Estonian artist's exhibition about city of evacuated people from Chernobyl

Silvia Pärmann's Chernobyl photo
Silvia Pärmann's Chernobyl photo Source: Silvia Pärmann

Filmmaker and visual artist Ingel Vaikla opened her exhibition "Shapes and Distances" in Brussels. The shots of the Ukrainian city Slavutych invite viewers to reconsider the Eastern Europe identity and how the younger generation relates with their Soviet heritage.

The city of Slavutych in Ukraine was built quickly to rehomes the people evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. There is also the Tallinn quarter built by Estonians. On the one hand, the Soviet-era has formed a fresh shape, while remaining immeasurably distant, a whole new generation has grown up there.

"Perhaps, this is the main point of the exhibition, to look at the generation that doesn't have personal memory of that time, but we have learned to listen to it and see it in architecture and stories and perhaps even in trauma," artist Ingel Vaikla told ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera".

The exhibition in Belgium was first born, because the artist herself is studying and working there. Secondly, the subject of Eastern Europe story and more broadly, the issue of it's identity could also appeal to the local audience.

Especially in Brussels, where so many people and cultures of different backgrounds are blending and have been blending throughout history, I think it's speaks about our region of origin as well as history, the future and also the identities before, today and in the future," the curator Laura Toots said.

The video installation was made in cooperation with the Estonian Museum of Contemporary Art and the Beursschouwburg Art Center in Belgium.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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