Homo Novus 2015


Heterotopia Riga

Akira Takayama (Tokyo)
5, 6, 9-13 September 16:30-19:00, Pils laukums 2 |
7, 8 September 14:00-19:00, Pils laukums 2 | € 10 / € 7

‘Heterotopia project’ by Japanese director Akira Takayama discovers ‘other’ places in the real world to gain a critical perspective on the society and history. The concept of Heterotopia was introduced by Michel Foucault, designating ‘grey’ zones that work on a different logic than the predominant one.

With his new show in Riga, Akira Takayama continues the Heterotopia series which he had already realized in Tokyo, Taiwan, Athens, Beirut, and Abu Dhabi. Each performance is adapted for each specific city and its historic context, creating a new memory of it.

Equipped with a guidebook and a little radio, ‘Heterotopia Riga’ spectators visit six addresses in the city and listen to the stories written by a Japanese or a Latvian writer.

These are places where traces of the most well-known Japanese spy Makoto Onodera remain. He used to live in Riga in the 1930s. While Onodera is barely known in Latvia, in Japan he is sometimes referred to as ‘the spy of all spies’. One of his greatest achievements was a report on the Yalta Agreement, which tried to prevent what came to be the devastating end of the Second World War for Japan.

The show examines the phenomenon of espionage, which in all times and ages has been creating hidden networks throughout every society.

‘Heterotopia Riga’ is a listening performance – walk in the city centre that includes several stops and lasts 2 to 2,5 hours. We recommend it as a solo experience. To book your slot please choose your start time between 16:30: and 19:00 on weekdays and 14:00 and 19:00 on the weekend. The performance ends within 15min walking distance from the starting point at Pils laukums 2.

About the artist

Japanese theatre director Akira Takayama creates projects that challenge the conventions of traditional theatre. Takayama’s projects expand and enrich the audience’s experience through participation in performative events that treat entire cities as stages. In 2003 Takayama founded ‘Port B’, a project-specific theatre collective aimed at fostering collaborative relationships with artists and a diverse range of artistic interventions, including installations in urban space, experimental social projects, and performative tours and lectures.


Idea and direction: Akira Takayama
Writers: Pauls Bankovskis, Koma Ikoi, Erika Kobayashi, Andris Kuprišs, Keijiro Suga, Inese Zandere
Assistance: Saki Tanaka
Local research: Santa Remere
Translator: Ieva Lešinska
Guidebook design: Normunds Ozols
Production: Sandra Lapkovska, New Theatre Institute of Latvia

Image: Akira Takayama

Related events
On Ghosts, Spies and Japanese in Riga. Akira Takayama in conversation with Santa Remere

6 September 16:00 in the house on Briāna street 13
In English, free entrance

5, 6, 9-13



7, 8



Pils laukums 2

€ 10 / € 7*


In English or Latvian

Run time

2h 30


Pils laukums 2

Not recommended for people with walking difficuties.



Supported by

* Reduced price for students, seniors, people with disabilities

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