VIDEOFORMES TV by KINIC
Sunday, March 17 | Live broadcast in english | 10:50 am (Paris time)
VIDEOFORMES and the Republic of UZUPIS engage in a partnership of cultural exchanges.
VIDEOFORMES WebTV presents a Short but amazing history of the Republic of Užupis 1997-2019 year.
Romas Lileikis – Uzupis President
Thomas Chepaitis – Uzupis Minister of Foreign Affairs
Natan Karczmar – Uzupis ambassador in Yaffo and Clermont-Ferrand
Jean-Marie Sani – Directeur Institut Français de Lituanie
Gabriel Soucheyre – VIDEOFORMES Director
VIDEOFORMES video presentation and 2 videocollectives about the city of Clermont-Ferrand : Tête en l’air (Lightheaded) and Where are you?
Uzupis introduces Kotryna Zilinskaité – Video artist
VIDEOFORMES introduces Regina Hübner – artist
Uzupis introduces Jonas Mekas
Jonas Mekas Hommage by Uzupis: uzupis misios
End of live Broadcast
VIDEOFORMES and the Republic of UZUPIS create a partnership link of cultural exchanges.
Užupis is a neighborhood in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, largely located in Vilnius’ old town, Užupis means “beyond the river” or “the other side of the river” in the Lithuanian language and refers to the Vilnia River. The district has been popular with artists for some time, and has been compared to Montmartre in Paris and to Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen, due to its bohemian and laissez-faire atmosphere. On April 1, 1997, the district declared itself an independent republic (The Republic of Užupis).
Užupis is quite small and it has around 7,000 inhabitants, nearly 1,000 of which are artists. On one side it is separated from the Old Town by the Vilnia River, on the second there are steep hills, and on the third side it borders on an industrial area built under Soviet rule. The first bridges across the river were built in the 16th century, at which time the district’s inhabitants were mostly Jewish.
Most of the district’s Jewish population were killed during the Holocaust, and later the old Jewish Cemetery uphill would be destroyed by the Soviets. The houses left abandoned were later occupied by marginal elements of society, mainly the homeless and prostitutes. Until Lithuania’s declaration of independence in 1990, it was one of the most neglected areas in the city, containing many run-down houses, many without utilities. The district has been a common haunt of artists and bohemians since Soviet times, and even today many young artists are squatting in abandoned buildings near the Vilnia River.
- Everyone has the right to live by the River Vilnelė, and the River Vilnelė has the right to flow by everyone.
- Everyone has the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof.
- Everyone has the right to die, but this is not an obligation.
- Everyone has the right to make mistakes.
- Everyone has the right to be unique.
- Everyone has the right to love.
- Everyone has the right not to be loved, but not necessarily.
- Everyone has the right to be undistinguished and unknown.
- Everyone has the right to idle.
- Everyone has the right to love and take care of the cat.
- Everyone has the right to look after the dog until one of them dies.
- A dog has the right to be a dog.
- A cat is not obliged to love its owner, but must help in time of nee[d].
- Sometimes everyone has the right to be unaware of their duties.
- Everyone has the right to be in doubt, but this is not an obligation.
- Everyone has the right to be happy.
- Everyone has the right to be unhappy.
- Everyone has the right to be silent.
- Everyone has the right to have faith.
- No one has the right to violence.
- Everyone has the right to appreciate their unimportance. [In Lithuanian this reads Everyone has the right to realize his negligibility and magnificence.]
- No one has the right to have a design on eternity.
- Everyone has the right to understand.
- Everyone has the right to understand nothing.
- Everyone has the right to be of any nationality.
- Everyone has the right to celebrate or not celebrate their birthday.
- Everyone shall remember their name.
- Everyone may share what they possess.
- No one can share what they do not possess.
- Everyone has the right to have brothers, sisters and parents.
- Everyone may be independent.
- Everyone is responsible for their freedom.
- Everyone has the right to cry.
- Everyone has the right to be misunderstood.
- No one has the right to make another person guilty.
- Everyone has the right to be individual.
- Everyone has the right to have no rights.
- Everyone has the right to not to be afraid.
- Do not defeat.
- Do not fight back.
- Do not surrender.
In 1997, the residents of the area declared the Republic of Užupis, along with its own flag, unofficial currency, president, cabinet of ministers, a constitution written by Romas Lileikis and Thomas Chepaitis, an anthem, and an army of approximately 11 men. The army has since been retired. The residents of the self-declared republic celebrate this independence annually on Užupis Day, which falls on April 1. Artistic endeavours are the main preoccupation of the Republic; the President of the Republic of Užupis, Romas Lileikis, is himself a poet, a musician, and a film director.
The Republic has granted several notable individuals honorary citizenship, such as the Dalai Lama, who visited the Republic in 2013, Artūras Zuokas, a former mayor of Vilnius, lives in Užupis. Užupis does not house Internet-cafes, kiosks, big malls, or governmental institutions (except Užupian), and there is no embassy to Lithuania.
It is unclear whether the statehood of the Republic, recognized by no government, is intended to be serious, tongue-in-cheek, or a combination of both. The decision to place Užupis Day on April 1 (April Fools’ Day) may not be coincidental, emphasizing the importance of humor and non-importance of “serious” political decisions. The flag of the Republic contains a palm of hand in a white background. The palm emblem is painted in a different color each season: Winter – blue, Spring – green, Summer – yellow, Autumn – red.