Valdis Zatlers

Valdis Zatlers

Public activities

Supported projects 

The “Collective Memory” project


Dedicated to the 90th anniversary of Latvia, the “Collective Memory” project was launched at the Rīga Castle on October 24, 2008. The project brings together the stories told by millions of eyewitnesses to what has happened over the course of the year – historical events, as well as personal experiences and memories which will be found on the basis of countries, locations, languages or specific keywords. Each person in Latvia is invited to help in putting together our nation’s living history – something that is best found in the individual experiences and memories of our parents and grandparents. These are often ideas which have not been documented.


The “Collective Memory” project began in Latvia, but it has now expanded to many other countries, including Estonia, Lithuania, the United States, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Georgia, Lebanon, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Mexico, and others. The organiser of the project is Ēriks Stendzenieks, creative director for the !MOOZ advertising agency.







“Latvia’s history has been described in books and documented in archives, but that is the smaller part of our history. The true history of Latvia lives in the memories of our parents and grandparents, as well as in what eyewitnesses can tell us about what they have felt and experienced,” says Latvian President Valdis Zatlers, who is patron of the “Collective Memory” project.


Visiting Latvia’s regions and communities of overseas Latvians, the President has always called on people both young and old to record their memories on video. He has also interviewed guests at the Rīga Castle who are attending various events. These video memories can be found on the “Collective Memory” Internet site.



On November 14, a competition was announced for classes in Latvian schools which were collecting evidence of their era. This was part of the “Collective Memory” project, and it was launched at the Oskars Kalpaks Elementary School of National Crafts. Classes were invited to post videos of evidence on the portal by December 15, 2008. A 12th-grade glass from the Kārsava High School submitted the largest number of most interesting videos, and it received the main prize in the competition – a tour of the Rīga Castle, a visit with President Zatlers, and a visit to the offices of the social network.


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“Collective Memory” Project Launched in Latvia