Artist Residencies 2022 grant winner – Lauris Gundars


We invite you to meet our current resident – Lauris Gundars from Latvia. Lauris won the scholarship of the “Artist Residencies” project and will reside at the International Center for Translators and Writers in Nida for two months.

Lauris Gundars is a well-known author and director in Latvia who actively creates scripts, dramas and directs theatre performances. Dramaturgy is Lauris passion and as he says himself he can talk about it for hours. So it’s not surprising that Lauris teaches this subject at several universities in Latvia – the Latvian Academy of Arts, RISEBA University, Stradin University and the University of Liepaja. Also he leads the dramaturgy master’s degree program, is the head of Lauris Gundars’ writing workshops and often have lectures at various European international writing workshops.

Lauris Gundars’s book DRAMÁTICA about the intricacies of drama writing has gained enormous popularity, unexpected by the author himself. The book was reprinted twice in Latvia and also translated into English and Russian. Lauris jokes that he is surprised that the book is of interest not only to theater and drama professionals, but also to people completely unrelated to these professions. However, he himself admits that maybe only a tenth of the book was intended for real professionals and the rest was intended for a wide audience – to easily and understandably tell about the essence of drama creation – how to analyze and get to know people, create characters and apply all this in everyday life.

Lauris Gundars has also written several children’s books, three of which have also became very popular and have been translated into 4 languages – German, Russian, Korean and Chinese. All the books – “Hello, Whale”, “Whale voice” and “Whale is Back” are inspired by Lauris conversations and interactions with his own granddaughter. “When I realized that I didn’t know how to answer some of my granddaughter’s questions, I decided that I needed to write a book,” Lauris explains with a smile. This is how the book “Whale voice” was born – a book that explains to six-year-old children what political elections are.

During his residency at the International Center for Translators and Writers in Nida, Lauris will create a comic book based on the biography of a prominent person – the person who became the resistance to the occupation of Latvia, Gunārs Astra. The book will be aimed at a wide audience, especially the young generation. According to Lauris himself, today it is quite difficult to interest young people (especially teenagers), which is why he chose the comic genre. The title of the book is ASTRA – translated as “star”: a story about the qualities needed to reach the stars, real stars. How to survive and stay true to yourself and help your country. Also, during the residency Lauris Gundars will give lectures and lead discussions on various topics in  Klaipėda County Ieva Simonaitytė Public Library.

You can read more here:


The “Artist Residencies” project is financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

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