“More attractive than Alcatraz!” is a quote from a Harvard professor found on the website of Patarei Prison.
Patarei sea fortress and Soviet prison has a rich history and ‘offers different opportunities to spend your free time’. Its fascinating yet very grim and will not be everyone’s first choice of ways to spend their free time in Tallinn (but it was mine).
In 1828 Nicholas I of Russia commissioned the Patarei sea fortress. Completed in 1840, it covers an area of 10 acres. Over the years it has had different functions – in 1867 functioning as barracks, in 1920 as a prison later run by the Soviet regime and since 2007 as a macabre tourist attraction and a venue for raves and art installations.
I have just returned from the Nordic Geographer’s Meeting which took place in Tallinn and Tartu, delivering my first academic paper. The conference theme was Geographical Imagination: Interpretations of Nature, Art and Politics and my session was called ‘Constructing landscape, heritage and belonging’. I spoke about my project in Wales, Petrified in Storyland, which explores the connections between legends, heritage and landscape in Wales through photography.
The conference was a fascinating insight into another discipline and an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the academic reach of the field of geography as well as to reassess the scope of my own areas of research.
The post-conference tour was to Setomaa, home to the Setos are an ethnic and linguistic minority living in an area covering South East Estonia and North West Russia. Renowned in the world for their impressive vocal heritage.
With college finished for the summer I finally have been able to start working on my videos from last years residency in Joshua Tree. The sound needs designing but it’s a start. Other short clips from the process can be found on my Vimeo channel.
These are images from photography workshops that I led at the Michael Sobell Jewish Community Centre as part of a larger programme run by Create called Creativity Revealed. Participants will go on to do creative writing, sculpture and dance with a final exhibition and performance in September. The 6 weeks of photography included portraits, still life, composition, studio lighting and final images chosen by the participants were made into a quilting style mosaic. A theme of unity runs across the programme, building relationships across the different groups within Jewish Care.