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European Capital of Culture Intern Kadri Martin: It Is Refreshing to Realise That Neighbouring Municipalities Can Have Very Different Cultural Perspectives or Perform Different Cultural Practices.

From the end of May to the middle of June, Tartu 2024 with Southern Estonian municipalities invited cultural managers to participate in information days, which introduced the conditions of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 regional project application round. 19 Southern Estonian municipalities participated in a total of 11 information days. Tartu 2024 intern Kadri Martin shares her impressions of the information days that took place from 24 May to 14 June.

People sitting around tables.
16. Jul Kaidi-Lisa Kivisalu

Kadri Martin

Taking part in the information days gave me the opportunity to experience different places in Southern Estonia and hear what is important for the locals and what is expected from the European Capital of Culture programme. It was very refreshing for me to realise that neighbouring municipalities may have different cultural perspectives or perform different cultural practices. These differences complement each other and create our culture. If each involved municipality contributes to the Tartu 2024 programme with its own events, then we will have a programme that strongly highlights the uniqueness of Southern Estonia.

For me, the Tartu 2024 regional cultural programme is astonishing. No similar plan has ever been implemented in Estonia before, where 19 Southern Estonian municipalities come together and contribute to cultural development. Just think – it is a quarter of Estonia working together. The whole undertaking helps to enrich and highlight the uniqueness of Southern Estonian culture to Estonians and foreign visitors. It is also impressive that during the title year, people from, for example, Saaremaa or Ida-Virumaa, are expected to attend those events. The European Capital of Culture will bring people from all over Estonia together, just like the Song and Dance Festival does today.

Photo: Kadri Martin


It was also nice to see how the participants themselves are very interested in cooperation with other municipalities. Most of the questions asked at the information days were related to cooperation. For example, how to cooperate with twin municipalities abroad or how to enhance cooperation with neighbouring municipalities. Questions were also asked about existing projects and events and whether they could fit into the programme. Many already had great ideas. For instance, ​​Kambja municipality came up with an idea to organise an intergenerational and unifying song festival during the title year, where everyone could participate.

Every municipality and city that participated in the information days has a lot to offer culturally and I believe that in 2024 we will all be part of the biggest cultural event in Estonian history, as each municipality and city shows the best of their unique culture that is not found elsewhere in Estonia.

I came to intern at the Tartu 2024 Foundation because the activities of the Foundation caught my eye and cultural development is close to my heart. Also, I wanted to gain experience in the field of cultural communication. Tartu is very dear to me and I thought to look around the student city for a suitable place for my internship. That is how I remembered the European Capital of Culture and decided to contact the Tartu 2024 team to contribute to their excellent work. As the European Capital of Culture will be one of the largest cultural events in Southern Estonia, it was my great pleasure to be involved in such a rich cultural project.

Photo: Kadri Martin