At 18.00 in the garden or the conference hall of the Medicine History Museum. Participation in the workshop is free of charge by registering on the website here or by phone 26644548. Today, more and more attention is being paid to climate change, the ecosystem and the interactions between its participants – the link between humans, animals and plants, how people use the planet’s resources and how food is produced. Thinking about human and animal health and well-being, as well as what planet we will leave for future generations, researchers and food producers in the world and in Latvia are developing various novelty foods that could be an important part of our diet in the future – different alternatives to meat products with a wide offer of protein sources. In their production, crickets, earthworms, as well as various raw materials of plant origin are used. The workshop will be led by Ilga Gedrovica, a leading researcher at the Faculty of Food Technology of the Latvia University of Agriculture, together with nutritionist Linda Valkovska, who will introduce us to the nutrition of the future, what new products we can expect to see on our plates in the coming years, and what the meaning is of balanced, healthy food that is at the same time also environmentally friendly. Participants will be able to taste unusual snacks of the future. Ilga Gedrovica is an assistant professor and leading researcher at the Faculty of Food Technology of the Latvia University of Agriculture. Her research interests include future nutrition and the use of earthworms as a source of protein. Linda Valkovska is a nutritionist. Educated at Riga Stradiņš University. Linda is deeply interested in food science, as well as healthy and delicious cooking. The number of participants in the workshops is limited. The workshop will be held in Latvian. The event will be photographed and the photos taken during it will be published in the post about the event on the internet as well as used for publicity of the project.   Workshop attendees, except for children under 12 years of age, must present a COVID certificate confirming vaccination or recovery from Covid-19, or a negative test result.   Classes are organised by Pauls Stradiņš Medicine History Museum in cooperation with SIA “OnPlate”. “MHM nutrition workshops for families” are implemented by European Social Fund project No. 9.2.4.1/16/I/001 “Complex health promotion and disease prevention measures”.
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Pauls Stradiņš Medicine History Museum, in cooperation with SIA “OnPlate”, invites everyone to the series of classes “MHM nutrition workshops for families”. In the workshops, we will learn in an interactive way about sustainability and food of the future, the impact of seasonal and regional products on health and the environment, a healthy menu for school children and the role of nutrition in promoting emotional health for young people.

Participation in the workshops is free of charge by registering here or by phone 26644548.

12 August at 18.00 we invite you to attend the nutrition workshop “How do the seasons taste? Local and seasonal food”, where nutritionist Veronika Avdejeva will introduce the participants to the benefits of seasonal nutrition. In the class, you will be able to find out what impact our diet and shopping habits have on the environment, what the benefits of choosing seasonal and local products are, and what sustainable nutrition means. Participants will be able to test their knowledge in a practical way, both by tasting less popular local vegetables, and by testing their own skills to grow something healthy at home on the windowsill.

19 August at 18.00 “Healthy snacks workshop. A guide to the school children’s menu” will take place, where the nutritionist Veronika Avdejeva will introduce the participants to the basic principles of children’s nutrition. In the workshop we will focus on the school children’s menu – the basic principles of its formation, how parents and the educational institution can influence the child’s eating habits and promote healthy choices, what the basic principles are that make daily meal planning for children easier. During the class, special attention will be paid to the evaluation of product ingredients. Participants will be able to prepare and taste snacks from healthy ingredients and get inspiration for different recipes.

26 August at 18.00 the workshop “What will we eat in the future? Sustainability, crickets and earthworms” will take place, where the leading researcher of the Faculty of Food Technology of the Latvia University of Agriculture Dr. sc. ing. Ilga Gedrovica and nutritionist Linda Valkovska will introduce the participants to the nutrition of the future. We will focus on human and animal health and well-being, how people use the planet’s resources, and future nutrition research. Participants will be able to taste unusual snacks of the future and engage in a discussion by asking questions.

2 September at 18.00 “Workshop for young people. Food and emotional health” will take place, where psychotherapist Laura Valaine will introduce the participants to the link between food and psycho-emotional health. During the workshop, we will discuss the link between nutrition and mental health and the benefits that a balanced diet offers for our emotional health. We will look at emotional eating and see how food can be a self-help practice. Participants will be able to try conscious eating training and exercise to promote the perception of a positive body image.

Number of participants in the workshops is limited. The workshops will be held in Latvian.

The classes will be held at MHM garden or MHM conference room, 1 Antonijas Street, Riga.

Workshop attendees, except for children under 12 years of age, must present a COVID certificate confirming vaccination or recovery from Covid-19, or a negative test result.

“MHM nutrition workshops for families” are implemented by European Social Fund project No. 9.2.4.1/16/I/001 “Complex health promotion and disease prevention measures”.

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At 18.00 in the garden or the conference hall of the Medicine History Museum.

Participation in the workshop is free of charge by registering on the website here or by phone 26644548.

A person’s mood can have a big impact on everything that happens in everyday life – how good our sleep is, our ability to concentrate on the day’s work, and what the reactions are to contact with family members, friends and other people. Emotions (both positive and negative) can also affect our dietary choices, and diet can affect our psycho-emotional health.

Psychotherapist Laura Valaine will lead a workshop for young people, where in an informal atmosphere, there will be an opportunity to discuss the link between food and mental health, the benefits of a balanced diet for emotional health, delve into the concept of food as self-help practice, find out what emotional eating is and its impact. Participants will be able to try conscious eating exercises and develop a positive perception of body image.

Laura Valaine is a resident doctor in psychotherapy. She has a doctor’s degree from Riga Stradiņš University where she also continues her doctoral studies. On a daily basis, she consults patients at the RSU Clinic of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, and is a lecturer at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at RSU.

The number of participants in the workshops is limited. The workshops will be held in Latvian. The event will be photographed and the photos taken during it will be published in the post about the event on the internet as well as used for publicity of the project.

Workshop attendees, except for children under 12 years of age, must present a COVID certificate confirming vaccination or recovery from Covid-19, or a negative test result.

Classes are organised by Pauls Stradiņš Medicine History Museum in cooperation with SIA “OnPlate”. “MHM nutrition workshops for families” are implemented by European Social Fund project No. 9.2.4.1/16/I/001 “Complex health promotion and disease prevention measures”.


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On 5 October 2021 at 18:00, the Facebook account of Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine is hosting the fourth event in the MHM Conversations series, entitled ‘Healthy food chains: Does healthy for me mean healthy for others?’. Social anthropologists Anna Žabicka and Agnese Bankovska and researcher for the BIOR Institute, licensed nutritionist Inese Siksne will discuss food supply chains in Latvia and their social, economic and environmental impact on the health of people and the environment.

If you type the phrase ‘healthy food’ in Google search, the suggested content seems quite removed from the actual life experience of countless people: appealing arrangements of multicoloured fruit, dishes with names that many of us have never heard before, and expensive organic produce. Does healthy eating mean exclusively organic food? How hard or easy is it to eat healthy food and is healthy food always compatible with the different financial circumstances and lifestyle of different people? What are the nutritional habits of people in Latvia and what are the factors that have shaped and influenced them? How knowledgeable really are we regarding what we eat and the impact these habits have both on ourselves and the environment?

This time, the conversation will revolve around eating habits, healthy nutrition myths and various social, economic and cultural factors that inform and shape people’s nutritional practice and experience. We will talk about the role that food plays in building relationships with other people and the environment, as well as about the environmental and social footprint of our specific food choices. We will discuss with our guests the food supply chains practiced by people in Latvia and the reasons why they are significant, with a view on potentially forming food chains that consume less of our financial means and the planet’s resources alike.

About the contributors

Anna Žabicka is a social anthropologist who is currently writing her PhD thesis on aging and care in the Latvian countryside, basing it on a long-term ethnographic research carried out in a small Latvian countryside care home. Anna is specialising in medical anthropology: her principal academic focus is on the subjects of aging, care, health and social inequity, death and kinship. A holder of two MA degrees in social anthropology from Wayne State University (USA, 2019) and Riga Stradiņš University (2014), Anna Žabicka is currently studying toward a doctoral degree at the University of Vienna and teaching anthropology of medicine, death and kinship at Riga Stradiņš University.

Inese Siksna has been a researcher for the BIOR Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment for over 10 years. She is an active member of the Latvian Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists, contributing to improvement of knowledge and skills of nutrition experts. In her research work, Inese is excited about various ways of using traditional methods to obtain data on food consumption and other health-related issues.

Agnese Bankovska is a social anthropologist who counts ethics and practice of care, multispecies ethnography, food supply systems and food experience as the range of her professional interests. Agnese’s PhD work, presented in late 2020 at the University of Helsinki (Helsingin Yliopisto), studied the direct purchase movement in Latvia with a special focus on the significance of the ethics and practice of care in the context of such a relatively small system of food supply. Alongside these subjects, Agnese Bankovska has contributed to an international and interdisciplinary study of transnational families in Finland, researching experiences of belonging, identity and inequity as reflected in the food practices of Latvian-Finnish families.

The MHM series of conversations is centred around discussions on the notion of health. Our health is a multi-layered and variable experience that is influenced by a number of factors, not always medical ones. In our conversations we will explore subjects like health inequity and inequality, stigmatisation of diseases and the influence of the urban environment and loneliness on our health. As part of the series, joined by experts of medical and social sciences and medical professionals, we will address subjects like health inequity in Latvia; the place of narcotic substance users in the society and their access to healthcare; the influence of urban environment on health behaviour, nutrition and food chains, as well as loneliness, sexual health and sexuality.

The MHM conversation series is supported by Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Live stream of the event can be accessed on the MHM Facebook account here.

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In the picture: Plate for serving. Made in the M.S.Kuzņecovs porcelain and faience factory in Riga. 1920s.
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On 19 October 2021 at 18:00, the Facebook account of Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine is hosting the fifth issue of the MHM Conversations series, ‘Invisible Sexuality: The zigzags of disability and sexuality in Latvia’. This conversation will see social anthropologist Anna Žabicka, Head of the Ability Movement branch of the Agape Latvia Christian education organisation Baiba Baikovska and Chair of Board of the Papardes Zieds family planning and sexual health association Iveta Ķelle discuss the quality and accessibility of sexual and reproductive health education for people with disabilities.

According to the 2020 data provided by State Commission of Health and Capability Examiner Doctors (VDEĀVK), there are over 200 thousand people ‒ including children ‒ with some kind of mental disorder or physical disability in Latvia today. This conversation will be centred around two subjects at once ‒ disability and sexuality. Socially and institutionally, an erroneous perception of the sexuality of people with disabilities, particularly with mental disorders, still abounds. It is still widely believed that people with disabilities are asexual. This perception creates obstacles to knowledge on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health for people with disabilities, as well as additional hurdles to their sexual expression.

We will ask our guests for their comments on the quality of sexual and reproductive education in Latvia ‒ how open and accessible it is for people with disabilities? What is their actual level of access to indispensable and adequate information and support when dealing with sexuality- and reproduction-related matters? What are the options of finding sexual fulfilment for residents of social care centres? The conversation will revolve around two key questions: How do we as a society treat people with disabilities and the options of self-realisation ‒ sexual, among other things ‒ that are available to them? And what is or is not the information, education and support policy regarding sexuality and sexual and reproductive health of people with disabilities in Latvia?

About the contributors

Anna Žabicka is a social anthropologist who is currently writing her PhD thesis on aging and care in the Latvian countryside, basing it on a long-term ethnographic research carried out in a small Latvian countryside care home. Anna is specialising in medical anthropology: her principal academic focus is on the subjects of aging, care, health and social inequity, death and kinship. A holder of two MA degrees in social anthropology from Wayne State University (USA, 2019) and Riga Stradiņš University (2014), Anna Žabicka is currently studying toward a doctoral degree at the University of Vienna and teaching anthropology of medicine, death and kinship at Riga Stradiņš University.

Baiba Baikovska heads Ability Movement, a branch of the Christian education association Agape Latvia that champions integration of people with disabilities in the general society and the Christian community. Baiba is a guest lecturer on the subject of disability to students of the Faculty of Rehabilitation of Riga Stradiņš University and project manager and board member of the Teodors service dog association with Elfa, the first registered assistance dog in Latvia. As a disability expert (also based on her personal experience of more than 30 years) and activist, she contributes to discussions on disability and sexuality, the acknowledgement of the role of sexuality in healing and restoration of the human and emotional identity of people with disabilities.

Iveta Ķelle is Chair of the Board of the Papardes Zieds family planning and sexual health association, an active advocate of sexual and reproductive rights. Iveta believes that every human being must be guaranteed an opportunity to understand his or her own body, form positive and mutually respectful relationships, love and be loved. Papardes Zieds is currently collaborating with development centres that teach children with learning disabilities to inform and discuss sexuality in conversations with the young people, their parents, teachers and caregivers, to emphasise the significance of this subject in building an independent and safe life.

The MHM series of conversations is centred around discussions on the notion of health. Our health is a multi-layered and variable experience that is influenced by a number of factors, not always medical ones. In our conversations we will explore subjects like health inequity and inequality, stigmatisation of diseases and the influence of the urban environment and loneliness on our health. As part of the series, joined by experts of medical and social sciences and medical professionals, we will address subjects like health inequity in Latvia; the place of narcotic substance users in the society and their access to healthcare; the influence of urban environment on health behaviour, nutrition and food chains, as well as loneliness, sexual health and sexuality.

The MHM conversation series is supported by Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Live stream of the event can be accessed on the MHM Facebook account here.

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Kama Sutra in wooden cover, written and illustrated by hand. Text in Sanskrit. India, 19th century.
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The sixth MHM Conversation, entitled ‘How do you tell things that cannot be told? Loneliness and art’, is taking place on 26 October 2021 at 18:00, live-streamed on the Facebook account of Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine. In this conversation, social anthropologist Anna Žabicka, medical psychotherapist Agnese Sperga and filmmaker Adriāna Roze will discuss factors that contribute to feelings of loneliness and the healing power of art.

According to scientific studies, a prolonged sense of loneliness, usually caused by lack of meaningful and deep relationships or inadequate intensity of human contacts, has a significant impact on a person’s health and may facilitate various health conditions. It means an increased risk of depression, anxiety, dementia insult and cardiovascular diseases, and hence makes it more likely that the person will meet an untimely death. Loneliness affects all age groups but lately a strong focus has been placed on loneliness among young people. What are the social and cultural factors that contribute to people’s sense of loneliness? Is it possible to notice another person’s loneliness ‒ and what are the signs? What can the affected person himself or herself do to alleviate the situation? What is the responsibility and role in this situation of increasing loneliness of us as a society?

We will also ask the guests of the conversation about the contribution of art and culture to awareness of these feelings, expressing them and identifying them. Can works of art heal both the divide in the society caused by increased awareness of the problem and the lonely people as individuals? In this final conversation of the series, we will intertwine the subjects of mental and emotional health of people with art.

About the contributors

Anna Žabicka is a social anthropologist who is currently writing her PhD thesis on aging and care in the Latvian countryside, basing it on a long-term ethnographic research carried out in a small Latvian countryside care home. Anna is specialising in medical anthropology: her principal academic focus is on the subjects of aging, care, health and social inequity, death and kinship. A holder of two MA degrees in social anthropology from Wayne State University (USA, 2019) and Riga Stradiņš University (2014), Anna Žabicka is currently studying toward a doctoral degree at the University of Vienna and teaching anthropology of medicine, death and kinship at Riga Stradiņš University.

Agnese Sperga is a medical psychotherapist who works with patients at the Clinic of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy of Riga Stradiņš University (RSU) and is a lecturer at the RSU Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy.

Adriāna Roze is a film and TV director working in a variety of genres, exploring the subjects of empathy and interaction between the individual and collective consciousness in her works. She studied filmmaking at the Latvian Academy of Culture and Krzysztof Kieślowski Film School in Poland. The director’s works have won acclaim at film festivals at home and abroad alike. A number of her films have been nominated for the National Film Award of Latvia and one of them, the documentary short ‘Gentlemen of Riga’, won three Lielais Kristaps awards.

The MHM series of conversations is centred around discussions on the notion of health. Our health is a multi-layered and variable experience that is influenced by a number of factors, not always medical ones. In our conversations we will explore subjects like health inequity and inequality, stigmatisation of diseases and the influence of the urban environment and loneliness on our health. As part of the series, joined by experts of medical and social sciences and medical professionals, we will address subjects like health inequity in Latvia; the place of narcotic substance users in the society and their access to healthcare; the influence of urban environment on health behaviour, nutrition and food chains, as well as loneliness, sexual health and sexuality.

The MHM conversation series is supported by Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Live stream of the event can be accessed on the MHM Facebook account here.

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Drawing from Jacob Roux and Friedrich Tiedemann book Tabulae Arteriarum corporis humani. Published in Karlsruhe, 1822, litograph with watercolour
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