Return and Tactics: The Idea of Play in the Estonian Culture of the 1960s and the Happening 'The Burial of a Mannequin'
This article analyses the idea of play as a method of creation and a mitigator of social
oppression in the Estonian culture of the 1960s, focussing on the happenings organised
by young artists and comparing them with the aims and methods of the Tartu 'theatre
innovation'. The specification of the essence and main characteristics of play is
based on Roger Caillois' cultural historical theory of play. A somewhat exceptional
happening, 'The Burial of a Mannequin' (1969), is discussed in more detail.
Laura Paju, Ester VÜsu.
Student Fashion Shows at the ERKI (State Art Institute of the Estonian SSR) as a
Carnivalesque Phenomenon in Soviet Estonia
The present paper analyses carnivalesque aspects (in the Mikhail Bakhtinian sense) of the popular
student fashion shows in the ERKI (Eesti NSV Riiklik Kunstiinstituut – State Art Institute
of the Estonian SSR), which took place from 1982 to 1985. The paper focuses particularly
on ambivalent laughter, the grotesque and symbolic transgression.
Is Urban Life in the Countryside Good? The Central Settlements of Collective Farms
in the Estonian SSR
This is a study of the elimination of the opposition of city and countryside in the
situation of the transformation to industrial large-scale production in the
collectivised agriculture of the Estonian SSR, from the 1960s to the 1980s.
A totally new pattern of settlement was introduced, with almost 200 semi-urban
central settlements built by economically successful kolkhozes and sovkhozes. The
rest of the villages in Estonia were allowed to fade away. The article contemplates
the development of the spatial and functional structure of central settlements and
the lifestyle practised there. The most hybrid life-style was when inhabitants of
apartment houses continued to keep animals. Always erected next to a central
settlement was a cluster of family houses for the technocratic elite of kolkhozes
and sovkhozes, showing how the communist urban utopia ended up as
a petit-bourgeois garden-city.
Epp Lankots, Helen Sooväli.
ABC-Centres and Identities of Mustamäe Mikrorayons
This article studies the imagery of local commercial centres (the ABCcentres) in
Mustamäe – the first post-war prefabricated housing area in Estonia. We argue
that the ABC-centres functioned not just locations for shopping and services,
but also 'identity spots': many residents identified their neighbourhood by
their local ABC-centre. Today, the status and the identities of former ABC-centres
have been considerably transformed. The framing idea of the article is to find
common features between architectural history and cultural geography: ABC-centres
are seen as urban landscape with specific historical context and tangible
architectural qualities, at the same time being culturally meaningful on
the level of social representations.