In 2017 Rīgas cirks as a state-owned enterprise launched a new strategy for circus development in the Latvian capital. According to that, the mission of Rīgas cirks is to promote contemporary circus development and performing arts diversity in Latvia and in the Baltic region. The main priorities of Rīgas cirks are interdisciplinary culture programs, mainly focusing on contemporary circus, circus education and international art residencies.

The residency try-out took place in the Children’s Village Graši in Cesvaine parish, Latvia. It is a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution that provides care close to the family environment for children and adolescents from socially disadvantaged families and without parental care. Children from different parts of Latvia have been placed in the Children’s Village, where they live in 4 cosy children’s houses. There are 8 children and 3 educators living in each house.

14 children (aged 5 to 16) took part in the Rīgas cirks residency activities.

The artistic concept

The artist-in-residence for the try-out project was Ingrīda Pičukāne. She has obtained Master’s degrees at the Estonian Academy of Arts Animation Department and at the Department of Visual Communication of the Art Academy of Latvia.

During the three-week residency (July 2–August 18, 2020) Ingrīda Pičukāne together with inhabitants of Graši Children’s Village created comic zines based on the stories of the children.

A zine is a self-published, non-commercial print-work that is typically produced in small, limited batches. Zines are created and bound in many DIY ways, but traditionally editions are easily reproduced – often by crafting an original “master flat,” and then photocopying, folding, and/or stapling the pages into simple pamphlets.

At the end of the residency an exhibition of self- published children’s zines took place in the Cesvaine Children and Youth Center.

The working method

The activities in the Children’s Village were held in the form of workshops. The artist gave to the participant’s different tasks that were connected with the final outcome of the residency - self- published zines by children.

  • Drawing portraits (self portrait, other people);
  • Creating different comic’s characters (individual exercise);
  • Drawing from nature (individual);
  • Playing with comic’s form, creating characters and comic’s stories through game (group exercises);
  • Making characters > creating script ideas > making individual comics zine (individual).


Ingrīda Pičukāne (Visual artist)
Vita Valheima (Residency coordinator)
Odrija Fišere (project manager)
Sandra Stade (director of the Children's Village of Graši)