A new exhibition will reveal the memories and experiences that took place around the Baltic Way on Aug. 23, 1991.
One History, Two Million Stories has been put together by Vabama Museum of Occupations and Freedom, and the memories of approximately 100 people will be available for visitors to see and hear at an exhibition space in Telliskivi Creative City.
At a preview on Monday, the museum's executive director Keiu Telve said the exhibition was rather unique in its approach and that people's mundane and every-day-experiences are just as important as the memories of big events like the Baltic Way. Telve said: "It was the biggest peaceful celebration for freedom. But what was the meaning behind it and what did it mean for people in their everyday lives?"
She gave examples of memories such as a girl who remembers the day because she cooked a meal for her mother for the first time, another girl who took part in the human chain because it gave her a reason to hold hands with a boy she liked, and a family who were driving around looking for the chain but couldn't find it.
The exhibition space is a 100-meter long corridor at Telliskivi Creative City which, until now, has been unused and inaccessible. It has not been decorated since the 1970s so it will take visitors back to the Soviet times. As well as the memories the exhibition allows visitors to become part of the day through video clips and sound recordings.
Talking about the Baltic Way, Telve said in a statement: "Thirty years ago, Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians stood hand-in-hand and proclaimed their right for freedom through peaceful protest. A united belief in the independence of the Baltic states, even though it seemed absurd at first, brought along a wave of independence to Eastern Europe.
"We need to remember this sense of unity Estonians felt 30 years ago. The same kinds of responsibility, determination, and courage are required today to protect freedom on an everyday basis."
The exhibition opens on Aug. 23, which is the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way. It was created in collaboration with the Government Office of Estonia and the artistic director is Mae Kivilo.
Editor: Helen Wright