Kaunas bids farewell to the title of Capital of Culture – sends 2022 kisses to Lithuania, Europe and the world

Kaunas bids farewell to the title of Capital of Culture and passes it on to three other European cities. After the project reached the finish line, many Lithuanian and foreign cities were decorated with photos of people sending air kisses. This is the artistic project of photographer Remis Ščerbauskas, which symbolically says goodbye to the creators of Kaunas 2022. According to them, 2022 kisses are dedicated to all dreamers and doers, participants and creators who helped make the dream of the Capital of Culture a reality.

The kisses project author is Kaunas artist Remis Ščerbauskas, since 2019 aiming to immortalize the participants of the Capital of Culture events, visitors, community members, artists, citizens and guests of the city, volunteers, the team that contributed to the implementation of the project and those who often stayed behind the limelight. All these people have been raising the city’s culture to a new level with their energy while preparing for the title year.

The result of many exclusive photo sessions is 2022 kisses, the process of capturing which, according to the photographer, was not the easiest. People had various reactions – some responded to the request to send a kiss by waving their hand aside or looking for hidden cameras. While others, after having this unusual photoshoot persuaded their friends to participate as well.

“A kiss is a symbol of intimacy, security, trust, a feeling that is difficult to share at any time. So I admire people’s courage to get involved, to give a fun emotion to others. I would like Kaunas to find the strength to introduce new ideas and participate in international projects in the future”, said the artist.

The kisses of Kaunas people and friends will reach not only the cities of Lithuania, but also billboards, bus stops and computer screens in Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Israel, Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom.

Kisses – for communities, viewers and artists

Passers-by, artists, community representatives, event participants and the Kaunas 2022 team participated in the photo session. Curators, authors of the idea, volunteers and technical staff shared who they would like to kiss the most – to say thank you.

According to the head of “Kaunas 2022” – Virginijas Vitkienė – the kiss she sends would go to the residents of the city and district of Kaunas. “It was they who accepted the initiatives with open hearts. Some of them may have seemed strange at first – after all, concerts usually take place in halls, but here they were in the yard and in the forest… Well, culture crosses all thresholds. With kisses, I would like to send a wish to everyone: the title of the Capital of Culture is moving elsewhere, but let’s not forget what we have created, let’s not forget to nurture the communality that has been cultivated, let it be sustainable. Good things continue to travel from heart to heart.”

The kiss of Rytis Zemkauskas, the creator of the “Kaunas 2022” trilogy, is dedicated to “Kaunas 2022” volunteers: “They will remember the events of the Capital for a long time, and the city will remember them for a long time!”.

Ana Kočegarova-Maj, head of the “Kaunas 2022” program, conveys her wishes to the other cities of the European Capital of Culture: “This is a wish to Timișoara, Vesprem, Elefsina, fraternal Tartu, Chemnitz and other cities that are preparing. A Ukrainian city must and will appear among them”, wishes the head of the program.

Daiva Price, curator of the “Memory Office” program, believes that the value of the European Capital of Culture project is not the events, festivals or even works of art, but the new human connections that have been established during the project. “I am grateful to fate that I am part of this journey and I send my kiss of gratitude to all those I have met on my way.”

More about the kissing project and the entire photo gallery can be found here.


“Kaunas 2022” information