Dear friends, colleagues,

I would like to invite you to the final presentation of the Futures of the past, pasts of the future: the politics of the old in a contemporary city, three-month-long research studio that took place in the autumn term as part of the second year curriculum of the Urban Studies’ master program at the Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts.

The presentation will take place on December 10th (Tuesday) at 17.00 in the premises of the Faculty of Architecture at Pikk 20, Tallinn.

Some of the questions we asked in the studio are the following. What are the discourses, practices and technologies of heritage and millieu production? What are the strategies of legitimizing architectural values, the old ones and the new ones? Whose memories are invested in everyday spaces? How do representations of spaces on centre and on periphery, and the very concepts of centrality and peripherality, change throughout the history?

Four student projects will be presented:

In her study Post-socialist movements of Lenin: travels around Estonia, Raina Lillepõld carefully documents removal and relocation of statues of Lenin and Stalin in Estonian cities in the years after (and, surprisingly, already before) the breakup of the Soviet Union. Raina complements her study with a set of schemes that compare the design layout of the places before and after the removal of statues.

Maria Derlõš’s contribution UNESCO and Tallinn’s Old Town: acting at a distance uncovers the politics of preservation of this global organization and its interplay with local actors. Maria studies initiatives that preceded the accession of the year 1996 and identifies the main initiatives and ’causes’ that UNESCO launched during the last one and a half decade.

Pille Koppel’s work The imaginary spaces of Tallinn’s housing estates: films and milieux focuses on the images and representations of Tallinn’s Mustamäe, Lasnamäe and Väike-Õismäe. These are, firstly, found in the output of fourty years of cinematic representation of these districts, and secondly, in the narrative strategies mobilized (or not yet) in the process of turning these districts into milieu areas.

Eventually, Andra Aaloe, in her contribution Between bogs and villas: the ruins of socialism and capitalism in Pääsküla, presents a remarkable historical ethnography of a seemingly unremarkable site in Tallinn’s periphery. The work uncovers dreams and failures of the ‘transition period’ written in the historical trajectory of the site wedged between forest bogs and single-family houses of Pääsküla.

The presentation is public and it will last for about 2 hours. After the presentation, time is reserved for questions from the audience.

You are welcome!


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