Book design and photo by Alexey Murashko. Potrait by Arnis Balčus

Tomorrow, on February 14, at 19.00, a special music and art programme at the Depo club in Riga will open the book Scene by photographer Arnis Balčus. The book focuses on the alternative youth subculture of the same name, revealing the challenges that young people face today. The photographs featured in the book were exhibited at the ISSP Gallery last year.

Stories Editorial February 13, 2024

The Scene is the community that has formed around the concerts held by young alternative music groups, such as Nikotīņi, Pauls Raimonds, and ŠŅK in Riga’s alternative music clubs Depo and Republika, sometimes also in the underground venues Lastādija and Ādmiņu 4. Arnis Balčus emphasises that the Scena is not just about music; it is a platform for socialising and creative activities, and some even call this community their home.

The core of the book consists of almost 200 photographs taken by Balčus over several years, as well as drawings by the book’s protagonists themselves, which together form a colourful, vivid, unusual, but also direct and raw message about young people today who are struggling to fit into society. “Insane military conflicts, inevitable climate change, ruthless capitalism are our legacy to the younger generation. Some quickly become obedient slaves to the system, while others fall into despair and project feelings of hopelessness and doom in different ways. Can they change the world, or is it too late? This book is about young people who have not yet been broken by the system,» says Arnis. Last year’s exhibition, which was accompanied by an extensive programme of events, and the newly published book are a unique testimony to Latvian culture, as well as a meaningful example of social inclusion and an example of the broad scope of the photographic medium.


The book is limited to only 400 copies and was designed by award-winning book designer Alexey Murashko. The book is published by Kultkom with the support of Riga City Council and the State Culture Capital Foundation. The book will be launched on February 14 at 19.00 at the club Depo, Vaļņu iela 32, Riga. From 19.30, alternative music bands DziļiVienalga and Defekts will perform, poetry will be read by the members of the Scene, and one of the book’s protagonists and co-authors, Metalurga or Kristiāns, will give a performance. The book Scene is available on the website of FK Magazine.