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Untold Stories: international exhibition of queer art in Tallinn Art Hall, Estonia


Untold Stories
Tallinna Kunstihoone
Vabaduse väljak 6
Wed-Sun 12-18
Exhibition is open 8.05–26.06

artists: Malin Arnell & Kajsa Dahlberg & Johanna Gustavsson & Fia-Stina Sandlund in collaboration with Zoe Leonard, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Sezgin Boynik & Kalle Hamm & Minna L. Henriksson & Dzamil Kamanger, Liisi Eelmaa & Minna Hint, Conny Karlsson, Dagmar Kase, Kiwa & Terje Toomistu, M.L., Marcus Lindeen, Karin Michalski & Sabina Baumann, Nallem, Flemming Rolighed, Emily Roysdon, Jaanus Samma, Mariá Takács, Mare Tralla, Anna-Stina Treumund

participants of the eventprogram: A.K. Burns & A.L. Steiner, Kajsa Dahlberg, Kaspars Goba & Ieva Ubele, Ana Hoffner, Kiwa & Terje Toomistu, Robert Kulpa, Karin Michalski, Aurora Reinhard, Mariá Takács and many others

curators:Anders Härm, Rebeka Põldsam, Airi Triisberg
architect: Karli Luik
graphic design: Jaanus Samma

The contemporary art exhibition titled Untold Stories, which is part of both the European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011 and the Diversity Enriches project focuses on the problems of sexual minorities, primarily as they relate to social, political and historical issues. The exhibition is accompanied by a diverse programme of events that includes discussions, screenings, and presentations. Untold Stories is almost the only project in the Capital of Culture programme that deals with the theme of sexual minorities. The exhibition is also collaborating with the Diversity Enriches project and the week of LGBT solidarity and culture – The Festival of Expanding Your World – which will take place from June 6th to 12th.

The works on display at the exhibition approach the topic primarily from a documentary viewpoint, by telling stories about homophobia and representations of homosexuality in Estonia, the everyday problems of sexual minorities in the workplace or as parents, and the cultural history of lesbians and gays during the socialist period in Eastern Europe. The stories are told by analysing single cases or by dealing with an entire era or cultural mindset.

Next to topics related to lesbians and gays, the exhibition also focuses on other often marginalised sexualities, such as bi-, trans- and intersexuality. The emphasis on the letter combination LGBTQI indicates the complexity of sexualities and gender identities, functioning as a starting point in order to reflect on questions related to the narrowness of binary gender roles, the constructed nature of gendered bodies, and the hard work involved in fitting or not fitting into the gender roles recognised by society.

The third set of topics at the exhibitions deals with the discourse of so-called “repressive tolerance”, the relations between the queer movement and the public sphere at the political level of self-expression. Also under examination are the dichotomy between the power of sexual minorities (primarily over themselves and their bodies) and the exclusive mechanisms of democratic representation, the possibilities and impossibilities of participating in public life and politics. In this context, the phenomenon of homonormativity and processes of multiple marginalisation are also thematised.

The project also tries to take its theme outside the exhibition hall, and vice versa, to bring events into the exhibition hall in order to turn it into a social space. Therefore, an extensive programme of additional events accompanies the exhibition. As a rule, the event programme will take place on Thursdays at 6 pm and information about it is available on the Kunsthalle website at

Designer Jaanus Samma and architect Karli Luik have tried to use the graphics and architectural design in order to create an experimental “queer space”, which would support the exhibition’s conceptual point of departure. Because an in-depth visit to the exhibition may be time-consuming, it will be possible to visit the Kunsthalle twice with the same ticket. Please contact the Kunstahalle ticket office for more information.

Many thanks to: Estonian Cultural Endowment, British Council, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Kulturkontakt Nord, Metropol hotel, Sõprus cinema, Fellin Furniture, Estonian National Agency for Youth in Action Programme, Human Rights Center.

Text was written by Anders Härm, Rebeka Põldsam & Airi Triisberg

Further information:
Anders Härm
Rebeka Põldsam

curators:Anders Härm, Rebeka Põldsam, Airi Triisberg


Type of project: 
LGBT and queer issues


This is a good contemporary

This is a good contemporary art exhibition to promote awareness. The gender issues are highly emphasized here and the concerns are addressed. Issues on women should have been stressed including rape cases. I remember the case of Humberto Garcia who raped and murder a 16 year old girl in 1994. Although, the State of Texas violated international law, says United Nations, it stirred many reactions to the populace. Justice has been restored for the death of the girl, but the human right of this man had been violated. If I were to ask you, was it fair knowing that the right of this man was removed?