Neringa Forest Architecture (NFA), research and residency programme was initiated in 2019 by Jurga Daubaraitė, Egija Inzule and Jonas Žukauskas at Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts, seeking to reflect on the agency of cultural practices and institutions in framing environmental relationships. The project has its starting point in Nida, in the Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit – a 98 km long, and 0.4–3.8 km wide sand dune that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Here, over the past 200 years, afforestation and sequential planning on the spit have terraformed the environment to manage natural aeolian processes of wind-blown sands. The unique role and duty of care for this constructed cultural landscape poses complex challenges for the agencies and institutions that maintain it declared the Curonian Spit National Park in the 1990s and later, together with the part in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, included it on the UNESCO world heritage list.
As a continuous programme, NFA involves a growing assembly of collaborations and participants to read this cultural landscape from myriad perspectives and practices as a case study in the context of the Baltic and Scandinavian forests – an environment of natural systems governed, exploited, and regulated by human interventions, technologies, industries, institutions and agencies. The project seeks to assemble an intersectional view of these diverse viewpoints focusing on the agency of culture in enhancing the ways to sense and understand forest.
Kirvarpa Books is a publisher of NFA working with forest. It is run by Jurga Daubaraitė, Egija Inzule and Jonas Žukauskas from Nida, Vilnius, and Zurich.