"The freedom to travel in time" Conference information

The 2019 International BA Conference will be taking place in Tartu, Estonia, from the 9-13 of September, at the Estonian National Museum.

Visit conference website.

During the conference we will participate in presentations, workshops and in a the time travel to the year 1869, when the first Estonian Song Festival took place. This event is of importance in the formation of Estonia’s national and cultural identity, the formation of unity and nationality. There will also be an excursion in Tartu and to the southern parts of Estonia.

THE AIM of the conference is to bring together, from all over the world, Time Travel specialists and those interested in Time Travels to discuss best practices and to exchange experiences.The topic of the conference, "The freedom to travel in time", explores whether this method give us the freedom to talk about problematic or taboo topics of everyday society and can we contribute to the society by doing so?

During the conference we will focus 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 current global processes? Can Time Travels help us in this?


The Estonian National Museum was founded in Tartu in 1909 on the initiative and with the support of the nation – with the task to protect and develop the history and culture of Estonia. In 2018 the Museum, together with the Estonian History and Civics Teachers Association, for the first time organized a nationwide Time Travel, with more than 8400 participating students to the end of February of 1918. i.e. to the time when the knowledge that Estonian had gained its independence reached people in all corners of the country.


Monday, September 9th
Arriving to Tartu, get-together

Tuesday, September 10th
Location: Estonian National Museum
9.30 Registration
10.00 Opening and Welcome Address
10.15 Keynote Merilin Piipuu
11.00 Papers
11.30 Coffee break
12.00 Keynote Martin Kaevats
12.45 Papers
13.30 Lunch
14.30 Papers
16.15–18.00 Guided tours at the exhibitions
18.00–22.00 Dinner at the Estonian National Museum restaurant

Wednesday, September 11th
Location: Estonian National Museum
9.30 Keynote: Johanna Björkholm (PhD)
11.30 Coffee break
12.00 Time Travel to 1869
Please, if possible, bring a historical costume or part of it with you. More about the Song Celebration: https://2019.laulupidu.ee/en/history/ https://www.visitestonia.com/en/why-estonia/welcome-to-the-estonian-song-and-dance-celebration-2019

Thursday, September 12th
Location: Estonian National Museum
9.30 Gathering at the Museum
11.00 Start for the chosen study trip
- Study trip to Setomaa (max 35 people) or
- Tartu City tour by bus and on foot
20.00 Closing

Friday, September 13th
Post-conferance day in Tallinn
Please note: voluntary and for a separate fee.

Keynote Speakers

Marten Kaevats does not know much about Time Travel method, but in the context of „can we see the future“, he is a perfect speaker, a visionary man who can see the rapid changes of technology in the perpective of community, how the community adapts it. If the community accepts the changes more easily than benefits can come much faster.Marten Kaevats is a national digital advisor of The Government Office of Estonia. He is an expert in Artificial Intelligence (AI), He is a key figure within one of the world’s most advanced digital governments. And he has a clear picture of Estonia’s direction of travel: it is heading, he says, for “invisible” government. Read more: https://govinsider.asia/innovation/marten-kaevats-national-digital-advisor-estoniasvision-for-an-invisible-government/

Dr Johanna Björkholm has an academic background within the fields of folkloristic and ethnomusicology. She is interested in the processes behind living traditions and the status of intangible cultural heritage. She is a member of the National Expert Committee of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Finland, and her day job deals with awareness raising and network building within the sphere of living traditions and intangible cultural heritage.

Merilin Piipuu is asking us Can we put freedom into a museum? One of the main aims of a museum is to educate future generations about history. However, museums are always directed into the past. Therefore, the following question arises: how to tell the history for the ones who do not remember the past. This was one of the main questions when we started renovating the Museum of Occupations in 2015. The aim of the renovation plans was to build a new exhibition that would focus on occupations, resistance, recovery and freedom. In my presentation I will focus on the question’s museum encountered in these discussions and ask if the freedom can be put into a museum. For the last four years, Merilin has managed the development of the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom. She now works as the Undersecretary for Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture.