The opening event of this exhibit was organized as part of the 2018 AABS Conference at Stanford University and was featured a roundtable on "No Boundaries: An Oral History Project about Estonia’s Transformation in the Digital Age." The roundtable was chaired by Anders Hjemdahl and Camilla Andersson-Hjemdahl and its members include Rainer Sternfeld, Andrus Viirg, Ott Kaukver, Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Sten Tamkivi. Renowned filmmaker and the author of Estonia-themed films "The Singing Revolution" and "To Breathe as One" James Tusty, Director of the Museum of Occupations Merilin Piipuu, and President of the Kistler-Ritso Foundation Sylvia Thompson delivered opening remarks at the event.
According to the managing director Merilin Piipuu the activities of the museums are no longer limited to the inside of museum walls. “The purpose of the Museum of Occupations is to tell the story of small Estonia within the larger history while reminding people the importance of freedom and how fragile it is. The exhibition is our gift to Estonians living abroad, for them to have a place, where they can celebrate 100 years of Estonia. They can share the story of their homeland with their friends and acquaintances through the exhibition and others can get acquainted with Estonia, its history, culture and people” says Piipuu.
The head of the Government Office’s Estonia 100 international program Jorma Sarv is pleased that the Museum of Occupations has created a unique space through its exhibition, which brings Estonia closer to its communities living abroad. “Estonia has a lot to be proud of. Just a few examples - our history, people, innovative digital solutions, and culture. This exhibition is a good reminder of what Estonia has to offer to both those who are already connected to it and to those who are introduced to Estonia for the first time” Sarv added.
Motor Agency’s creative director Andrus Kõresaar, who has created the visual and technical solutions for the exhibition, describes the exhibition as follows: “The base of the installation are towers of circles that form the outer walls of the space and have been covered with large photos. This gives a great overview of Estonia. The interior walls provide more information for the those who want to get a deeper understanding. The exhibition has been made with the purpose that it could travel, so one could put it together quite fast despite its quite large size.”
Within a year the exhibition travels to four large cities in North America. After west coast, it flies to Toronto, Boston, and Washington. The exhibition remains in Stanford until 6th of June 2018.
The exhibition has more than 5300 square feet of exhibiting space. The installation is 39 feet wide, 13 feet tall, weighs 4 metric tons and consists of 244 exhibition panels, each panel telling a small piece of Estonia’s diverse and interesting history. The exhibition was created by the Museum of Occupations with the help of Estonians from home and abroad. Among the contributors who helped to create the exhibition were school children, entrepreneurs, Estonian photographers and many other Estonian museums. The visual solution of the exhibition was done by Andrus Kõresaar, Jaak Prints, Maris Kaskmann, Birgit Õigus, and Martin Lazarev. The texts are written by Justin Petrone and it was curated by Keiu Telve.
The travelling exhibition “Masters of Our Own Homes - Estonia 100” is created by the Museum of Occupations in cooperation with Government Office’s EV 100 world program, Library of Stanford University, the Estonian Embassy in Washington, Tartu College in Toronto, Estonian Honorary Consul in Boston and the Estonian associations in USA and Canada. The construction of the exhibition was made by Viljandi Metall and the light solutions by Ledshop.
See pictures about the exhibition here.