Potatoes unite

Project: MainPotRe
Physical Meeting
Multidisciplinary Conference: Potato Transcendence in Evolution Beyond Borders


The aim of the event is to demonstrate how a simple element like potatoes can be a central aspect for bringing together representatives from various fields of science and other disciplines at the New Castle of Cesis. As part of the multidisciplinary conference 'Potato Transcendence in Evolution Beyond Borders,' speakers including a breeder, historian, literary scholar, nutrition specialist, and representatives from the art world (including Jeffrey Allen Price from the USA, who officially presents himself globally as a potato artist) will share their insights.

In the second part of the event, participants will have the opportunity to take part in an artist-led workshop, creating their own potato art, and enjoy some of the potato varieties created in Priekuli, Cesis District, under the guidance of chef Ingmars Ladigs.

The event's slogan, 'Potatoes Unite,' is not just a loud statement. Organizers face various events every day that demonstrate how true this statement is. The interest and involvement of our society are so great that the event has expanded beyond the official boundaries of Innovation Week. On March 2nd, starting from 11:00, we invite families to workshops, an expanded lecture (in English) on the impact of potatoes on world art and culture and the viewing of a pop-up exhibition (location information will follow).

POTATOISM - a concept created by American artist Jeffrey Allen Price in 2003, explores the versatile influence of potatoes in art, culture, and philosophy. Potatoism shows how potatoes interact and influence many areas of human activity. This philosophy includes both the serious aspects of potatoes as a nutrient-rich food source and the humorous side, often using comical forms of potatoes as jokes. Potatoes serve as a universally accessible, understandable and inviting entry point for the development of various ideas, the celebration of the rich history and cultural significance of potatoes, and the connection of communities.

Cesis District (specifically Priekuli) is closely linked to potatoes – the first experiments with potato varieties were conducted here in the mid-19th century, and in 1931 the breeding of new varieties began. Therefore, this is the place to celebrate, putting potatoes at the center of festivities.


    09:30 - 10:00
    Arrival and registration
    10:00 - 10:15
    Opening of the multidisciplinary conference 'Potato Transcendence in Evolution Beyond Borders' The opening of the conference and a greeting from the World Potato Congress Ambassador, eminent road cyclist and Olympian Toms Skujiņš.
    10:15 - 10:45
    Potatoes - a journey from the Andean mountains to global impact on humanity and economic development. About the potato's journey around the world and its role in the development, industrialization, and population growth of the Western world. How potatoes have become a global player, promoting national economic development, and are an essential component of hunger and malnutrition reduction programs. About the diversity within the potato species. Dr.agr. Ilze Skrabule
    10:45 - 11:15
    A glimpse into the life journeys of some 20th-century Latvian potato breeders - classics. Educated abroad, managing a farm in Vidzeme, Trikāta region, and incorporating a global perspective into his work - that was the first Latvian potato breeder Pēteris Knape, whose active career took place in the first half of the 20th century. Also the breeder Vilis Gaujers hails from Vidzeme Zosēni region. After the Second World War he stayed in Kurzeme, later conducting part of his scientific work at the Priekuļi Breeding Station, becoming one of the most distinguished potato breeders in our history. Author of several books on potatoes, he remains one of the primary sources of information in Latvian. Dr.hist. Tālis Pumpuriņš
    11:15 - 11:45
    Potatoes in Latvian Literature and Folklore. Dr.habil.philol. profesore Janīna Kursīte-Pakule
    11:45 - 12:15
    Why love and respect potato. Potatoes are often called a nutritional powerhouse because they provide vitamins, minerals, and also nutritious proteins that supply (synthesize, form) all essential amino acids. Potatoes are an energy plant as they also contain carbohydrates such as starch; however their starch is very unique. And how to use potatoes to get the best for your body? A perspective from the standpoint of food and nutritional science. PhD. Liene Jansone
    12:15 - 13:00
    Coffee, Snacks and Conversations. Coffee break with Chef Ingmars Ladigs and his culinary variations with potatoes.
    13:00 - 13:45
    Brief History of Potatoes in Art and Culture ** ** The lecture will be in English. The Potato artist based in New York, the creator of the POTATOISM concept, has dedicated much of his creative work to researching and collecting information about the impact of potatoes on world art and culture. This will be a small part of his 2-hour lecture on this topic, which can be fully attended on March 2nd.
    13:45 - 14:30
    Potatoes and opportunities in diversifying tourism, strengthening local communities, and shaping the bio-region. Are we ready to position potatoes as one of the magnets to attract tourists? Examples from around the world and interactive idea exchange with the local potato ambassador Sigita Klētniece. Kristīna Sprūdža representative of the Cesis Rural Partnership, will talk about funding opportunities for diversifying economic activities in the first Latvian bio-region.
    14:30 - 15:00
    Potato Culinary Break. Together with Chef Ingmars Ladigs
    15:00 - 17:00
    Potato Art Workshop with artist Jeffrey Allen Price from New York. Under the guidance of the potato artist, we will explore our creative side.


Upcoming events

No upcoming events.

    Past events

    Diverse potatoes
    Project: MainPotRe
    Physical Meeting
    27. February 2024
    14:00 - 16:00 (EET)
    Seminar for project partners and target groups
    Project: MainPotRe
    Virtual Meeting & Physical Meeting
    25. January 2024
    10:00 - 17:00 (EET)
    Kick Off Meeting
    Project: MainPotRe
    Virtual Meeting & Physical Meeting
    03. October 2023
    13:30 - 16:00 (EET)