In order to tell you about the creative scene in Estonia, it is important to know some of the background of it.
I was born in 1993 to the newly independent Estonia. It is this beautiful tiny country with a population of 1,3 million people, flourishing with green nature one half of the year and is freezing cold, dark and grey the other half.
Throughout centuries our home was under many foreign occupations. Our neighboring countries forcing their beliefs and ways on our people, making estonians voiceless and suppressed. No arms to fight with, our deeply rooted pagan spirit, patience and level-headedness helped us to rise as an independent nation from Soviet Union in 1991.
As a mass, we look like a very grumpy crowd of people who are forced to have bad sex all the time. Seeing a stranger smile to you on the streets is more bizarre than seeing a flying pig.. But getting a closer look, one can see the extremely loyal, hard working, kind hearted forces of nature. Witches. Wolves.
I think it was just a couple years ago that I started noticing a change in the creative world of Estonia. Suddenly we accepted that fashion and trends arrive late to us if they even do, so we dress to match our characters, thrift store gems are making kids look fresh as fuck, we have girl rappers presenting some badass lines, djs performing in forest parties.. Slowly but surely we are less self conscious and more brave to be our true selves. Lets put it this way – Instead of Kim Kardashing our appearances, we Princess Nokia our fat bellies and lil titties with some glitter action.
Our parents, forefathers were living by the rules of the oppressors – no room to dream, just work hard to have bread on the table and do as told, the walls have ears. Free at last, we are still learning to unlearn the rules. Today, we live in a completely different Estonia though, it is unusual for older generations to comprehend that the young travels, works abroad, doesn’t follow the old structures of what living should be like, makes living by coloring faces and taking photos of them..whaaaaat.. My grandma says jokingly ‘’stop playing a fool’’ while my mom tells me that i’m living her dream. Besides that, interestingly, some call us a ‘’fatherless generation’’. Most of us didn’t grow up having an honorable, loving father figure, they are/were either criminals, drunks or just playing a 25 year long hide and seek.. Instead, we have been raised by the endless love of our heroic mothers. Growing up witnessing the strength of love that makes a woman, a mother, move mountains in order to provide their children a fair chance of a healthy future is what has made us to be the people we are today.
So yeah, it’s definitely been challenging to find own voice for the creative scene, when western worlds movies show life from a completely different angle, with different values than ours. We have gone from being offended by the label ‘’Eastern Europe’’ and trying to prove our western ways to really embracing our roots, finding our voices, understanding that what makes us different, makes us special. We are continuously deeply spiritual. We worship the nature, we talk to the sea, we hug trees, we follow the moon. We work hard towards perfection and trust in our Mothers Land. Our creative industry is massively lead by awesome multi talented women. Designers stay environmentally conscious. Photographers take photos of women as warrior, goddesses instead of over sexualizing them. We are not afraid of looking androgynous nor unicorns. We are keeping reality in our fantasies, empowering one another, caring for one another. United.