The aim of the festival is to revive the Daugavgriva fortress as a place of culture and thinking and to stimulate public discussions about its future development.
The Daugavgriva fortress is the only construction of this type of fortification and one of the most significant military heritage sites in Latvia. It is a unique national monument, which dates back to the 17th century, but it has been neglected for years. Although institutions acknowledge that the fortress must be preserved, first, as state property and, secondly, as a cultural heritage, still its long-term development has not been a priority of any institution.
Since the beginning of 2014, a local non-governmental organization Bolderaja Group has been actively involved in the ideological revival and practical management of the fortress. Other organizations have also taken part in bringing life in the fortress by organizing concerts, movie evenings, White Night and Museum Night events. However, these separate events have not had the necessary capacity to draw the public’s attention to the fort and to stimulate debate about its long-term development.
Festivals have long been known for their potential to create spaces for participation, collective narratives, social and geographical sense of belonging and shared cultural experiences that bring joy and involvement, therefore Kometa is also a laboratory – an experiment how we could at a larger scale all participate in co-creating an inclusive and innovative permanent cultural space in the Daugavgriva Fortress. We encourage everyone to become an active co-creator of the festival and contribute to its various manifestations by coming, participating, contributing, intervening and helping.
The first two festivals gathered around 5000 visitors and several hundred artists, activists, lecturers and performers from several dozen different countries. Kometa have become a unique example of the cooperation between the governmental and non-governmental sectors, the city and the private sector.