Event Guide

  • 2020-10-30


Open throughout November, Exhibition ‘May You Be Loved and Protected’, Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn

The exhibition ‘May You Be Loved and Protected’ brings together the works of Dénes Farkas, Tõnis Saadoja and Jevgeni Zolotko, as well as a selection of works from the Prinzhorn Collection. The meaning and symbolism of works on display is deeply rooted in emotional memory. They stubbornly resist all ideological connotations and the moving sands of changing interpretations. The foundation of human condition – childhood memories, feelings of fear, faith and doubt, longing for wholeness and sanity are lived by everyone, even if they are hidden in the background or in the grey areas of pragmatic, philosophical or political thought. Art is often the only place where these messages from deep inside can be expressed and where the perceived weakness becomes strength. At a time when society is reviewing its survival strategies and moving towards greater isolation, this exhibition is dedicated to art that hurts and also heals, and to the artists who give shape to things and make them visible. Full information on the exhibition is available at www.kunstihoone.ee 

Open throughout November, Alana Proosa’s Exhibition ‘Stories of Love, Bloom, Lust and Loss’, Tartu Art Museum, Tartu

The exhibition ‘Stories of Love, Bloom, Lust and Loss’ at the Tartu Art Museum assembles Alan Proosa’s photos taken in South-East Asia. Over the last five years Proosa has mostly lived in and experienced Thailand and has been interested in the numerous transsexual women of that country: the kathoey. The desire to be part of a community is common to all people and therefore it is not a surprise that Proosa, who also identifies as transsexual, blossomed in Thailand, finding both themselves and love. Proosa as an artist is above all captivated by portraiture. Photographing himself and others, his gaze seems to focus on two aspects: unconditional adoration of the model and a desire to see the camera as a mirror. The people in Proosa’s photos strike dignified poses and they look into the camera with self-awareness. But Proosa isn’t merely an observing portraitist or documentarian. Through the people and relationships included in the exhibition, Proosa tells their own story. Instead of abstract exotic beauty represented by a bystander, Proosa sees the models as ideals to strive for and to identify with. However, the central characteristic of Proosa’s photos – glamour – is also somewhat controversial. There is a long history of transgendered people in South-East Asian cultures but they didn’t use to be as prominent since historically men’s and women’s clothes didn’t emphasize gender. Fashion that distinguished genders was brought to Thailand by colonialists who didn’t consider a society civilized if it was not possible to distinguish between men and women. It can be said that in a roundabout way kathoey didn’t have any other possibility than to start dressing as women. Proosa’s gaze, which admires their glamour, is therefore inevitably colonial. On the other hand, this gaze also contains tragic undertones that Proosa describes as respect and admiration for the kathoey culture but that nonetheless reveals his sincere sadness, since as a person who was born a white man, a farang, he can never be a real part of that culture. Find out more about the exhibition at www.tartmus.ee 

November 01-07, Tallinn Restaurant Week, various restaurants in Tallinn

Tallinn Restaurant Week declares this week the week to celebrate great food and great restaurants. This is a week full of discoveries, pleasant experiences, and the opportunity to visit and compare a lot of different restaurants at a great price. Tallinn Restaurant Week wishes for both local residents and tourists visiting Tallinn to feel welcome to enjoy the professional quality and hospitality of Tallinn’s restaurants. Learn more at www.tallinnrestaurantweek.ee 

November 13-29, Black Nights Film Festival, various venues in Tallinn

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival aka PÖFF is an annual film festival held since 1997 in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. PÖFF is the only A-category film festival in Northern Europe, sharing that status with some of the leading festivals in the world such as Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Locarno and San Sebastian. With over 500 films, short films and animations around 1400 attending film professionals and journalists and attendance of more than 90,000 PÖFF is the largest annual cultural event in Estonia. Taking place concurrently with the main festival are two sub-festivals – PÖFF Shorts that screens short films and animations and youth and children’s festival Just Film – and the audiovisual industry platform Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event. For more information please visit the festival’s official website www.poff.ee 

November 21, Black Food Festival, Põhjala Factory, Tallinn

The Black Food Festival is coming to Estonia for the second time. Having set out its stall in Berlin, London and New York in the last 12 months, it’s be coming to the Põhjala factory in Tallinn on Saturday 21 November. The Black Food Festival provides a number of answers to this question. The black part is not artificial: it’s entirely natural. Coffee, chocolate, berries, garlic, black bread... It’s found in other, ever more intriguing combinations, too: pasta, burgers, cheese, ice cream, balsamic vinegar and more. In fact, there’s nothing in which you don’t find it. It’s also well suited to music. Discovering and sharing this surprisingly diverse palette is what the festival is all about. The aim is to open the door to culinary creativity and experimentation and to do so under the umbrella of an enjoyable city festival during some of the blackest nights of the year. Taste-wise, there’ll be something for everybody! For full information please visit the event’s page on Facebook.


November 02, International Jazz Day Opening Concert by Rafael Wressnig & Latvian Groove, VEF Culture Palace, Riga

An international soul/funk/blues supergroup Raphael Wressnig & Latvian Groove was created in 2012 to prove that music has no borders and real musicianship is not limited to a one-time project. This band has performed in several festivals on a regular basis in the Baltics for the past 8 years, including Augustibluus (Estonia), Sigulda Blues Festival, Origo Blues Festival (Latvia) among others. Lo learn more and to buy tickets online please go to www.bilesuparadize.lv 

Open till November 08, Riga Photography Biennial 2020, Riga Art Space and other venues in Riga

The Riga Photography Biennial is a European-Baltic contemporary art festival that deals with visual culture in topics ranging from cultural theory to current social and political processes. In 2020, the focus will be on examining the concept of reality and its transformation in the context of historical heritage and digital technology. There is also an extensive program with exhibitions, readings, discussions, workshops and cinema. The main event this year is the international exhibition Era of Canvas II: Landscape in the Riga Art Space on the influence of technologies on thinking, perception and communication. A group exhibition of international artists will be shown in the Latvian National Art Museum, which takes up the theme “Can a picture presently fully (re) present an object that it represents”. The project (In) Visible Artists shows works by previously unknown or lesser known Latvian photographers and photo artists in the city that were created in the period up to the Second World War. The symposium at the biennial focuses on photography as an index for history, news, conspiracy theories and tourism. Other locations in the program include the Latvian National Library, the Latvian Museum of Photography, the ALMA Gallery, the ISSP Gallery, the Bolderaja Bar, the Bize Cinema and also in other Latvian regions. There is also a biennial publication on new trends in visual culture in contemporary art. Learn more at www.rpbiennial.com

November 18-21, Festival of Light ‘Staro Riga’, Riga Art Space and other venues in Riga

The festival of light ‘Staro Rīga’ has become highly popular and anticipated among Rigans and tourists. ‘Staro Rīga’ is an exhibition of outdoor installations, used to transform Riga’s panorama using modern light and video technology. The entrance is free. For more info please go to www.staroriga.lv 


October 22 – November 08, Contemporary Music Festival “Gaida”, various concert halls in Vilnius

What is contemporary music? It’s definitely not just what you hear on the radio. Listen for a program open to all traditions and cultures. Serious symphonic music and alternative works, electronic or experimental music, and an array of multimedia projects will take over the main concert halls of Vilnius.

November 02-08, Lithuanian Gastronomy Week, various venues in Vilnius

Bon appétit! Take a gourmet tour of Vilnius’ restaurants and discover unexpected flavors. Special menus, tasting dinners and special edible works of art by the best chefs in the city will delight and surprise you. You can also help select the Star of Gastronomy Week – eat and vote for the best restaurants.

November 04-15, European Film Forum ‘Scanorama’, various cinema theatres in Vilnius

It’s a film feast so large that choosing from the wide-ranging festival program can be a difficult task. Movie classics, the latest trends, and the most uncomfortable truths are all here. Watch European cinema and see the best and most acclaimed films. There’s just one question – how to see it all?

November 11-15, International Jazz Festival ‘Vilnius Mama Jazz’, Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius

Let’s talk jazz! This festival is your guide to the contemporary world of jazz. Check out the special jazz exhibitions, take part in conversations with performers, and, of course, listen to lots of jazz. The festival invites both world-renowned and Lithuanian jazz musicians. Enjoy the special art program and discover new talent. Jazz up your life a little. International Vilnius Mama Jazz festival has been presented since 2002. The festival stands out for the relevance of its program and focus on contemporary developments in jazz. For more information please go to  www.vilniusmamajazz.lt

November 20-29, International Film Festival for Children and Youth, various cinema theatres in Vilnius

International Film Festival for Children and Youth is keeping the tradition of quality children cinema culture. It is an invitation to all, including parents and politicians in education, to explore the educational possibilities of the cinema culture. The first and only film festival for youth in Lithuania so far, it is a chance for the youth to take a look at oneself and life as if through a magnifying glass of the cinema screen. It is a necessary and important event in the capital’s cultural life, since it adds to the relatively small amount of quality events for children and youth. To find out more please visit www.kidsfestival.lt

Open throughout November, Exhibition ‘Aristocracy at the Helm of Fashion: 18-21th Century’, Museum of Applied Arts and Design, Vilnius

The exhibition ‘Aristocracy at the Helm of Fashion: 18th - 21st Century’ is dedicated to the ages when the ruling class – the aristocracy – shaped the notion of fashion and influenced its development. The first part of the exhibition is dedicated to the era of absolutism, which took root in France in the 18th  century, and the Rococo style that was inseparable from the royal manor culture and catered to the personal needs of the first lady, Louis XV’s favourite, Madame de Pompadour. Visitors will be able to see how the Rococo style manifested through fashion trends of the day and observe the gradual changes in fabrics, dress designs and color palettes, as well as the shapes of fans and other accessories: tobacco pouches, boxes, miniatures etc. Moving on, the exhibition presents the Napoleonic era – one of the key periods when the aristocracy had a particularly great influence on the world of fashion. Josephine, a Caribbean native from the Martinique island and wife to Napoleon I, the self-proclaimed emperor of France, had a keen interest in fashion. Her taste and needs were shaped by the old Versailles traditions as she had been married to the aristocrat Beauharnais before Napoleon. Josephine loved scarves and see-through dresses that emphasized her slender figure. The Empire style that formed during the Napoleonic period and imitated the fashion of ancient Greece and Rome, is represented in the exhibition by muslin dresses once worn by ladies of the royal manor along with various shawls, embroidered vests for men, velvet bracelets decorated with cameos, diadems, flat-soled shoes etc. Napoleon being ousted marked the beginning of the Victorian era (1837–1901). It was characterized by a rather modest style of clothing. The queen was very fond of Scotland and her summer residence – the Balmoral Castle, which had its interior draped in plaid. No wonder that plaid crinoline dresses became popular in the 19th century, inspired by the personal preferences of queen Victoria. Another important fashion figure at the time in France was Eugénie de Montijo, the Spanish-born wife of Emperor Napoleon III. After becoming the client of the first-ever fashion designer, Charles Frederick Worth from England, she became a high fashion icon. Crinoline ballroom dresses stood out because of their girth, sophisticated cuts, originality and beautiful decorations such as black Chantilly lace. The development of capitalism in European countries meant that the aristocracy was being pushed out by bankers and industrialists, whose tastes where embodied by gold-plated furniture and artificial luxury – fake diamonds and gold. Catering to the needs of the aristocracy at the time were the most famous fashion houses: Worth, Redfern and Ping. Expanding railways encouraged travelling and members of the aristocracy would often bring back expensive souvenirs from their travels – Roman, Venetian and Florentine mosaics, bead embroideries and lace. The next part of the exhibition is dedicated to the clothing of German and Austro-Hungarian Empires. In the second part of the 19th century in the German Empire, militaristic clothing elements were particularly popular: metal buttons and pieces of military or hunting apparel, while in the Austro-Hungarian Empire a bolder style of clothing was preferred, as it was influenced by the Eastern European nations that were part of the empire. This included Romania, present-day Czechia and Slovakia, and the countries that comprised Yugoslavia. Particular attention should be given to elements of the hussar style: tassels and ropes that used to adorn clothes worn when going for a stroll. A special part of the display is dedicated to the Russian Empire, which also included Lithuania.