Estonia through 100 pairs of eyes

Estonia through 100 pairs of eyes

Länsisatama, Terminaali 2
Tyynenmerenkatu 14, Helsinki

Näyttely Estonia through 100 pairs of eyes 27.6. alk. Länsiterminaali 2, Helsinki

100 muotokuvaa 100 virolaisesta eli visuaalista muistia 100 vuoden ajalta. Idea Kaire van der Toorn-Guthan, kuvat Toomas Volkmann.

“The idea to create a photography project bringing together different Estonians was ticking away in the back of my mind for quite some time,” says Kaire van der Toorn-Guthan, an Estonian graphic designer who has lived in the Netherlands for the last twenty-five years. Typical of many Estonians who have moved away, Kaire felt the desire to do something for Estonia. Over time and in discussions with various people, the idea to create a visual story about Estonia and its people ripened. Until one day, Kaire called Toomas Volkmann, a friend and a renowned Estonian photographer, to ask whether he would be interested in creating 100 portraits of 100 Estonians, a visual memory spanning 100 years, and to wrap it all up as a present for the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in 2018. Needless to say, Toomas was hooked.

This is how the project “Estonia through 100 pairs of eyes” was born. For Kaire and Toomas, the question from the outset was who is this mythical Estonian who, according to Ernest Hemingway, can be found in every port all over the world? Can we capture the essence of being Estonian visually? Is nationality something only to do with physical, cultural or linguistic properties? Or does everything begin with feeling the earth beneath our feet? Seeking answers has taken them and their team on a journey of discovery, photographing Estonians at home and abroad.