Danish Cultural Institute opens a travelling video exhibition on gendered violence “Voices of Violence” in Tallinn

  • 2021-11-18

“Voices of Violence” or Vägivalla hääled is a project that tells the stories and experiences of women living in Denmark, Iceland, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who have been exposed to sexual violence, sexism and gendered harassment. The video exhibition is showcased as part of the Black Nights Film Festival.

The Exhibition will be displayed from 22nd of November until 3rd of December at the Solaris center, ground floor and will be opened with a live readings by Black Night Stars and a discussion between Danish and Estonian activists, writers and gender equality experts on the 23rd of November. The opening event will be streamed on the Danish Cultural Institute's and Black Nights film festival's Facebook page in English.

The Nordic and Baltic countries as well as Belarus face many of the same issues when it comes to gender equality, sexism and gendered violence, and no matter where one lives, gendered violence is, undeniably, a common social phenomenon. According to the UN database, every fifth woman living in Estonia has experienced gendered violence sometime during her life. The transnational nature of the problem engenders the need to tackle these issues together by sharing knowledge and experiences. The exhibition will facilitate reflection, discussion and dialogue on a prevailing and problematic culture of gender inequality and gendered harassment. It also aims to provide a space where the frightening reality of many women can be voiced and made audible, because listening and understanding is the first step towards action and change.

Portrayed in 35 short videos, which makes the core of the exhibition, the anonymous stories on gendered violence told by well-known Danish, Icelandic, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Belarusian actresses uncover the marks that these experiences have left on women across borders. Among them are Estonian actresses Liivika Hanstin, Eva Püssa and Linda Vaher as well as Black Night Stars Doris Tislar (2021), Ester Kuntu (2018) and Henessi Schmidt (2020). All stories have been gathered in close cooperation with women’s help centres in each country and are anonymous.

Voices of Violence will travel through the Baltics and Belarus, being a part of recognized film festivals, including Black Nights film festival. Before Tallinn, the exhibition was showcased in Vilnius (4.11.-17.11) as part of Scanorama film festival but from 8.12. – 21.12 it can be seen in Riga. Simultaneously, an online exhibition will be accessible starting from the 9 th of November, as follow up to the Northern Lights film festival (Belarus), displayed on the homepage: www.dki.lv/voicesofviolence.

The exhibition in Tallinn will be opened by live readings and a discussion between Nordic and local artists, activists and other experts, working with this important topic. At the opening in Tallinn on the 23 rd of November, 18:30 (EET), the talented Black Night Stars 2021 will be performing live readings of anonymous stories told by other women, that have suffered through sexual harassment and abuse, to show the diverse forms that acts of gendered violence can take. Additionally, at the discussion the Danish activist and spokesperson for Everyday Sexism Project Danmark, as well as founder of the activist publisher Rebel With a Cause Iben Hendel Philipsen, Estonian actress, director and dramaturg Mari-Liis Lill and Estonian researcher and a doctor/youth counsellor at Sexual Health Clinic Hedda Lippus will reflect on the complex interplay between art, female perspectives and women’s role in society. The discussion will be moderated by filmmaker, writer and politician Kadri Kõusaar.

All opening events will be streamed online on the Danish Cultural Institute’s Facebook page, made available for viewers across borders.

Please visit www.dki.lv/voices-of-violence-2021 and follow www.facebook.com/dki.lv, for more details on the following opening events.

The project is organized by the Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia, Black Nights film festival, Black Night Stars, Solaris center, Feministeerium, MARTA center, Womans Issues Information Center (Lithuania), Kvennaathvarf, Metafilm, Latvian Academy of Culture, WIFT Iceland, ProRent, the Embassy of Denmark in Estonia and the Embassy of Denmark in Lithuania and support of the Agency for Culture and Palaces in Denmark (SLKS).