Abandoned train station lends memories a voice

Võru train station (Ivar Leidus/Wikimedia Commons)
7/8/2015 1:49 PM
Category: Culture

An abandoned Võru railway station echos with the memories of the deported and the refugees.

The art project “Station Talks” has been created by film director Anna Hints on the basis on Unitas Foundation's Kogu Me Lugu (“Collect Our Story” or “Our Entire Story”) initiative, which collects and shares stories of Estonian families under German and Soviet occupation.

“In the course of the year I interviewed 50 people, who were either deported or had to leave Estonia to avoid deportation, for the Kogu Me Lugu project,” Hints said. “My wish is that projects like “Station Talks” make viewers think about how buildings like the Võru railway station function as places where our collective memories are stored. I believe the stories help us understand our families and the patterns of behavior we exhibit a bit better,” she added.

The installation, which is part of Kilometer of Sculpture international open air art festival, will be opened from 12:00-20:00 from July 4-26.

The festival, held in Võru throughout July, takes place in a different Estonian town each year and aims to introduce a new model for displaying and consuming modern art in Estonia, to narrow the gap between the field of contemporary art and the general public in Estonia and to invest in regional development.

Kogu Me Lugu is an Estonian oral history initiative to record family stories through text materials, photos and audio-visual storytelling. These stories are then used to study, analyze, teach and raise awareness of the German and Soviet occupation regimes, their crimes against humanity and violations of human freedoms.

The video material is stored in the National Archives of Estonia, and the stories of the Estonian exile communities are additionally stored in the Stanford University Libraries.

M. Oll

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