Ambassador His Excellency David Lipgens
Communities around us Uzhupis, besides being an Independent Republic is also a community, a neighbourhood, a district of the Old Town of Vilnius. It differs from other districts by being divided by the river from three sides, so every place where local river makes a natural border of com munity can be called “uzhupis”. But this Embassy is also about virtual communities, about how to be a member of community without losing your identity, about the varieties of a communities in the world, and more. As a man, who values privacy, I can redirect you to the works of Hanna Arendt, who underlined a strict border between “private” and “public” In Uzhupis we understand this seriously, but sometimes do not know where the walls and doors are. So we can start a forum on Communities on this page, and ask our brave Ambassador for a guidance – on our national day he had shown a number of interesting exercises, dealing with private and collective shame, vigour, communication and so on. – Foreign minister
Lipgens mother is waiting with her son for the moment when he is asked to move forward. Soon Lipgens will be an ambassador, an ambassador of a country that doesn’t exist: It is the Republic of Užupis […]
“Užupis is a place for weirdos,” says Lipgens. For him it is a compliment. […]
“We are the last generation to realize how life used to be without the Internet and smartphones,” says Lipgens, 33 years old […]
“My goal is to bring art and technology together,” he says. […]
Then [after his appointment as ambassador] he gives a laudation, which he ends with a quote from Galileo Galilei. “I’ve never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn anything from him.” Then glasses are raised. […]
“There is a special intimacy between people when they behave silly”, says David Lipgens a little later, as he sits back in his seat and watches a Saint Bernard dog being appointed ambassador for cheerful dogs. […]
“It is a great feeling to have now become an ambassador for the Republic of Užupis in Germany”, he says.
Nothing can take away the bliss of real life encounters, but the opportunities of virtual communities are undeniable.
The way we create communities is constantly changing and new chances of getting in touch with likeminded people around the world are popping up rapidly.
We need to actively transfer and adapt established values of positive interaction to strengthen the good in new media and channels of communication.
The means of virtual communities often are not only simple tools but shaping the way we are perceiving others and are interacting with them.
The Republic of Užupis with its beautiful constitution can be a powerful source for meaningful conversation here.