“The people of Estonia carry within themselves the history of the country and therefore they have many stories to tell. Creating such a large and honest record of our history shows the greatest respect for the centenary of the Republic of Estonia and it will surely be loved by many,” Jaanus Rohumaa, Head of the Organising Committee of Estonia 100 said.
“The photos capture dedicated bearers of Estonian culture. There are famous Estonians, as well as many who are unknown to the public. The oldest of those photographed was born in 1918 and the youngest in 2017, which means that there is a portrait representing each year that the Republic of Estonia has existed,” described Kaire van der Toorn-Guthan, one of the organisers of the travelling exhibition.
The portraits depict, for example, composer Arvo Pärt, fashion designer Aldo Järvsoo, writer Hando Runnel, singer Tommy Cash, literary researcher Mihhail Lotman, lingerie designer Kriss Soonik-Käärmann, head of the clean-up campaign “Let’s Do It!” Eva Truuverk, the Moscow correspondent of Estonian Public Broadcasting Anton Aleksejev, children's book illustrator Ilon Wikland, writer and stage director Jim Ashilevi, conductor Paavo Järvi, Estonia’s oldest chocolate maker Otto Kubo, freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru, and many others.
The exhibition also features 100 views of the most popular places, buildings, emotions, achievements, and phenomena of Estonia, which will also help people, who are unfamiliar with Estonia, to get a sense of our culture, nature, technological achievements, cuisine, and traditions. The visuals are brought into a comprehensive whole by short texts in Estonian and English.
The portraits were captured by photographer Toomas Volkmann, co-author of the exhibition, and the photographers of the national scenes are Tõnu Tunnel and Tõnu Runnel. The exhibition will be open in lobby B of the Estonian National Museum until 31 March 2018.
Kaire van der Toorn-Guthan
Organiser of the exhibition “Estonia Through 100 Pairs of Eyes”