Freedom Avenue (Lith. Laisvės alėja) is the most important artery of Kaunas’ city centre. In 1919, on the occasion of Lithuania’s declaration of independence, it acquired the name of Freedom.
Its paving, which was laid down between 1970-1982, is now gradually being replaced. The paving, that gave a unique character to this main street of the city, although installed during the Soviet occupation, or perhaps because of it, became for many citizens and guests of Kaunas inextricably linked with Freedom Avenue itself as the symbol of freedom and certain manifestations of “independent” life, including the 1972 youth protests in Kaunas, and “led” to Lithuania’s independence.
The reconstruction of Freedom Avenue which is taking place at the moment has led to a lot of discussions about the value and historical significance of the old paving. Is it important for only one generation and certain groups of people as an artefact that evokes nostalgia for their youth? Is it an asset, part of the city’s heritage that is worthy of preservation as an important piece of the city’s history?
Laisvės alėja / Freedom Avenue. 2017
Pavement outside Savanorių pr. 225, Kaunas
Kaunas City Museum, Rotušės a. 15, Kaunas
More info: https://bienale.lt/2017/en/dainiusliskevicius-1/