Этому городу отдаю дань. Тарту -- первая любовь. Приглашаю всех кто свободе желает добра. Жду откликов. Музею заранее спасибо. За нашу и вашу свободу.

Tartu City Museum
is proud to announce an upcoming exhibition
“Тарту -- Остров Свободы”
(Tartu -- an Island of Freedom),
Thе role of Tartu in Soviet culture and counter-culture.

The opening of the exhibition will take place at Tartu City Museum, Narva mnt. 23, Tartu, 51009, Estonia on August 23, 2011. The exhibition is scheduled to last till the end of the calendar year.

For the purposes of exhibition, Tartu City Museum is actively soliciting materials, documents, and artifacts related to Tartu’s history during the Soviet period. We are especially interested in materials related to the following themes:

1. Letters, photos, and memoirs related to students’ lives in Tartu. As Tartu University was a major attraction for many Russian speaking students who came from all corners of Soviet Union, we are interested in collecting and displaying their documents and testimonies in one sub-exhibit, emphasising the attractiveness and openness of Tartu to the members of religious and ethnic minorities,

2. Documents, and artifacts related to Tartu and its vicinity, as a place where political dissidents were exiled to. Since Tartu was not a major administrative center according to the Soviet regulations, many famous dissidents, such as Yuri Gastev, Garik Superfin, and others, spent their exile terms in Tartu. We are very interested in any materials related to this aspect of Tartu’s history.

3. Texts, songs, testimonies, documents related to the history of Tartu as a center of Russian counter-culture. A well-known song “Hitchhiker’s Blues” by Umka (Lena Gerasimova) underscores the fact that Tartu during the Seventies and Eighties became a well-known center of travellers, lovers of uncensored poetry, and just plain hippies. “...Look at the map, and take a turn toward Tartu...” was not a simple literary slogan, as many followed the advice, and bonds were created, and friendships were formed. Tartu City Museum is very eager to cover this aspect of its history.

4. Documents, testimonies, texts related to the Old Believers. Since Tartu is connected by waterways to the Western shores of Lake Piepsi, which for many centuries served as a place where Russian Old Believers found refuge from religious persecution in their homeland, there is an inevitably a connection to that part of Russian counter-culture in the annals of Tartu. ( For example, the case of T.F. Murnikova, who taught dialectics at University)

5. Documents, and artifacts related to the Russian emigres of the Twenties and Thirties, who stayed in Tartu during Soviet times. We know that there were writers, literary critics, poets, who lived in Tartu and its vicinities after the Russian Revolution. Anything related to their role in Tartu’s Russian speaking community during Soviet times would be of great interest to us.

6. It is no secret that Tartu University was a great haven for liberal academics who had a hard time teaching and doing research in other places, such as Moscow or Leningrad. The most famous by far is Yuri Lotman, whose statue is prominently displayed now in the center of Tartu. The museum is very interested in memoirs, and documents related to that “treading on the edge of allowed” community of academics. We know, for example, that Lotman’s residence had a search executed on it by the KGB.

7. Documents, and artifacts related to the presence of Russian radical groups, such as the “Left Opposition”.

Received artifacts will be cataloged and held under condition specially meant to preserve them.

If so desired, artifacts can be returned after the exhibit to their respective owners.

Tartu Museum is also soliciting proposals for speakers and presentations to br held at Tartu during the celebration of Tartu as an Island of Freedom during Soviet period.

Overall, this exhibit and presentation/celebration is conceived as a commemoration and celebration, as well as a long due expression of gratitude to this unique city which served such a unique and positive role in our lives, the lives of Russian speaking people who were lucky to come across Yur’ev/Derpt/Tartu in their respective life journies

People to contact:

Victor Pavlenkov
26 Eustis str.
Cambridge, MA 02140 USA

Ardi Siilaberg
Tartu Linnamuuseum
23 Narva mnt
Tartu 51009 Estonia



December 2016



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