Return and Tactics: The Idea of Play in the Estonian Culture of the 1960s and the Happening 'The Burial of a Mannequin'
9−30; > Summary 27−30<
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 Võsu.
Student Fashion Shows at the ERKI (State Art Institute of the Estonian SSR) as a Carnivalesque Phenomenon in Soviet Estonia
31−60; > Summary 57−60<
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
61−87; > Summary 84−87<
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
88−113; > Summary 110−113<
This article studies the imagery of local commercial centres (the ABC-centres) 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.