Lasnamäe Museum in the Estonian capital Tallinn strives to combat stereotypes and judgments of the district by engaging audiences in personal stories told through a combination of old and new media.
"We are getting the stories from the public and we are sending them back to the public. So it's a community-based project as well as a social campaign project. We are working with the idea to create a new collective story of Lasnamäe," the project's producer Sergei Trofimov explained in an interview to ERR News.
Trofimov spoke to ERR News at the launch of the Lasnamäe Museum initiative, taking place in the form of a pinboard map placed at Lasnamäe's Cultural Center Lindakivi, with the project's producers inviting passers-by to write down their stories connected to the district and place them on the map.
"We want to show how diverse are the people living in Lasnamäe, including more and more Estonians. I would like to focus on the positive side of Lasnamäe,“ Trofimov added, praising previous initiatives in the area for bringing people together.
Lasnamäe has recently hosted various initiatives seeking to engage its inhabitants as well as raise general awareness of the district. Throughout 2014, Lasnaidee raised community awareness in the neighborhood through public events, whilst Grand Lasnamäe brought together Estonian and Finnish artists for the installation and performance of pop-up artworks in the autumn of the same year.
Despite the district functioning mainly as a bedroom community, Trofimov indicated hopes for the possiblity of a physical museum devoted to the region.
The next event of the Lasnamäe Museum project is set to take place in the form of a photo exhibition at the Viru pedestrian tunnel in Tallinn's city center opening on June 2. Over the course of the summer, the crossmedia project will also encompass radio, social media alongside audiovisual outlets in its attempts to tell stories from the district.
Alexei Zemskov, a student at the Baltic Film and Media School, is involved in preparing the exhibition, which he expects will help bring Lasnamäe closer not only to the locals of Tallinn, but also to tourists and travelers passing through.
"Most people think that Lasnamäe is some kind of a criminal place, they have stereotypes and our goal is to erase those," Zemskov expressed his hopes for the project.
The Lasnamäe Museum project is a co-production of Baltic Film and Media School, ERR and Tallinn City Government.
Lasnamäe is the most populous administrative district of Tallinn with 118,386 inhabitants, the majority of whom are Russian-speaking. The district is recognizable for its towering (5-16 stories high) concrete-paneled apartment buildings, built in the Soviet era.
Editor: A. Kaer