До свидания Таллинн, красивый город!
With these few words of my very bad Russian, I would like to start writing about my internship here in Tallinn. They became more representative of my whole experience, than one might think. The more time I spent at the Ukrainian Cultural Center, the more I wanted to dive into the culture of the people here. Russian, in fact, is not exactly the right thing, because most of the people here are Ukrainians or Estonians. I decided to take the three-week intense course in Russian anyway. In the end it really doesn’t matter – if you spend time here you just want to leave your comfort zone and experience something new.
What can I say? The Ukrainian Cultural Center (UKK) is amazing. Today you could call it a hipster’s place, but it is far more than that. I came here after finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design to work as an intern for Tallinna Paber, which is closely connected to the center. My main tasks were preparing designs for letterpress print on handmade paper, product photography, developing a new website for UKK, and everything else that came up. It helped me strengthen my skills in the “classical“ design world before concentrating on my passion for moving images in my Master’s degree.
“Everything else that came up“ could also mean baking bread ;-)
In addition to the beautiful medieval surroundings of Tallinn’s Old Town, the extremely inspiring people, and Anatoli’s storytelling during lunch-time, there is one more thing which made this place very special to me: The deep appreciation for everything you come up with, whether it be some art or cultural project, or simply a delicious meal. When I presented the idea of making an animation as a personal art project, I immediately received great support from every side. Anatoli provided me with some additional illustrations. He made sure to call a lot of people to have a look at my work in every stage of the process. This is something I rarely experienced in the strict working environments in Germany.
Besides work and the cultural experience, I spent a lot my time here travelling. I recommend this to every future intern or volunteer : Tallinn is the best starting point to discover regions you might not have known before. I travelled around Estonia, to Stockholm, Helsinki, Saint Petersburg and Moscow. After my last day in Tallinn I will go backpacking through the Baltic states and Eastern Euraope, all the way back home to Germany. Especially my very positive experience in Russia has made the following very clear to me: Regardless the establishment, you find nice and open-minded people everywhere. And there are, with no doubt, a lot of the very good ones in the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Tallinn.
Text written and photos taken by Moritz Schuchmann. Check out his portfolio!