It isn’t just the shoreline along the Baltic Sea uniting Swedes, Finns, Estonians and Latvians. It is much more. We share serene nordic nature, are envied by our world-famous writers and musicians, and have a reputation of one of the world’s most innovative tech gurus, to name a few. Twists of history have pulled us once under the reign of the same king, united us into one of the most powerful league of Hanseatic cities and then… divided us by the Iron Curtain. Times have changed, people have changed, but the gap remains. It is time to ask why and tell the story of growing apart! Bridging the Baltic aims to reject stereotypes and accept history. Let’s talk it out.

KNOW THE LEGACY

KNOW THE LEGACY

Well, at least give it a try. Here is a little something to get you started. We have put together incredibly honest, somewhat sad and perhaps even surprising videos. Videos that will certainly not leave you indifferent. This is our shared legacy.

SPEAK YOUR MIND

SPEAK YOUR MIND

Time for action! Do you know a person who has had to live through the most unbelievable events? Or a family? Can you share it? We challenge you to create your own video story. Dig into the story, learn the basics of filmmaking and get going!

LISTEN UP

LISTEN UP

We know that telling stories is not be enough. We also need to listen. This is the only way to reject stereotypes, accept history and get to know our neighbors – and ourselves. How? Because these stories touch human nature, and therefore every person.

We haven’t always been apart. But what happened? Here’s a little something to understand the complicating story of growing apart. We have gathered some of the memories and experiences that will help us unravel our tangled roots. Watch if you dare understand the legacy!

 

Do you remember the shores of the Baltic when the sea was divided by the Iron Curtain?

Har du minnen från Östersjöstranden när havet var delat av Järnridån?
Onko sinulla muistoja Itämeren rannalta niiltä ajoilta, kun rautaesirippu jakoi meren?
Что Вы можете вспомнить о пляжах на Балтийском море во Bремя железногo занавеса?
Mäletad Sa veel Läänemere kaldaid ajal, mil meri Raudse Eesriide taga mitmeks osaks jagunes?
Vai tu atceries kādi bija Baltijas jūras krasti padomju laikā?
Ar prisimenate tų laikų Baltijos pakrantes, kai jūrą kirto Geležinė uždanga?
Czy macie wspomnienia znad Morza Bałtyckiego z czasów żelaznej kurtyny?
Haben Sie Erinnerungen an die Strände der Ostsee aus der Zeit des Eisernen Vorhangs?
Har du erindringer fra Østersøens strande, fra dengang havet var delt af Jerntæppet?

Winston Churchill’s Fulton speech from March 5, 1946 is often quoted: ”From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” But the reality of the Iron Curtain began much further north, in the Baltic Sea, deep in the Gulf of Finland.

The iron Curtain divided the Baltic Sea to East and West with strong military presence. There were similarities on both sides –  in the summer, children on both the eastern and western shores went swimming and sun bathing at the sea. Yet there were also stark differences – while people were free to enjoy the beach for as long as they wished on the western side, one was not allowed to stay on the long sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea over night from Latvia to GDR. Borders and coasts were closely guraded – no one was allowed to enter these zones. Connections to the sea were cut.

It is not easy to describe exactly where the Iron Curtain ran through the Baltic Sea. You can not mark it with a row of paving stones as the former border of the Berlin Wall now is marked. But it is marked in the memories of the people who live around the Baltic Sea.

“at the water’s edge” is a communication project that will put up spaces for exchange of memories over the borders. In each Baltic Sea Country there will be an exhibition where local visitors can take part of stories from other places around the the Baltic Sea and participate with their own memories. Nine exhibitions will shape a kaleidoscopic image of the Baltic Sea from simultaneous memories from the time between 1946 and 1991 seen from different views.

at the water’s edge

at the water’s edge

at the water’s edge

at the water’s edge