10REISI    10journeys
Estonian portfolio 1984-1996

The railway station in Tallinn 1991

My first visit to Estonia was a reportage trip for a small culture magazine called Suomi in summer 1984. It started as a discussion in a finnish sauna about Orwell´s book 1984 and ended by some associations to Estonian situation then.

Estonia was an unknown country to my generation - more distant than the media-imperialistic USA or popcultural England. The image of Estonia in Finland in 1984 was a grey one, it seemed to be just like any other country behind the iron curtain. Many Finns were still afraid of the same kind of fate and the media kept silence about life in Estonia.

In our reportage we wanted to speak openly about the situation. We met mostly people from our own generation - young artists and musicians like brothers Urb, Sven Grünberg, Harti Volmer, Vinkissaar, Mati Sirkel and others. The most important notice was the strong underground solidarity and cultural movement between Estonian people. Actually it was prohibited by the sovjet regime to meet Estonian citizen unofficially.

When photographing in Estonia I have been aware of the political and historical background, but it has not been my main interest. I have been more driven to photographic poetry about everyday life than political reportage. As a personal documentarist I am forced to show the reality as I see it. The method and my own knowledge will set the limits to the reflection.

Tarmo with a lady and Thomas Urb 1984

Exhibit in Tarto 1995

1998 10resor, Bildarkivet MIRA, Stockholm, 7-20.2.1998

1996 10reisi, Turku Photographic Centre Peri 4-28.4.96. Laterna Magica, Helsinki, July.

1995 10reisi, Estonian photos 1984-94, Tartu Artist´s Gallery, 1-29.4.95, Pärnu Chaplini Kunstikeskus 5-29.5.95, Kiek in de Kök, Tallinn, 4.6.-15.7.95 Tampere Photographic Centre Nykyaika, September

Masquerade in Tallinn Art School 1986
(Veljo Vingisaar)

Tallinn 1984


Kiek in de Kök 1995, Tallinn