Art university, yeah maybe then you have to talk with university maybe them it’s interesting for the history and education or something like that because normally nobody can really switch in about work because there’s a kind of themes about the talk.

Interviewer: Ja. I know. Let’s transcribe this interview. Let’s look at it again. If you’re really unhappy with it, if you think you know…

Baiba Ripa: (Laughs) No, it’s okay.

Interviewer: There’s things you want to add to it then we can talk again, no problem.

Baiba Ripa: No, it’s for you but like I still didn’t – I didn’t learn my English better so sorry.

Interviewer: Ja, that’s – I mean there are some other requirement that you have to be able to speak in English. During the-, I don’t know if you remember that during the Piazzettas they had somebody translate in castle while they were speaking in one of the…

Baiba Ripa: Yes, it was (unclear #00:41:26-7#) so that was a Latvian artist who was living in German all the life long and he’s really involved in everything. So, and he was brilliant. I think he was working with Mike, Minus Delta T. He’s still alive.

Interviewer: Ja.

Baiba Ripa: Basically, I think, I don’t know what Mike says but he is very interested in also, for some short interview maybe.

Interviewer: Ja, okay. We have him on the list and actually now, once we’re done talking, I will finally email him maybe we can – because Mike says the same thing, it would be good to talk to him so then we would have… (unclear)

Baiba Ripa: Ja, because he-, he knows, I mean he’s-, he knows all the part which was before in Latvian arts before the Soviets come down and then this moment and everything. So, and he can speak fluently English and German (laughs) and Latvian.

Interviewer: I know. Thanks for the reminder. I will contact him right after you’re done. I keep postponing now but now I have to.

Baiba Ripa: Yeah. Anyway, but he’s really special person that’s all. So, I was there and it was also a coincidence in all these connections because I was connected with him through the different dozen people and then I find out that they work with Mike and that was really like very confusing in some way but -, and he was working in arts scene with a (DJ?). So, for me it was very interesting. I came to Germany and then I know a few people. In the end, I have the all commune of different kind of people’s in different scenes and they are all connected. So, it was very interesting concept.

Interviewer: All right. Thank you very much and we’ll be in touch when this whole project proceeds. Okay? But thank you for your time.

Baiba Ripa: Yeah. Thank you. Okay.