Uldis Balodis is a linguist and freelance translator. He spent 2013-2016 studying the Lutsi Estonians as a Kone Foundation postdoctoral fellow. He specializes in the study of the languages of the Baltic region and the southwestern United States.
Liana Ivete Benke is a contributing writer for FvF. She lives in Riga, Latvia.
Jonathan Bousfield is a writer specialising in travel, culture and history in Central and Eastern Europe. Currently living in Zagreb, he is the author of Rough Guides to the Baltic States, Croatia and Poland. More of his writing can be seen at www.straysatellite.com.
Helmuts Caune holds a master’s degree in philosophy and currently works as an editor and contributor to the online art magazine Arterritory.com. Other than that, he enjoys chess, watching birds and bad movies and indulging in various pleasures of city life.
Damiano Cerrone is an urbanist, project researcher at Tampere University of Technology and Daniel Giovannini is a physicist, post-doc at the University of Toronto. Together with Prof. Panu Lehtovuori and Katherine Cramer, they are the core team of SPIN Unit, a a transnational consultancy group combining art and science to hack the invisible form of the city.
Barbara Chepaitis is the author of seven published novels in both sci-fi and mainstream. You can buy her book The Amber here.
Geoff Chester is a history buff and a proud resident of Liepāja. He is also founder of Novus Novuss, and owner of the first Open Office/Novuss game hall in Liepāja, at Teodora Breikša iela 47.
Mike Collier is a British writer and journalist, who has lived in Latvia since 2007. He has travelled widely in Central and Eastern Europe, once had to escape from an Italian castle by climbing down the walls at midnight and enjoyed a brief stint as an honorary member of the Bulgarian Navy.
Erin Crouch lives in Tacoma, Washington and Tallinn, Estonia. She likes Estonian animation so much that she went on tour with it.
Solveiga Daugirdaitė (PhD) is a literary scholar from the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Foklore, Vilnius.
George East emigrated to Lithuania on a whim in 2015 and still hasn’t left. Until recently, he worked as a journalist, until he decided to sell out and begin working for Vilnius Municipality.
Elmar Gams is a MA history student at Tallinn University. He is interested in the relationship of history and memory in the Baltics (especially in Lithuania). His current aims are to complete his thesis and to dig deeper to find more commonalities between Eesti, Latvija and Lietuva.
Stuart Garlick is an English journalist who lives in Tallinn, Estonia. He writes the website Charmoffensive.ee, and contributes to Agence France Presse and a number of publications in the Baltic region.
Adam Garrie teaches modern history at King’s College London and is currently engaged in PhD level research in 20th century political history. He is a classically trained musician and enjoys writing about all styles of music, world politics and just about anything to do with Estonia.
Lars Marius Garshol is a software engineer living in Oslo, Norway. His hobby is researching farmhouse ale brewing, which has so far resulted in two books, and a number of posts on his blog.
Marita Gasteiger is a graduate student of Interdisciplinary Eastern European Studies at the University of Vienna. After several study visits to Minsk and Moscow, she is currently doing an abroad semester at Vilnius University. Gasteiger works as a freelance journalist for the Austrian Augustin street magazine and has been politically active in the Austrian Students’ Union.
Emily Gilbert did her PhD about Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian European Volunteer Workers in Britain in the mid 1990s at the University of Sheffield, and after a nearly twenty -year gap decided to publish it a a book. Rebuilding Post-War Britain: Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Refugees in Great Britain, 1946-1951 was published this year by Pen and Sword publishers. She is not Latvian, Lithuanian or Estonian herself (she is often asked) but has had a fascination with the whole Soviet Union, Russian, Baltics and East European region since being a teenager, and has travelled widely around the region.
Zané Elksnite Grants-Wolff is an art advisor and curator. She is of a younger generation than Mekas, but quite similarly her family left their home in Latvia during the Cold War; they watched the fall of the Berlin Wall from a displaced persons camp in Austria. In United States, she was one of the first to receive a degree in Baltic Area Studies from the University of Washington in Seattle, the only university in the U.S. where the languages and culture of all three Baltic countries are taught. In addition to majoring in English with emphasis on writing, she enthusiastically studied cinema and art history, becoming friends with many local artists and writers of her generation. Zané returned to Latvia on a Fulbright scholarship and later moved to Lithuania, where she lived for more than ten years prior to moving to Switzerland. Since 2013 she has been personally in touch with Jonas Mekas, exchanging letters and discussing work projects. They met during Art Basel in 2016
Samuel Gruber is an art and architectural historian, cultural heritage activist, and consultant. He writes often about Jewish cultural heritage in the Baltics where he is engaged in several projects. He was recently in Vilnius where he participated in the international conference on European Jewish Cemeteries.
Owen Hatherley is a writer based in London and the author of eight books, most recently Landscapes of Communism (Penguin 2015), The Ministry of Nostalgia (Verso 2016) and The Chaplin Machine (Pluto Press 2016), which is based on his PhD thesis.
Dr Siobhán Hearne is a postdoctoral researcher currently based at the University of Latvia in Riga. She received her PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2017 for a thesis on the regulation of female prostitution in the Russian Empire, 1900-1917. She has published several articles on gender and sexuality in late imperial Russia and the early Soviet Union.
Tharik Hussain is a British Muslim travel writer and journalist who specialises in the Muslim heritage of Europe. He has written about the Islamic history of places as diverse as Romania, Ireland and Spain. Tharik blogs as the Wandering Musulman and all of his published work can be seen on his website.
Kristina Jõekalda, PhD candidate, is an art historian, based in Tallinn. She has published numerous scholarly articles on architectural heritage and ideology. She is currently research coordinator of the Estonian Academy of Arts Doctoral School.
E.A. Johnson works as a volunteer at Tallinn’s Ukrainian Cultural Center. You can follow his other writing projects at flatfish.ee – new subscribers are always welcome. And if you are interested, you can find facsimile copies of the new Poetics at the Labora Shop online or in Tallinn at Vene 18.
Wailana Kalama is a freelance travel writer from Hawaii, now based in Vilnius. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction and writes mainly about history, language and cross-cultural exchanges.
Raivo Kelomees, PhD (art history) is an artist, critic and new media researcher. He studied psychology, art history, and design in Tartu University and the Academy of Arts in Tallinn.
Judith Knott started out as a linguist, studying French, German and Russian and completing a PhD in Historical Linguistics. She then changed direction and worked for 27 years as a civil servant specialising in tax. Since retiring she has resumed her interest in languages, and last year started to learn Estonian. (She has previously written on her own blog about her initial exposure to Estonian last year and about her reasons for learning the language.)
Aidas Kulbokas was born in Panevėžys in 1987 and now lives in Kaunas. In 2011 he graduated from the bachelor’s study programme in Ethnology at Vytautas Magnus University; after that, he continued studying at the same university, and in 2015 graduated from the master’s study programme in Ethnology and Folklore (Comparative Cultural). Since 2011 he has worked as a museologist in the Department of Photography and Documentation at the M.K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art.
Rob Kunzig is a multimedia journalist based in Riga. You can see more of his articles, photo and video work at www.robkunzig.com.
Rita Laima is a Latvian-American writer, translator, and artist. A mother of four children, she lives in Maryland with her partner. Her memoir of life in Soviet-occupied Latvia will be published in 2017.
Margriet Lestraden is a museologist and art historian. She works for museums in developing countries, and has for a long time divided her time between the Netherlands and Latvia, working to realise a dream.
Lidija Liegis is a British-Latvian journalist based between the UK, West Africa and the Middle East. She has previously worked for the Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism (Re:Baltica), the London Bureau of Investigative Journalism and on projects for the FT and BBC.
Dr. Michael Loader is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He received his PhD in November 2015 from King’s College London with a dissertation entitled ‘The Thaw in Soviet Latvia: National Politics 1953-1959’. He is the recipient of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies’ 2017-2018 Emerging Scholar award. His current research includes projects about Soviet patronage and power relationships and the career of Politburo member Arvīds Pelše, and the changing relationship between Moscow and the Soviet periphery between 1944 and 1964.
Marcelijus Martinaitis (1936 – 2013) was a Lithuanian poet and essayist, recipient of the Lithuanian National Prize in Literature. He was also an active participant in Lithuania’s independence movement. Martinaitis has published ten collections of poetry and three books of essays in addition to plays and screenplays. Mes gyvenome (The Way We Lived Then) has won several prestigious literary prizes, including the most creative book award issued by the Lithuanian Literature and Folklore Institute (2009), the reader’s choice award from the Book of the Year (2010), and the Žemaitės (2010) and Juozas Paukštelis (2011) awards.
Richard Martyn-Hemphill is an editor at the Intersection Project.
Maximilian Matthews runs the Facebook page Roaming Round Riga, which takes both a historical and contemporary view of the wonderful city that is Riga. Most of the posts are adapted from his popular topographical CD-ROM ‘Roaming Round Riga’. First published in 2005, it is is updated every year.
Will Mawhood is the editor of Deep Baltic
Claire McGinn is a UK-based musicologist. Her research focuses on contemporary Baltic art music, and she has recently published articles in Women and Music, Lithuanian Musicology, TEMPO, and Opera magazine.
Lewis McGuffie is a British graphic designer based in Tallinn, Estonia. He works mainly with typography, lettering and traditional sign writing. His work can be found at www.lewisdoessigns.com.
Helga Merits studied philosophy in Amsterdam. She worked as a journalist for national radio and newspapers in both Belgium and the Netherlands. Kallis Paul was her first documentary film (2006), for which she received the Theodor Luts price. The Story of the Baltic University is her fourth film.
Oliver Orro is an Estonian architectural historian
Roland Papp was born and raised in Budapest. After studying linguistics and Central and Eastern European History, he lived in Estonia. Now he is a blogger and also works for EU institutions.
Tom Peeters is a Belgian freelance journalist who divides his time between Estonia, Belgium and the wider world. He writes about the Baltics for various Flemish media, as well as on his blog in English and Dutch.
Justin Petrone is a journalist and the author of half a dozen books, including the My Estonia trilogy. He is a columnist for Postimees and has contributed to Eesti Päevaleht, Estonian World, and other publications. He also maintains the blogs North! and Itching for Eestimaa. This piece is part of his new collection, Sketches of Estonia.
Laura Plūmiņa is a graduate of the History of Art department at the Latvian Art Academy, and she specialises in the research and protection of Riga’s wooden architecture. She is also co-founder of the tourism company Travel Jam.
Kazimierz Popławski is the editor-in-chief of the website Przegląd Bałtycki. He is a graduate in International Relations from the University of Warsaw, and is interested in Estonia, the Baltic Sea region, and Central and Eastern Europe. He is an expert at Norden Centrum and also runs the website eesti.pl.
Dzmitry Pravatorau is a postgraduate student and a tutor of International Relations at the University of Queensland, Australia. His research interests include popular geopolitical imaginations of the Baltic States among Russian speakers, and Lithuanian studies in general.
Bart Pushaw is a PhD Candidate in Art History at the University of Maryland. He is currently based in Tallinn, where his exhibition “Conductors of Colour: Music and Modernity in Estonian Art” is open at KUMU Art Museum until 27 August 2017.
Darmon Richter is a freelance writer and photographer; an experienced urban explorer and self-confessed dark tourist. He’s also the author of The Bohemian Blog, a site exploring the bizarre, the macabre, and other secret wonders of the world.
Anarchist historian Philip Ruff (Filips Rufs) is the author of Pa stāvu liesmu debesīs: nenotveramā latviešu anarhista Pētera Māldera laiks un dzīve (A Towering Flame – the life and times of Peter the Painter), published by Dienas Grāmata (Riga 2012). He first visited Latvia in January 1988 and lives in London.
Dace Rukšāne-Ščipčinska (born 1969) is a Latvian writer and journalist. After finishing high school, she studied Medicine and Biology and additionally participated in the SOURCES Script 2 Development Workshop in Vienna. Rukšāne became well-known in 2002 for her novel The Little Affair (Romaniņš) that touched upon the subject of female sexuality. It was followed by Bedtime Stories of Beatrice, and Why Were You Crying?, as well as several articles devoted to intimate subject matters and relationships. During the 1990s Rukšāne wrote poetry, and in the early 2000s several of her plays were staged in various theatres in Latvia. Her novels have been published in Germany and Denmark. In 2002, Rukšāne became a regular contributor to a weekly column in Sestdiena magazine. From 2004 to 2012 she was editor-in-chief of Lillit magazine.
Born in Tallinn in 1947, Mari Saat is an Estonian economist and writer who has published four novels, plus a number of short story collections, children’s books and non-fiction works. She has received many awards since releasing her first collection of short stories (Katastroof) in 1973, including the Estonian Cultural Endowment’s Prose Award in 1992, 1999 and 2008 – the latter for The Saviour of Lasnamäe. Saat is known for her sharp social analyses and existential explorations. She teaches business ethics at Tallinn University of Technology. Her books have been translated into several languages, and The Saviour of Lasnamäe into Russian and Finnish.
Agita Salmiņa is a freelance journalist and tour guide, who is interested in the development of cities’ history, culture and art. Riga has been her home for seven years.
Steve Taylor is a consultant, coach and writer based in London, and a graduate student in the Architecture department at the University of East London
Sergej Timofejev was born in Riga, Latvia in 1970 into a family of Russian origin. He lives and writes in Latvia, but he writes in Russian and publishes his poems in Russian and Latvian. He see himself as a Latvian poet but has quite close connections to the modern literature world in Russia. “It’s like a cultural stereo with two channels in my head…” With his colleagues from the text-group Orbita he continues to mix modern poetry with other artforms and media, presenting it as installations, poetry pirate radio stations, etc.
Richard Thompson runs the record label Liminal Noise and plays in Lost Harbours – a free folk collective split between Latvia and England. He has been active for fifteen years as an international concert promoter (Culture as a Dare / Psykick Dancehall), cultural instigator, zine writer and musician. Originally from Southend-on-Sea, UK, he now lives in Riga, Latvia.
Liuba Timonina is a freelance writer and translator living in Riga.
Tom Tonks runs Hidden Tallinn, a blog dedicated to unearthing the secrets of Estonia and her fascinating capital city.
Terje Toomistu (b. 1985) is an Estonian documentary filmmaker with a background in anthropology. Her work often draws from various cross-cultural processes, queer realities and cultural memory. She holds double MA degrees (cum laude) in Ethnology and in Communication Studies from the University of Tartu, where she is pursuing a PhD degree in anthropology. In 2013-2014, she was also a Fulbright fellow at UC Berkeley, U.S.A. Currently she is a visiting researcher at the University of Amsterdam. She co-curated a multimedia exhibition about Soviet hippies, which has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally.
Piia Veikkolainen is a travel blogger and adventurer who shares exciting and unforgettable travel experiences from around the world, near and far. Bustling cities, pristine beaches, beautiful nature, countryside charm and a lot more at Ticket To Adventures.
Laima Vincė is a writer, playwright, poet, and literary translator. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Laima Vince has lived and worked in Lithuania for a total of eight years (1988 – 1989, 1995 – 1997, 2007 – 2011) and visits frequently. She is the author of a trilogy of literary nonfiction works about Lithuania:Lenin’s Head on a Platter, The Snake in the Vodka Bottle and Journey into the Backwaters of the Heart. Her play about global issues and immigration, The Interpreter, has been running for three years at the Vilnius Chamber Theatre.
Ines Weizman (PhD) is professor of architecture theory, director of the Bauhaus-Institute of History and Theory of Architecture and Planning and director of the Centre for Documentary Architecture at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.
Daryl Worthington is from London but lives in Riga, Latvia. He occasionally writes music journalism, is the editor of the website New Historian, co-runs the Bezirk tape label, and is a musician himself.
Helen Wright is Estonia editor at Deep Baltic. She has written for ERR News, The Baltic Times and Estonian World. Previously she worked at local newspapers in the UK.
Farida Zaletilo is curator at the Mark Rothko Art Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia.
Kaspars Zaltāns is a researcher at The Museum of the Barricades of 1991. He is currently working on a piece about the voluntary units who secured public order during the National Awakening.