Meet Viktorija Piven – Our Ukrainian guide!
Those who have been to the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia may have noticed one woman, whose badge has not just a Russian and English flag, but also that of Ukraine. This is Viktorija and she is from Ukraine. She came to Latvia when the war broke out in her hometown. Why Latvia? Well, she had friends of her family here, so the decision was not so hard to make. Viktorija misses her home, but she says that the beauty of Riga, as well her guest family’s cat, keeps her spirit positive. Why did she start working here at the museum? The answer is quite simple – she used to work in a museum as a scientific researcher and tutor before. Her previous workplace, of 12 years, was the V.N. Karazin National University History Museum in Kharkiv. It took her 5 days to travel to Latvia, and when she arrived in spring the first impression was: “It is so cold!”. But Viktorija is absolutely in love with the architecture in Latvia, the TV tower and the sea. She is not just a guide here in the Occupation Museum, but also in the KGB building, which she describes as a cool experience, because of the atmosphere and the authentic place. There is a lot of information and a lot of similarities between our countries. Recently she got a contract at the Creative scholarship program for Ukrainian citizens, where she will develop and present the original exhibition “Roses Street”, which is to be devoted to the female prisoners of the KGB headquarters during both periods of the Soviet occupation of Latvia. If you ask Viktoriia what she would bring back home from Latvia, she will say: “The feeling of being safe”. Her mantra now is “Not to lose hope and optimism”.
You are more than welcome to visit both museums and you may have have the possibility to meet Viktorija!
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