Since the very first moment, the Kalamaja community museum has been a joint project with the people of the area. Such method of creating a museum is unique in Estonia. The museum started in the spring of 2018 with a survey conducted among locals, which revealed that people are interested in hearing stories about yesterday, today and tomorrow and they want a nice place where the community could meet. This was followed by brainstorming and meetings with former and current residents of Kalamaja, which laid the basis for the concept and permanent exhibition of the museum. Tens of former and current residents of Kalamaja have participated in the setting up of the exhibition by donating items and sharing their memories of the life in Kalamaja.
The Kalamaja museum summarises only a fraction of the colourful nature of the area. The whole story of the oldest suburb of Tallinn from its beginning to the end is not told between the museum walls. Kalamaja is for immediate enjoyment. It can briefly be experienced in the museum, but first and foremost by walking on the streets and in the parks, sitting on benches or stairs of the area.
The permanent exhibition of the museum ‘A Village in the Middle of the City’. Stories about Kalamaja” speaks of the life of the area through six personas characteristic to Kalamaja: a man of Kalamaja, a child of Kalamaja, a parent of Kalamaja, a life artist of Kalamaja and an animal of Kalamaja. These characters are a summary of different times and eras and tell the story from the Middle Ages to today. Walking through the museum will open the stories of the houses of the area together with the local people: the visitor is welcomed in the cellar, corridor, garage, living room, but you can find exhibitions in the toilet as well. Young visitors can play in the dollhouse that depicts the Tallinn-type house in the family area of the museum.
In the museum you will find a gallery where locals and others can form their ideas into exhibitions or present interesting collections to wider audiences.
The museum is big on its contents, but small in cubic meters. Therefore you can often see our exhibitions also on the streets of the area.
Many thanks to all the people of Kalamaja who helped to create the museum!
Curators: Kristi Paatsi, Tuuli Silber, Laura Jamsja
Space design: Ruumilabor OÜ
Graphic design: Refleks OÜ
Exhibition solutions: HN Steel, Argo Männik, Krista Norden
The temporary exhibitions hall of the Kalamaja Museum is featuring an exhibition
“Kalarand – The Third Coming of The Everyman’s Coast”
Tallinn is a city by the sea! What? Tallinn is a city by the sea? Is it really? Funny, but 30 years after becoming independent we are still doubting the fact, because the sea and the coast are still not as open to the public as in the capital cities of your neighbours Finland and Sweden.
Exhibition “Kalarand – The Third Coming of The Everyman’s Coast” looks back to the process and lessons learned from the development of the Kalarand area. What did the local municipality learn in protecting public interest? What did the owner of the land conclude from the process? What is the experience of the active Tallinners?
The exhibition gives floor to the main stakeholders. Additionally, the exhibition features the more distant and nearest past: medieval boatmen, bathing establishments of 200 years ago and privatisations of the 1990s.
Curator: Teele Pehk together with the Kalamaja Museum
Contributors: Triin Talk, Toomas Paaver, Jaak-Adam Looveer, Kaidi Põldoja, Karin Marosov, Väino Sarnet, Ervin Nurmela and Centre for Applied Anthropology.
Many thanks to all caring Sea-Tallinners!