Cultural Relations

The cultural cooperation between Estonia and Russia has always been good. They cooperate within the scope of a bilateral cultural cooperation programme. The Secretary General of the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the Deputy Minister of Culture of Russia signed the 10th programme for 2019–2021 in Moscow on 1 March 2019. The cooperation programme covers all of the most important areas of culture – music, theatre, visual arts, film and folk culture).

Irrespective of the restrictions arising from the spread of the coronavirus, several events introducing Estonian culture have taken place in Russia. The Big Cartoon Festival of Russia was held online in July and Estonian animated films were also shown. The works of Estonian artists were also represented at the exhibition held in the Russian Museum of Applied Arts. Estonian publishers were also represented at the Moscow International Book Fair held in September. The exhibition of Estonian book illustrators “Browsing Estonian Children’s Books”, curated by Viive Noor, was opened at the Central Children’s Library of A. Gaidar in Moscow in cooperation with the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. The exhibition will stay open until the end of October. The Baltic Film Days will be held at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow from 18 to 20 September. Estonia is represented with “Captain Morten and the Spider Queen” and “The Real Life of Johannes Pääsuke”, which will be screened on 19 and 20 September, respectively. Estonia also participates in the exhibition of European art at the Tretyakov Gallery, which should be opened in November. The European Film Days, which will start in December, will take place at the same time.

However, some traditional events that introduce Estonian culture had to be postponed as well. For example, the festival Spiegel im Spiegel, dedicated to Arvo Pärt and held in Moscow every year, was postponed until 2021. Instead, Arvo Pärt 85 will be held at the Zaryadye Concert Hall on 9 November, a CD of the previous Spiegel im Spiegel festivals will be released and an exhibition of Arvo Pärt will be held in the lobby of the hall.

One of the most beloved events of Estonian theatregoers is the Golden Mask Russian Theatre Festival held every autumn. Estonians can see the best Russian theatre productions of the last season during the festival. This year’s festival will be held from October to December. The artistic director of the Birgitta Festival held in Tallinn is Dmitry Berman, director of the Helikon Opera in Moscow. The Birgitta Festival was postponed until next year due to the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. The festival will be held from 6 to 14 August 2021.

One of the permanent exhibitions in the Estonian National Museum is the Echo of the Urals, which offers insight to the culture of the Finno-Ugric peoples mainly living in Russia. The Estonian National Museum will be hosting the VIII World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples from 16 to 18 June 2021

The newsletter “Estonian Culture in Russia” is published at the start of each month and focuses on the events of the coming month as well as how to enjoy our culture online. To subscribe, please send an e-mail to estonianculture@gmail.com.

Additional information:

The cultural calendar of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow: https://moscow.mfa.ee/ and https://www.facebook.com/estemb.moscow/

Cultural events in Estonia: http://www.culture.ee/en/

Estonian Ministry of Culture: https://www.kul.ee/en/activities/international-cooperation

Estonian-Russian cultural cooperation programme (in Russian): kul.ee/sites/kulminn/files/programma_kulturnogo_sotrudnichestva_est-rus._na_russk.yaz.pdf