Using photos and video materials, and suggesting intriguing new angles, the Estonian-Finnish joint exhibition ‘The Bridge’ tells a story of both republics’ 100-year independence.
What kind of similarities and differences are there between Estonia and Finland? What about Finnish and Estonian national feelings, patriotism and independence in the light of history as well as through the eyes of contemporary artists? Estonia and Finland, two neighbours across the Gulf of Finland, became independent within a few months – Finland on December 6th 1917 and Estonia on February 24th 1918. The exhibition ‘Sild’ (‘The Bridge’) celebrates the centenary of Finnish and Estonian independence from the perspective of communication and cultural exchange between the two peoples. There are four themes in the exhibition: The Finnish Bridge, Souvenirs, Own Land – Own Will, and Independence Culture. The most important turning points of Estonian and Finnish history are presented as a timeline. The exhibition consists of photographs, maps, films and TV shows, posters, everyday items and photo and video artworks of four Estonian and four Finnish artists. The exhibition is created by the Estonian Institute, the Virka Gallery and the Embassy of Estonia in Helsinki. Exhibition texts are written by Mikko-Olavi Seppälä with Toomas Hiio and Kai Lobjakas as experts. The curator is Veikko Halmetoja and artists chosen to be in the exhibtion are Alexei Gordin, Marja Helander, Flo Kasearu, Johanna Ketola, Karel Koplimets, Tatjana Muravskaja, Sepideh Rahaa and Sanni Seppo.
MTÜ Eesti Instituut
The task of the Estonian Institute (established in 1989) is to spread information about Estonian society and culture in other countries, further cultural and educational links and organise the teaching of Estonian language and culture outside Estonia. Over the years the Institute has published dozens of information booklets and periodicals about Estonia, compiled web pages, organised festivals, exhibitions, conferences and seminars, received journalists, researchers and lecturers, translators and writers, opened culture and information centres in other countries, granted scholarships, despatched lecturers of Estonian language and culture to universities abroad and supplied the study centres with relevant material. In order to make Estonia better known in the world, the Institute describes Estonia and its people in their entirety, emphasising the relations between different fields of society as they appear in everyday life. Culture is a phenomenon, created and carried by people regardless of their profession and age. The Institute does not thus limit its daily work with introducing literature, art, film, music and other fine arts, but spreads information also about Estonian education, economy, natural environment, social organisation and other areas of life, which all directly or indirectly shape Estonian culture, and therefore also the Estonians’ life.