Inga Gaile: 2019 National Book Festival

>>Arturs Saburovs: Hello
everyone, how are you? Yes. Great. Well welcome everyone
to the discussion with the Latvian
author Inga Gaile. I want to start by also
conveying greetings from the incoming Latvian
Ambassador Mr. Maris Selga, he’s arriving only next week,
that’s why you have sort of be fine with me here. Inga Gaile hails from
a medium sized country in Northern Europe, it is larger
than Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands,
Denmark, Estonia and many other countries. But the population
is two million. Latvia was founded
almost 101 years ago, and this year we mark
15 years of membership in the European Union and NATO. The greatest resource, besides
our forests covering half of the country is our people. Latvians linguistically
related to Lithuanians as the only other Baltic nation. We are among the last
peoples in Europe to be conquered by Christianity. The Latvian culture is very much
based on the cycles of the sun, assigns notable mythical
roles to female goddesses. Your destiny is decided
by Goddess Lima and Goddess Marta cares for the
fertility of the land, rivers, the sea and the natural world. The first book printed in
Latvian is said to be in 1525, for Latvian Lutheran
community in Germany. The end of the 18th
Century and the beginning of the 19th Century is when you
start seeing the first printed literary works in
the Latvian language. In the second half of
the 19th Century Latvian writing flourishes. Epic poem by Andrejs Pumpurs
largely translated, Bearslayer, is one of the greatest examples
of national romanticism. In the beginning of
the 20th Century poet and politician Aspazia
[assumed spelling] excels and brings forward
feminist ideas. During the period of Loss
of De Facto Independence, Latvian authors find
creative ways to write coded patriotic
works and managed to fool the Soviet
censorship machinery. Just a few days ago our National
Library marked 100 years. Built to resemble the Castle
of Light depicted in the play by Thrinan [assumed spelling],
who was the spouse of Aspazia. It was designed by the late
Latvian American architect Gunnar Birkerts. For Latvians reading has
been always fundamental. Our unique language defines
direct routes in Sanskrit — Sanskrit has been united factor for peoples throughout
centuries of foreign rule. We are very proud what we
have contributed and continue to contribute to European
and World Literature. The Embassy of Latvia
has dedicated — dedicated this year to
promoting the visibility of translated Latvian
literature. Our embassy is the
first and only one that has a little
free library — library available
to the DC community. We also have a not so
subtle poster on our wall about our introverted
literature. We are partnering with the
export platform called Latvian Literature, the American
Latvian Association, the National Library of
Latvia, to introduce you, the American public, to
our excellent authors. I would also like to invite
everyone tonight at 6:00 p.m. to the opening of a cartoon
exhibition called The Life of I. I stands for an introverted
Latvian author, at the Mikko Restaurant. The address is 1636
R Street Northwest, 1636 R Street Northwest,
Mikko Restaurant. It’s a Finnish restaurant,
it’s a Latvian and Finnish collaboration. And also I want to say — finish
by saying a special thanks to Maria Irena from the
Library of Congress. And also a very special thanks
to the Latvian Honorary Council in Philadelphia, Mr. John
Vasquez for contribution and support throughout years. And now please enjoy the
discussion with Inga Gaile and the Moderator Indra Ekmanis. And buy — and buy her
book, it’s on Amazon. [ Applause ]>>Inga Gaile: Ah so
it’s not pressure at all to stand for all nation.>>Indra Ekmanis: Well
good afternoon everyone. Thank you so much
for being here. My name is Indra Ekmanis, I’m a
Fellow with the American Council for Learned Societies
and an editor at Public Radio International. And it is my absolute
pleasure to — to interview Inga Gaile who
is a celebrated Latvian author and award winning
poet, novelist, playwright, and theatre
director. She has published four
collections of poetry, two collections of
poetry for children, four plays, and one novel. She has won the Latvian
Literature Award and the prize for the — from the Poetry
Days Festival in Latvia, among many other honors. In English, her work
has been featured in international journals. She regularly performs
her poetry at international festivals. And her poems have been
translated into Bengali, English, German, Lithuanian,
Spanish and Swedish. And she has translated
the work also of Russian speaking
poets into Latvian. So it is quite —
quite a pleasure to be here with you today. And I think that maybe
we can start with — with a reading as well.>>Inga Gaile: Yes, I
will read some poems in English, pardon my accent. And yes, oh, I’m not
quite a theater director. I have studied it, but yeah, OK. I know that it’s very important
to tell all these good things and I’m very honored to be
here and it’s very thrilling to see all these
people interested in literature and reading. Yes. Because the reading of
course is the main things that has formed me as the
author, because I started to read at four and books
saved me from a lot of things. And I wanted to help
maybe help, it’s to — to some other people as well as
the authors have helped me so. So the first poem would be Fog. But I want to stand. Is it OK if I stand with this
microphone — microphone? Is — because I’m standing also. Fog. Look this is fog
sweetheart, real fog. Look what you have in your
hands is a damp wrinkled map. Look here’s the turns
that would have taken you to the checkpoint. Look here’s a boy you won’t be
able to look in the eye now. Look here’s autumn leaves
rustling under foot. Look here are your friends at
the bar who have no idea what to do with the photos you
gave them showing a man on his knees before
a 12 year old girl with her pants —
with her pants down. Look this is fog,
it’s real fog indeed. Look here are people
who will never be able to look you in the eye. Look here’s the earth and see
you can already safely say it. You stand. You grow. You learn to
control your panic attacks. You become a bridge, a tree, you
learn to look people in the eye. You make friends with
people without arms and legs because you think
they understand you. You write this poem sweetheart
for the thousandth time, hoping that one day
it will vanish. Look this is fog, it’s real fog. Streams of snot and
sperm a solstice of tears and a marriage quietly by
the church in the forest. Eons have passed and I’m still
wearing the same sweat pants with the broken elastic. And people look at me
and some say well really, couldn’t she write
more tactfully, a little more decently. But if you asked me, I say
fuck it, children don’t need to know what the world
is not a bed of roses. Fuck it, I say. Why in the fuck do you
have to be so tragic? We like you better before
when you drank a lot, lost and gained weight
and fucked anyone who gave us the time of day. So get down here Vanessa. That is some fog, it’s —
it’s really quite simple. And I have nothing
else besides this worn out acerbic scenery dunk and the
fingers that write these words on the screen, as
though on a vase like. I’m emerging from the forest. And I ask you kids, you and
your family summer houses living rooms, in the backs of cars, in
your conjugal beds, you children of all sexes, in some
sauna drunk and drugged, you kids who have survived, I
tell you it’s scary for sure. But still, please come
out once and for all. Are right people be
gentle with yourselves. And I will begin to
breathe quietly here. [ Applause ] Thank you. [ Applause ] Yeah, I want to read
one more poem. Yes that was the plan. That was the plan. The second poem will be about
Riga Ghetto, it’s more or less. We are small nation and we
had the golden times so-called golden times before the
World War II, which I write in my first novel, which is
called Glass Shots, in English. But in this — during this time,
we had authoritarian regime of [inaudible] and
during this time, somehow nation was weakened with
all positivity and small gen — genocides there are —
against what galleons and socially disturbed people. And when the Germans — not
Germans, Nazis came in, we — we were not possible — we
were not capable as nation to guard our Jews, for example. We were not capable as well
to guards ourselves as well when Soviet army come in. But we were not capable — we
were weak as a nation I think. And we were not capable
to guard our Jews. Several nations had
guarded their Jews. For example, Danish
— Danish people. But so it’s all brief history. Yes and before the war, before
the World War II, we had 30,000 of Jews approximately and
after the World War III, we have three, so
it’s quite the seen. So I will read the poem,
The Birth of the City. And there will be a street names and the street names
are not translated. The street names are the
streets were Riga Ghetto was and so you will get some
glimpse in Latvian as well. The Birth of the City. On the day the entire city
went down on its knees, on [foreign names] and
Large Glacier Streets. On [foreign names] Streets and heads were bowed
in rumble of forest. On the day the entire city
went down on its knees, those who had been
guards, and also those who couldn’t pronounce
G or draw a yellow star. And their children
and grandchildren and their great grandchildren,
a whole field of people with heads bowed to become the
foundation for the new city that would never forget, that
would walk in their footsteps, that would ask heaven
for forgiveness. For this sustained silence not
looking one another in the eye. This rushing past in a city
in which every day the shadows of those with colored stars on their foreheads do
not walk the sidewalks. And I asked grandma dearest how
could you sleep, you and grandpa on those November and
December nights in fear of war like trees knocking on windows, holding each other
close to keep for? How could we sleep on
all these nights since? We are a small nation. Indeed. We lift our trembling
voices like flames and we sing. I have a friend who
has only half a brain after a drunk driver
left him to die. But he lived. And look this friend can
hardly talk but he sings. And that’s how it
is with all of us. We sing. Who ran us over? On the day as a city
went down on its knees and the bleed shaking like an
Autumn leaf rose up to heaven. Forgive us, we who looked aside,
who shot, who stood you in rows, who told the children
to look away. Who let you walk in the gutter. Who sent God for having been
born light skinned and blonde. Forgive us, we who did
not bring you bread. who did not sew yellow
stars onto our clothes, who did not join the
partisans to resist. Forgive us, we who were
not [foreign names], who are not amongst
those 270 others. We are an even smaller
nation than we thought. On the day when the city
went down on its knees and not even words, but trembling whispers
went up to the heavens. On the day they down
inside the city, it’s heart slowly
resumed beating. And after 700 years the
birds came back to the city. Look in your iPhone. Today is the day. [ Applause ] Thank you so much. [ Applause ]>>Indra Ekmanis: So Inga,
much of your work deals with these themes of
trauma, sexual violence. And included in these kinds
of themes is the theme of generational trauma,
which was passed down from parent to child. Perhaps you can maybe discuss
how these themes factor into your work. And maybe if you
see this as a trend, perhaps across the region. Maybe as a mechanism that — that kind of deals with
these painful histories that you’re speaking about specifically the
Soviet and Nazi occupations.>>Inga Gaile: Yes. Thank you. We, in Latvia, I think we
are in post-traumatic — we have all post-traumatic
syndrome and we are dealing with it by different kinds of
— some of us are drinking a lot and all of us are
singing and see it’s as coping mechanism
actually as well for big — for post-traumatic
stress syndrome. We — in — I, yeah just a
minute, so World War II — in our region in Latvia, but
not only in Latvia, of course, all Europe and especially
Eastern Europe has experienced Soviet occupation and
Stalin — Stalin — Stalinism as awful
genocide and Nazis. And we all are hurt and
that way on — on another. And as I see it — how it
comes into my work, of course, it comes through
me and selfishly. But I — I have experienced some
trauma myself, and but then I, when I started to speak
about it, I found — so I experienced as was
drama — sexual violation. And — and that was — that
was the situation when — in Soviet Union what made
this drama even stronger was that in Soviet Union we
didn’t have sex at all, like there was no sex like. And so people who experienced
sexual violation, like girls, boys and women and men, they,
especially girls, and boys, they — when it —
when it happened for sometimes they didn’t know
what has happened, actually. And it — I think it
made it even worse, because for some time,
for example, me — tried to find some
information in Latvian and Soviet encyclopedia. And so I saw that what has
happened was homosexuality. Because it has called in
Soviet Latvia encyclopedia, like perversity. So I thought OK maybe
this happened. And for a longer time of
period, I was really afraid that I will become pregnant. Although in this event
was not quite the same, sorry for details. But so it was a whole
lot of fright. And for me and I believe
that I’m not, sorry to say, I was not the only
person experiencing that. And so it was very difficult
for the people in Soviet. And for example as well, as
— as well as, for example, women who experienced the rape in their families
it was casual — it was normal, I
think more or less. And nobody — and one — I
will get back track right now. And what one more thing,
for example, in Lat — in Soviet Union women and men
used abortions as contraception. And still we haven’t
talked about it still. And there are women who are
around 50 and 60 who are living with this trauma and not
— not talking about. And I — I’m talking
about tons of abortions. Like whole — and a lot of women
have not talked about it still. So we are traumatic society. That’s clear. But and I — in my second
novel, which I have finished and which will come
out like in the days, I’m trying to understand
how — how — with — how all this madness
for example, and how it influenced women
especially — especially. Because when I started — I didn’t talk about my
drama until late 20’s. And when my first daughter
was born, I went to therapist. That’s I think a
normal thing in Latvia, at least with the
people don’t — that women don’t take
care of themselves, but when they birth — a
child is born, since they need to take care — care
of the child so they find the
right therapist. So and when I started
to talk about my trauma, I found that it gives
me freedom. And so I wanted to talk about
our dramas as well, to — and to — to understand
how the World War II and how it has influenced
our society. And how we can — how almost
everyone is influenced by terrors of Nazis
and Stalinism. And how we can go on with
so traumatic experiences. So if I — I’m — I get lost
sometimes, so you — if you — you can freely just to ask
me some questions and — and stop me from
exaggerating a bit.>>Indra Ekmanis: You get —
get back on — on the track. But you mentioned your
novel [foreign name] which is Glass Shards in English and then it’s continuation
[foreign name], beauties, also in English, which — which
take place, as you mentioned in, during the Authoritarian Regime
in the late 1930’s in Latvia. And then also in
the [foreign name] and Women’s Concentration
Camp in — in the 1950’s.>>Inga Gaile: In 1943 it –>>Indra Ekmanis: In 1943.>>Inga Gaile: It starts with a
monologue of this woman who is in Robinsburgh Concentration
Camp. And which is a concentration
camp for women. And so — and since
there’s one part — the first part is about
her, about real life, the second part is about
Magdalen, which is living in Soviet Latvia and
is a bit bolder person. And the third part is
about nowadays woman who is in some way connected with
both of the previous — both of the first two heroes.>>Indra Ekmanis: In
some ways, these — these seem a call to the
reader to examine the history that you’re speaking of. Some of the underlying
culpability of society that you kind of talk
about also in your poetry. For example, you
point to the influence of political leadership
and how nationalism or perhaps the desire to shape
an ideal, or what is perceived to be an ideal, society
actually builds that society, makes it less brave,
less empathetic. Maybe you can — can speak a
bit about this and how you — how you are examining
this in your work. And perhaps also in
today’s context which — which we’re seeing this kind of turn back towards
these nationalistic ideas in the mainstream.>>Inga Gaile: Yes. I think, yes. I can understand the piece — that all this strength and
nationalism, and it comes from people’s urge to be safe. But still I think, for
example, that we have, especially in Europe but you
as well have experienced that, this threat — trying to be
too much safe and is dangerous. And trying to exclude someone who is different
is very dangerous. And so it’s — so I tried —
what I tried to do it in my life and work and — and — and
it’s challenged all the time is to accept diversity in all
— in all forms as it comes. And — and yes — and of
course, I understand the state, sometimes state contradicts
this. State is made as structure which
needs to guard their citizens. And so they want to look
for the weak places. Where is the weak places. And so but — and — but I think that the state should
become more and more open to different forms
and not to mess with people’s private lives. And so but I lost track. So yes, I think what is — what
I’m doing as well in the novel, is — they are not — they seem
to be like historical novels, but they are mostly like
dealing with people’s emotions and how they managed to deal
with a very tragic events. And how they’ve tried to — and
tragic events which we can find in during these days as well. And in nowadays as well. And how they tried to find
the — the strength to go on. And sometimes it’s not
necessarily some forms or formulas that —
that gave them strength. Sometimes it’s like —
I don’t know what it is, what gives them strength. So I — as you see as I’m not
very structured person a lot. So but what I tried to say is I
think that for example success as well as very much
success, for example, has discriminated itself. And so I don’t know, I have, I don’t have this formal
how to live further. But I think that maybe we
should become more and more open to different possibilities
how people can be and how they can live, and
they — how they want to live. And not that — that every day
we maybe should tell ourselves that, OK I know that there is
no formula and that there’s — yes that — that we should
be open to possibilities that everything is different
that we have believed yesterday. More or less like that, but
not of course, and yeah. So is it understandable,
more or less? I think yes.>>Indra Ekmanis: I’d
like to maybe pull — pull on that thread a
little bit about success and how maybe success is
undermining itself in some ways. Can you — can you explain
that a little bit more, that thought a little bit?>>Inga Gaile: Yes. We — we have been very
success driven society. I mean not in Latvia, but all of us have been very
success driven society and we teach our boys to be
strong and earn a lot of money and teach our girls
to be beautiful. And they — we have this set
of rules, what it means — what it means to be successful. But — and what I’m — and it —
it has proven that it’s rotten. Because and through — of
course I’m exaggerating a bit of course. But through — through
— through — when I’m exploring
all the data for my — for my novels, for example,
and I found out all this stuff about what people have
experienced, and I’m — and I start — I think — I was
thinking about what led to that. What ideas led to that? And Germany wanted to
be successful as well. They wanted to guard
their people. They wanted to give them
money and safety and not — not money, but bills and safety. And it led to — and they
wanted to — to pull out — pull out the strange ones then. And it — it led to terrible
events, in the — for example — so I — I — through this
— so through experiencing and reading about, for example,
about women in Robinsburgh who experienced, it’s — it’s just example,
and I — an example. Women in Robinsburgh
spent their — five years and they were Jews,
Roman women, French women, Resistance women, Polish women. And, for example, they — they
stayed there five years or — and let’s take — that
some of them survived. And then they went — and
then Soviet Army freed them. And that — that’s
one more factor which we have only now
started to talk about, about Soviet armies rapes. And for example one — one of the survivors
told that she thought that maybe she will
be saved by rape — saved from rape because
she weighed 30 kilos, but she was not saved
from the threat. So all this — all — all is
together, and of course — and more I get to know I
understand there’s no — there’s — there’s no German,
there’s no Soviets, there’s — there are just people who
are driven by unhealthy power of rape power —
stream — or some — there’s something rotten in
this how we structured the world and how we want to
get what we want. And in this power urge, yes. So that’s why is — and from
this I understand that we need to overlook this part — this
necessity to get so much power. And this power of
— success is power. Always wanting to get successful
is one wish to get power. So that’s why I think
the success is overrated. So but of course, I
know I’m sitting here and at this important event
and — and in some way I’m — I’m very glad not in some way — I’m very glad and
honored to be here. And I have some kind of
power as well as you see because I’m sitting here on the
stage and you are down there. Yeah.>>Indra Ekmanis: So we
don’t have so much time left but I would like to ask a few
more questions before we open it up to the audience. I don’t know if we can
see this Life of I banner, but Arturs mentioned —
mentioned this idea of the — the introverted Latvian writer. Would you say that you also are
an introverted Latvian writer, or maybe not? You’re also a standup comedian.>>Inga Gaile: But by
the way, how I’m — how I’m talking I
think you guys — you can understand
I’m quite introverted. Because no of course
I’m — no — no one knows what is an
introvert or extrovert only. But I have some — some issues. But — but introvert is —
introvert compared is quite — I think quite successful
Latvian marketing campaign of Latvian literature. Which it — which have
taken this introvert — we are an introvert nation. We are afraid of lot of people. We want — we — we
are — we want — don’t want to talk to strangers. And we are happy in our small — smalls these houses
with our books and food. And nobody come ask us
how to in the huge world. But yes and so I think this is
a quite a good campaign to — to — to introduce world
to this — to these people. And I think it’s a good
as well, because it’s — draws attention to
this introverts as well as — not as a [inaudible]?>>Indra Ekmanis:
Not as a mistake.>>Inga Gaile: Not as
a mistake, but to — the potential for new things. And — and recently, of course,
there are a lot of researchers that introvert people can
give a lot to world and can — let’s say in their silence
can create a whole new ideas. And — and can be quite
good in their work. So yeah.>>Indra Ekmanis: Maybe you like
to quick also speak about the –>>Inga Gaile: Standup?>>Indra Ekmanis:
The stand up –>>Inga Gaile: Yes.>>Indra Ekmanis: And — and
the burgeoning standup scene in Latvia.>>Inga Gaile: Also I’m — some artists who every time
before the performance, even today, but are — are
afraid and, and — and think — ask God to finish it all,
not to go on the stage. Four — four years ago, yes, I started to organize women
standup in Latvia, because I was in very low point in my
life, because of divorce. And I wanted to somehow
to get out from this point of this laugh, or —
or just try to look to this divorce with some irony. And so and I’m only — as I was
only feminist in the village, some women in this — someone
asked me to do some stuff for 8th of March, which is
International Women’s Day. So and I thought, OK
we will do standup. And I found some of my
friends, some of them — some of them were funny,
some of them were just brave. But and what is good, most
of them are my friends still. And so we started to perform. And once a month. And interest — we thought it that it will be just
once time event. But the interest was huge. Like we were not so funny, of
course, but — but there — there was no such
thing in Latvia where women could come and talk. So we filled this void. And so we are performing
from that time once a month, and every woman and men as
well can come and perform and there’s — for the
first time they don’t need to be funny, they can
talk whatever they want. And so there have been very
different performances. There have been very
tragic performances like when woman told about her
rape, or abortion experience. So but there are — some of
us are quite funny as well. And so our fame has
arrived a lot. And as they are asking us
to perform in corporate — some business meetings
and private — private parties and — and we have been in
television and whatever. So we are doing well,
and we are having power. More and more of it. [ Applause ]>>Indra Ekmanis: I believe
we do have a few minutes left if anybody is interested
in asking a question. There are microphone — or
we can maybe just come here or come to the microphones. And maybe we’ll collect
— collect them all — these three at — once, and so then we can answer
— answer them together.>>Female Speaker: Yes thank you
very much [foreign speaking], that means sister. And I really appreciate
the work that you’re doing with how the final solution
was carried out in Latvia. Actually the conference
of Bonsai where they came up with a final solution
came after Riga and Rubella, when the Nazis came back and they said we’re
losing our best marksman to alcoholism and insanity. We can’t keep this — up this
shooting 24,000 people — people in two days. Which happened 14
kilometers outside of Riga. So good for your courage. And but one thing
that I don’t agree with what you said is it’s the
Latvians you said, we succumbed to the Nazi terror they — that they brought and made
our land into killing fields. That it was because
we were weak. Because what about the French? You know, Louie the 14th,
the French Empire, Napoleon?>>Inga Gaile: Of course, we are
not the only ones, of course.>>Female Speaker: Right. What about Hungary, and Austria? The Astro Hungarians Empire? So we are –>>Inga Gaile: No, no, we are not the only
ones of course, the –>>Female Speaker: No but
we have to dig deeper. Why is it that we are soulful and highly spiritual ancient
culture also gave into this? And so you know you
talk about power. You know, so there’s the
seeing the powerful in the weak and the weak in the powerful. And where do we find the
power to — to heal this? So I would love to offer
you a collaboration of developing a ritual for this. So that’s my question. Would you like to work with me? No. But congratulations.>>Inga Gaile: So private. But yes but thank you for
question because it need to be quickly to say that of
course we have our strengths and we are fantastic
nation actually. We are only two million. And we still have our state
and we have our language and we have our folk songs
and fantastic literature, which comes basically
because of — we have so our literary
languages so young and we have very strong
connections to folk songs. And we are a fantastic nation. And of course. But it’s a bit of like
[foreign speaking].>>Indra Ekmanis:
A generalization.>>Inga Gaile: Generalization. I’m speaking about this event and about us being weak
in not guarding Jews. But of course we
have our strengths. And we are — I’m very
proud to be Latvian. And — and I will
write only in Latvian. So that’s –>>Indra Ekmanis: Maybe we
can have the next — so — so we can collect these
next two questions as well?>>Inga Gaile: And
certainly we are in hurry?>>Inka Ekmanis: Yes.>>Female Speaker 1: Yeah sorry.>>Inga Gaile: That’s
why I’m talking so fast.>>Female Speaker
1: Yeah mine is kind of maybe a follow up question. But I’ve also realized in the last few years how
post-traumatic stressed Latvians are in Latvia and in
the rest of the world. Pretty much everybody is. But –>>Inga Gaile: Of course.>>Female Speaker 1: People
have talked about the heroism, that also of the — the people,
both the people that stayed and the people that
left, you know. Some people look at it, and
I think it’s like a paradox. It’s a really weird thing because you can see
it both ways. And I was just wondering if what
you thought about that as well, kind of, you know, there’s
the — the anyway –>>Inga Gaile: Yeah
understand — understand, and that’s of
course necessary to say that people are heuristic. But what is this traumas
and all these tragic events. It’s — we can’t talk about these events not
talking about them. And of course, if we
are starting to talk about these events, about rapes
and killings, and so it’s — it doesn’t feel so good. It’s not so, I mean and
it’s not convenient –>>Female Speaker 1:
It’s not comfortable.>>Inga Gaile: It’s
not comfortable. But we can’t get rid of
these traumatic events by not speaking about them. I’m sorry. It’s like — just like it is. And so, of course,
there are good things and Latvia is beautiful. Please come all to Latvia. And — and we have our heroes. And I think that we are a
strong nation because we have — we are so small, but after
all these traumatic events, we still have our state. That’s very important. But — but still we have done
as well not so good things. So — but — and
we — we have to — to heal we need to talk
about these things. [ Applause ]>>Female Speaker 2:
And that’s my question. Where did the courage
come for you? Where did you find the courage
to speak about not one taboo but these multiple taboos
that are both personal and then radiate
out into the nation?>>Inga Gaile: I — thank you. They — a lot of
comes from books. That’s what I think
that reading is that gave me — gives
me strength. But of course I have experienced
as well this healing process. But when I started to talk about
some stuff was has — that — that has happened to me,
I experienced freedom. And that’s what I wanted
to give — or to — to show to people that
when I am starting to talk about that it’s freedom for me. And I’m more free and
I can is about it.>>Indra Ekmanis:
I can enjoy life.>>Inga Gaile: I can enjoy life. But of course not every —
everyone should talk about it. It depends on temperament and
so, but me — I need this way. So but yes it was the question
where I, from my difficult but wonderful parents. And from reading. Yes I think books
have saved me a life. I have — I started
reading at four. And I read all the library,
which was at next — next to our house, [inaudible]
books and Soviet books. And it was a lot of books. And not so good books as well. So I think I’m very
thankful to all writers. Yes. But I think it’s — thank
you and not only to writers, but mostly to writers.>>Indra Ekmanis:
I think that’s a — that’s a really excellent
place to — to maybe finish our discussion. I’m sure that if you have some
questions perhaps Inga will be — be happy to — to speak
to also off the stage. But our time has
come to a close, so please do join me again
in thanking Inga Gaile.>>Inga Gaile: Thank
you so much. You were wonderful, thank you.

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