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Archived event
S 15. Jun 2024

Fenno-Ugria’s seminar ’Fate of the Finno-Ugric peoples: its substantiation in culture and the political reality’

15:00 - 18:00

Tartu city | Eesti Rahva Muuseum

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  • Main programme



Fenno-Ugria Foundation will organise a seminar on 15 June from 15 to 18 in the Ilmari Manninen Auditorium of the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. The presentations will recall important events and trends in the history of familiarising and substantiating Finno-Ugric cultures between the 1960s and 80s, and highlight contemporary problems and future prospects of the kindred peoples. Speakers will include Aimar Ventsel, ethnologist and expert on the Russian political situation, Jaak Prozes, Fenno-Ugria’s adviser, Fenno-Ugria board members: linguist Tõnu Seilenthal, folklorist Madis Arukask, Elena Kirt, board member of the Udmurt organisation Oshmes, and others.

The focus of the seminar will be, among other things, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and how the war affects Finno-Ugric communities in both Russia and Estonia. Putin’s regime has mobilised mainly people from rural areas of Russia, and this has affected already dwindling and Russifying minority communities in identity crisis, Finno-Ugric peoples included. Finno-Ugric peoples are abandoning their language and culture and their numbers are dwindling. Many minority communities have taken an officially pro-Putin stance in the war and do not seem to be interested in greater national autonomy or self-government.

The seminar is linked to the main theme of Tartu 2024, ’Arts of Survival’, and is scheduled to coincide with the performance of Veljo Tormis’ musical production ’Forgotten Peoples’ at the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. ’Forgotten Peoples’ was born in Estonia in the second half of the 20th century, at the height of the substantiating of Finno-Ugric cultures. Linguists such as Paul Ariste and cultural figures such as Lennart Meri, Kaljo Põllu, Veljo Tormis and others, who were working as filmmakers at the time, created a context in the 1960s and 70s that had a significant impact on the study of Finno-Ugric peoples and the search for meaning in their fate through artistic means. It also increased the popularity of Finno-Ugristics in academia.

The seminar is in Estonian with simulatenous translation in English. The seminar is recorded. The seminar ’Fate of the Finno-Ugric peoples’ belongs to the main programme of Tartu 2024 The European Capital of Culture. The seminar is free of charge.

15 Opening words
15.05-15.40 linguist Tõnu Seilenthal (Fenno-Ugria board member, University of Tartu)
15.40-16.15 ’Hingelkõnd – artists at the roots of Finno-Ugric inspiration’. Artist Kärt Summatavet (Estonian Academy of Arts, University of Tartu)
Short break
16.35-17.45 panel discussion ’Finno-Ugric minorities in Russia: situation today and future prospects’. Fenno-Ugria adviser Jaak Prozes, Fenno-Ugria board members Madis Arukask and Elena Kirt, ethnologist Aimar Ventsel.
17.45-18 questions and final words

The seminar is recorded (Etnomeedia NGO). The seminar is planned so that the participants can see the concert ’Forgotten Peoples’ by Veljo Tormis, which begins at 20).

The bicycle rental point of the city of Tartu is located by the Museum road. Bicycle racks are located in the A-parking lot on the museum side.

Nearest bus stops to ERM:
• ERM (line 7)
• Jänese (lines 8, 9, 21, 25, 735)
• Orava (lines 8, 9, 25)
• Tartu city line schedules:

In ERM, disabled parking spaces are located in the A-parking lot for those who possess a blue badge.

If you want refreshment or you’re in need of accommodation, have a look at the offers by members of the Tartu 2024 hospitality network:


  • EST
  • ENG


  • Partially accessible for people with reduced mobility


Fenno-Ugria Asutus


Muuseumi tee 2, Tartu, Tartu maakond, Eesti

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