My collection ‘’Am I a joke to you’’ depicts my story with the estonian army – my experience, my feelings, how I want to breathe.
I was in my room, when the mailman came to the door with a letter – the army was calling, but noone was hearing my cries but my mother.
The government wants me to forcefully seek help in times I just need to self-heal, to push down the bundles of emotions I have inside of me daily. I have hid my colours, my specialities, myself from people all of my early childhood growing up in a very conservative and narrow-minded village, where there was nobody to go to. Even in the small town I got tormented for every single little thing that was different about me – I was scared of even wearing coloured shirts before I got to highschool.
And here I am, after working up my confidence, after trying to be the most me I feel is possible for me in the present – I am being pushed back, told it is only for the good of me, that I should relive the past instead of just moving past it. I am terrified of large groups of men, in the streets, at gyms, anywhere – a natural human trait, need of survival. I feel like I am choking, like someone is yet again about to break me.
Not every boy wants to be a soldier – no boy should go through the feelings I have been forced to feel. Nobody should have their freedom taken, nor have ‘’freedom’’ pressed on them.
The collection is full of penis-shaped belts and shimmer, broad shoulders and celebrated violence. A true abstract image of how I see life in Estonia, how we push boys down for being too flamboyant, how we create the perfect gray mass of walking flesh, how we celebrate with a show of toxic masculinity and tanks, followed by emotionless boys in army suits and joyless confetti. A question to my country – am I a joke to you?
Right from the beginning I knew that I wanted to use uncommon fabrics, something that I have altered and manipulated. What I stuck to with most pieces is a blend of cotton, plastic and recycled confetti, which combined with a hot press create a waterproof fabric, which holds great shape and combines something as natural as raw cotton with materials that need recycling and upcycling anyway.
Every piece of confetti has gone through several heating processes, which creates one-of-a-kind colour combinations on each of them, since they pick up and give away colours from one another.