All is set for the Lahemaa Military Heritage Days in Hara. Just look at this beautiful poster (there a great advantages in collaborating with the Academy of Art)! These are going to be three days of exciting talks on the actual military infrastructure, but also life and art in and around them. Quite a lot is known and documented about the actual military infrastructures and the natural ecosystems that have formed around them, not the least through the European Green Belt initiative. In Estonia, the military and ecological heritage of the border zone has been extensively mapped by Prof Kalev Sepp and his group at Estonian University of Life Sciences. But much less is known about the lived experience of negotiating these border zones and off-limits areas. Some earlier inventories of Lahemaa village landscapes mention the village swings or dance floors being replaced by Soviet army light-casters or other border infrastructures. Submarine testing had en inevitably strong influence on the traditional fishing practices. Yet these are fragmentary bits and pieces while many everyday practices – such as dance evenings with the soldiers or vodka with the officials – remain uncollected. The memories of Russian speaking local communities in Estonia are particularly sketchily documented, despite a major surge in oral history initiatives all over the former Eastern bloc. We hope to change that – both the July event and the material collection will be bilingual, including both Estonian and Russian communities.
The event will be also filmed and parts of it will be uploaded for everyone to see. We’ll share the links when the material becomes available. Meanwhile, seize the opportunity to register for the event until July 25!