Written by Martin Aadamsoo

The outgoing 2020 is a thematic year of digital culture in Estonia, proclaimed by the Ministry of Culture five years ago. Little did anyone suspect at the time just how topical the chosen theme would turn out to be. For long spells throughout the year, digital was the only form that culture could be produced, distributed or consumed.

The Year of Digital Culture is organised by a group of four public institutions led by the National Library of Estonia. From the outset, we set ourselves two primary goals: to make culture part of digital Estonia’s success…


Written By Berit Kaschan, Editor of the Estonian Literary Magazine, Estonian Institute

What are the internationally most popular literary works by contemporary Estonian authors? Could your next favourite book (or poem) be among these? And how to find information about all this online? Here is a little web-guide that might help you on this mission.

First, there is the Estonian Literary Magazine: http://elm.estinst.ee/ This biannual magazine has been regularly published by The Estonian Institute since 1995. Estonian Literary Magazine — ELM for short, aims to introduce the best and most interesting contemporary Estonian authors, not forgetting the classics and translators…


By Andres Kõnno, the author of Estonia’s first Digital Culture Report

A couple of years ago, the Estonian Ministry of Culture announced that 2020 would be the ’year of digital culture’. Naming a year after a particular topic is popular here. For instance, environmentalists claimed 2020 as the ’year of the bat’ long before the COVID-19 pandemic (commonly thought to originate from the consumption of bats). While this kind of labeling is most definitely a tool for raising public awareness, it also seems to be about creating trends. …


A couple of years ago, the Estonian Ministry of Culture announced that 2020 would be the ’year of digital culture’. Naming a year after a particular topic is popular here. For instance, environmentalists claimed 2020 as the ’year of the bat’ long before the COVID-19 pandemic (commonly thought to originate from the consumption of bats). While this kind of labeling is most definitely a tool for raising public awareness, it also seems to be about creating trends. …


Story written by Heidy Eskor-Kiviloo

Estonian language learners from all over the world

The second Worldwide Estonian Language Week „KeelEST“ was held last week, which brought together virtual language learners from all over the world. The aims of the week were to learn and teach the Estonian language and to introduce Estonian food culture at school, work, and home.

The organizers from the Estonian Institute invited people from all over the world to participate in a diverse programme of Language Week activities from 21st until 27th of September. There were many virtual activities as well as `real life´ ones. During Language Week, KeelEST shared lunch ideas on the…


Article by: Agnes Aljas, Research Secretary of the Estonian National Museum

The Estonian National Museum has welcomed visitors to its architecturally-stunning building in Tartu since2016. The museum’s mission is to store and share museum objects and knowledge related to Estonian culture and people living in Estonia that have been collected in the last 110 years. Its exhibitions cover over 6000 m2 and have been seen by a million visitors from Estonia and hundreds from other countries. How has the museum made visiting convenient for multi-lingual people with different interests, wishes, and expectations?

The museum’s exhibition area, which in total is the size of a football field, offers two permanent exhibitions and…


The unexpected global crisis swiftly forced the overnight adoption of digital applications by the young and old. Whether it’s literature or theater, it is evident that the global pandemic caused an explosion in the need for digital culture, which in turn re-shaped the way we use the Internet.

Coincidentally, five years ago The Ministry of Culture chose 2020 to be the thematic year of digital culture in Estonia.

It is for these two reasons that the Digital Culture Area will open at the annual Opinion Festival next month. …


By Maris Hellrand originally for Life in Estonia Magazine

When the Estonian Ministry of Culture decided to dedicate 2020 to digital culture a few years ago, nobody in their wildest dreams could imagine the incredible acceleration that the worldwide COVID-19 lockdown would force upon the digital culture. In March and April 2020, the whole world witnessed a total disruption to the art world with theatres, cinemas, museums, libraries, and galleries closed, festivals, and concerts canceled, people confined to their homes. One could almost suspect a self-fulfilling prophecy of the year’s theme.

The art world has reacted with resilience, enthusiasm, and…


The virtual edition of the 15th Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival recorded a virtual attendance of around 10 000. The festival donates most of its ticket sales revenue — around 5000 euros — to Läänemaa Food Bank.

The Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival that took place from the 8th until the 10th of May, reports that festival’s films were watched at roughly around 2320 times. …


With performing arts venues and theatres shut down, their audience and performers found themselves in a situation they’ve never encountered before. The basic properties which enabled the performance to happen were taken away, and the energy exchange between the performers and audience was set to zero. That loss is why elektron.live was born.

During the first two weeks of lockdown in Estonia, the freeform creative association MIMproject Space came together with one of the most internationally active theatres in Estonia, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, to develop an all new online environment for the performing arts with financial support from the Estonian…

Liina Luhats-Ulman

The tales of Estonian digital culture, that I write down are brought to you by The Estonian Institute and The Year of Digital Culture 2020

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