Today’s TMW Quarantine Stories are told by a genetic engineer Tuuli Dmitrijeva who leads the army of volunteer helpers – from info desk workers to band hosts – of our festival, and Margus Reintal, Marketing Director of our media partner Postimees Grupp, the largest media group in the Baltics. Read what they’re listening to, reading, thinking and feeling in this day and age.
What are you listening, watching, reading etc?
Tuuli: Currently my TOP 1 series is “Aktuaalne Kaamera” (Estonian Public Broadcasting TV news programme). I watch it DAILY! You could even say I’m a fan. As the emergency situation forces us to stay at home, my favourite song at the moment is the birdsong that I can hear from the window (it relieves the longing to go outside). My days are also spiced up by reading Indrek Hargla’s novel “Apothecar Melchior and the Gospel of Pilate” (“Apteeker Melchior ja Pilaatuse evangeelium”).
Margus: I am listening to and hearing silence. It’s such a wonderful feeling, when you’re in the city, the sun is shining, and all of a sudden you realise that the noise of cars and the cheers of children have disappeared. Before that was only possible in the woods or in my childhood home. To listen to the silence or to nature talking back. Also, I’ve still continued to travel. Only I’m doing it by reading various travel stories or listening to podcasts. Today, for example, I was adventuring on the islands of Tuvalu. In a place, that is one of the least tourist-visited places in the world. Often, my walks are accompanied by the legendary radio voice Helgi Erilaid, who enchanted me already in my childhood. I dug her shows up from the digital archives. For example, just recently I went to the Getty Villa, to the Neuschwanstein castle and then again to Kingston, Jamaica.
I have quite a few Estonian shows to watch in my daily schedule now. It’s especially comfortable to do it through on demand or web services. The home concert idea has been very nice. It’s that intimate and personal feeling that makes them special. Sure, things may go wrong, the sound might cut out from time to time, family members may wander into the shot. Anyone who is able to, could make a small contribution to support local musicians.
The stories that matter right now are ones written from someone’s heart that touch someone else’s heart. A personal experience in this situation or an in-depth piece following thorough research. What else do I read? I was at our country home on the weekend to stock up on books and rediscovered a legendary adventure books series. What light and easy reading! In the current oppressive situation, they’re going down very easy. A documentary about sled dogs in Alaska made me grab Jack London’s “White Fang” again, an old childhood favourite of mine. Also, I’ve discovered some great autobiographies.
What are you feeling and thinking about in this situation?
Tuuli: The situation makes me sad. The hard part is still ahead, but many do not understand or care about the seriousness of the situation. Indifference seems to be widespread. It is no wonder that neither voting nor global warming is taken seriously. Just as TMW becomes a reality thanks to the wonderful volunteers’ help, strength, energy and desire to work together, we can only overcome this virus together (by staying at home)!
Margus: The hardest thing at the moment to cope with is the indefiniteness of everything. Current generations haven’t even been in such a situation. People are becoming more humble, giving up what’s redundant. The more time goes by, people are taking an increasingly hard look at constant development and striving forward. However, that means entire sectors are being robbed of their income. The dominoes are falling fast. The sense of security is being lost. It’s sad to see that everyone has so little by way of buffers. The economy has been sailing along nicely for a long time. But the ambition to keep achieving more has made the state, companies and individuals to put all resources to work. So we’ve ended up on thin ice. Whoever falls in, it will be hard to help them out. Those who go to help are liable to fall in themselves. It is the feeling of not knowing, not having security. Just a moment ago we had it all. But now it’s gone. But humour alleviates the situation. Jokes and laughter. Something that only humans are capable of. We offer empathy and hope. Don’t ever give that up!
What kind of future are you dreaming of?
Tuuli: I dream of a beautiful tomorrow when all this horrible time will pass (without losses) and that we can go back to simple things like spending time with our friends and families.
Margus: I sincerely hope that we’ll come out of this with minimal losses. We most certainly should avoid a situation, where someone might lose the means to cover their basic needs. Food should still be on the table and a roof above everyone’s head. Nobody should lose hearth and the support of peers. Those in power with the means should support those, who get caught up between the cogwheels, so to speak. I hope that people looking to take advantage of the situation will not be allowed to enrich themselves at the expense of others. I hope each one of us can say that they’ve made a contribution towards improving the situation. I hope we will be able to value our families, friends, the support and existence of our communities more. That we will be able to value domestic undertakings. That we will inspire and help new initiatives on their feet, which will create added value for the sustainable development of our country. That the state system will be rebuilt on bases that take into account the possibility of a similar situation in the future, so that measures with the least possible impact on the economy could be immediately implemented . Hopefully this situation will teach us all to live a full, valuable, yet sustainable life. Both from the perspective of the environment and consuming habits.