Yesterday, I wrote an open letter to the incoming Estonian culture minister, and against my better judgement I shared it on Facebook. What resulted was not surprising - a plethora of ‘likes’ from friends, and it was shared by about ten other people to wider audiences.
What disappointed me was that I wrote the piece not to actually communicate with the culture minister (I’m sure she has better things to do than read icewhistle.com) but to hopefully start some sort of public discussion about the issues I raised. There were some comments on my own “wall”, and the start of a discussion, but almost entirely coming from Finns and other non-Estonians.
Even more disappointing is that in the Eesti kunstielu arengusuunad Facebook group, where I also posted the letter, there were zero comments (though a handful of ‘likes’). I certainly don’t expect anyone in Estonia to care what I have to say, and if there is to be any sort of discussion on these topics, I don’t expect it to be in English. But isn’t the purpose of a 1000+ private Facebook group of Estonian art scene people to communicate and discuss? I can’t help but feel this is a metaphor for the general sense of frustration I’ve felt while attempting to create participatory culture events in Tallinn. The locals are interested and sympathetic, but not interested in communicating as such with me or other foreigners - or with each other?
I don’t want to turn this into an “Us vs. Them” situation as that would be reductive and insulting, but the private feedback I received from friends was very curious. Estonian friends appreciated my elocution but asked me to provide concrete examples. Non-Estonian friends saw it more as I intended - as a broad, open call for others to share their ideas.
So here’s some examples.Read more
Recent and upcoming
Come & meet Salah Malouli from Open Taqafa (Casablanca, Morocco) 10.3.Pixelache
Free Improvisation : Mart SooPtarmigan
Free Improvisation + Open Jam: Roomet Jakapi (EST) and Jonas Van den Bossche (BEL)Ptarmigan
Ear Swap WorkshopPtarmigan
Workshop: A/V Live streaming with Raspberry PiPixelache
Homemade Apple Jam & Pancakes workshopPtarmigan
Dear Urve Tiidus,Read more
Hi everyone! Does anyone want to come to the west coast of Finland and wander around petrol stations for a few hours, picking up various random objects on the way, and then building narratives and histories around them?Read more
In August we're pleased to host Done Kino, the first Kino Kabaret event in Estonia. At Done Kino, participants will create collaborative film/video projects built from previously shot, unfinished material which they will bring. The workshop is set up as a 99-hour event, in three 33-hour sessions, with a public screening after each session. There's still a bit of space left on the participant roster if you want to join, and the screenings (and opening event) are free to the public.Read more
The last two interviews are combined into one file, and unfortunately we were limited by time and couldn't keep going. Love Enqvist is a Stockholm-based artist who was coming to Talinn to lead the Diggers and Dreamers workshop, and was willing to come to Riga a bit early to participate in this project. Our conversation began from his work researching intentional communities, and began with a discussion about utopianism and communities in general before getting into further flung topics. Jonas Büchel was a very pleasant addition to the day's activities - the head of the Urban Institute Riga, he was recommended by the Linnalabor crew back in Tallinn and he proved to be an amazingly insightful and energetic guest who I hope to collaborate with more in the future.Read more
I found Miga's interview to be one of the more difficult elements of the day. To be honest, I'm intimidated by his intelligence, and his thoughtful, careful way of speaking should be a lesson to me. I don't know Miga well but he'll be coming to Ptarmigan Tallinn in January and February 2013 on residency, where we'll be working together on our (Il)legal Aesthetics programme. This conversation was actually pretty wild - we got into the future of humanity, culture and technology, feelings of inspiration, searching for epiphanies, and other big questions. Again, apologies for the recording quality -- though generally Carlos did a great job - it was just a noisy room and I decided not to wear a close mic myself, so this is really my fault.Read more
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