Ambitious collaboration in Lahemaa

Now that Estonia is out of quarantine and public events allowed, the time has come to make plans for summer. ColdWarCoasts is starting an ambitious collaboration with Ave Paulus from Environmental Board of the Republic of Estonia for gathering oral histories in the border zone in today’s Lahemaa National Park. On the final days of July, Cold War military heritage days will be held at Hara Submarine Base in Estonia, in cooperation with the Environmental Board of the Republic of Estonia, NGO Hara port, citizen societies Juminda Poolsaare Selts and Eru Lahe rannarahva Selts, as well as Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn University and ICOMOS Estonia.

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Hara Submarine Base in 2016. Photo: Kati Lindström

For the Cold War Coasts and it sister project in Tallinn University, this event will be an opportunity to make a contact with the local communities and start collecting their lived memories of the submarine base and the relations in the border zone. Ave Paulus from the Environmental Board who has worked together with the communities for years is a crucial person for establishing this contact for us. We invite all people who have memories of the site – both Estonian and Russian-speaking residents – to join us in a round of talks and reminiscence on July 29th.

The Cold War Coast day of reminiscence in preceded by a day of lectures on the Cold War, the whole physical infrastructure of the area as well as the actual work carried out in these military sites, followed by and excursion to Juminda, Loksa, Suurpea, Pärispea and Turbuneeme that all form a part of the same military complex. The third and last day is dedicated to art in Soviet military installations, mostly made by conscript artists, and will include reminiscences from the artists themselves as well as discussions why it is important to preserve this art as heritage. All through these three days, a team from the Estonian Academy of Arts will be carrying out art conservation works at Hara. These two days are hosted by the Environmental Board and Estonian Academy of Arts, respectively, and Cold War Coasts is happy to have found such an inspiring company.

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A sailor’s portrait will be conserved at Hara during our workshops. Photo: Kati Lindström (2016)