Estonian Art Academy's 32nd fenno-ugrian expedition
Museum of New Art in Viljandi
Translated extract from the exhibition info:
The exhibition shows the result of the Estonian Art Academy (EKA) 32nd fenno-ugrian expedition to the Komi republic in the Russian Federation in 2009.
They visited villages in the Ižma region and old-believers' villages of Ust-Tsilma. The exhibition shows etnographic drawings and photos, plus Komi-inspired art made by the EKA-students. In addition is also Ly Lestberg's art inspired by her travel to Komi, and a retrospective photoserie by Jaan Klõšeiko from his visit there in 1967.
In the northern part of Komi, along the Petšora river, the Ižmakomi are living. This is the northernmost komis, living with the reindeer like the sami and nenets do. They are only about 16 000 persons (Komi in general are 400 000), keeping their ancient traditions, but at the same time being innovative and informed. Their way of life is threatened by the valuable resources in the ground, pollution and cultural assimilation.
Professor Kaljo Põllu initiated the fenno-ugrian science program in 1978, and this is the 32nd expedition. The target is to explore and document the traditional lifestyle and culture of a related culture.
What was strange was that many of the photos were hidden behind curtains. You had to lift up the curtain to see the photos. This seems to be common in those areas, to keep the old photos from fading.