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FREEDOM to/in time travel, can we see the future? report from the 15th Bridging Ages International conference.

During September 9-13, we were happy to host the Bridging Ages International 15th Annual Bridging Ages Conference "FREEDOM to/in Time Travel. Can we see the future?" in Estonian National Museum, Tartu.

The conference brought together Time Travel specialists and those interested in Time Travel in order to discuss best practices and to exchange experiences. Delegates of the conference came from Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, Sweden and Estonia.
The topic of the conference, "FREEDOM to/in time travel", explored whether this method give us the freedom to talk about problematic or taboo topics of modern society and can we contribute to the society by doing so?

During the conference, we focused on the following themes:

  • How does Time Travel as a method contribute to the maintenance and development of democratic processes and personal freedom in society?
  • Are freedom and responsibility incompatible?
  • The meaning of freedom, can it mean different things to different groups?
  • Can we see the future by looking at the current global processes? Can Time Travels help us in this?

During two conference days, the best practices were discussed and outstanding experiences were exchanged. How to deal with different problems in the society using the TT method? Remarkable examples were given about integration project in Finland, TT to the year 2068 in Sweden and an example on how to fight against gender-based violence in Tanzania and much more. The discussions were sharp, enjoyable and lively.

The keynote speakers focused on different perspectives on freedom and heritage.

In her presentation, Merilin Piipuu (Estonian Cultural Ministry) was discussing the meaning of freedom and asking can we put freedom into a museum? The process of transforming the Museum of Occupations to the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom as an example.

Marten Kaevats (Government Office of Estonia) focused in his presentation on the possibilities of the digital society, creating safe sharing spaces for new ideas and the benefits that can be gained in case of applying the already existing technologies in the global level.

Johanna Björkholm (National Expert Committee of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Finland) focused on Intangible Cultural Heritage in the light of the Unesco convention for safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. She focused on the two aspects – knowing how and knowing what – practical knowledge of the traditional culture and awareness of it.

Our Time Travel event on the second conference day took us back to the year 1869, some months before the first Song Festival was about to take place in Tartu. The peasants of Erastvere manor came together to talk about how to plan the trip to Tartu and discuss why women are not welcome to perform in the public event. The journalists, couriers, pastors and schoolteachers from abroad joined them, as their task was to write about the local life.

The post-conference study trip took us to Setomaa – the land of rich history as after the Second World War one part of the Steo people are living in Estonia and the other part in Russian side. Seto people are famous for the colourful national clothes and for noteworthy silver jewellery of Seto women. Also for the Seto leelo – the multi-tone singing tradition. In 2009, UNESCO added the Seto leelo to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

On top of that, one member of the group – Pernilla Lundström, the birthday girl - was be dressed up as Seto in Obinitsa Museum, wearing all the wonderful silver jewellery, and the beautiful local women demonstrated us how the Seto leelo sounds.

Report from Bridging Ages International Conference in Tartu, Estonia 09.-13.9 2019

Time Travel events, Scenarios


Time travel to 1869, preparation of the first Song festival 15 kB

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