TMW Quarantine Stories: Kadri Vaas and Triin Metsla

17 April 2020

Today, Kadri Vaas, the head of TMW information staff, and Triin Metsla, the programme coordinator of Kai Art Center, will share their quarantine stories. Kadri, who coordinates the activities of TMW information desks during the festival, is responsible for the management of the Estonian Filmmakers Association that promotes Estonian film culture.
Triin, who is also the first Estonian to spend a year organizing the famous Frieze art fair in the world’s art metropolises, takes care of the programme at Kai Art Center in the cultural heart of Noblessner harbour district. Kai is founded by the TMW’s art programme curator Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art that promotes modern Estonian art both home and abroad, and also provides an experience-filled cultural quarter that brings the contemporary art experience closer to the public. If you want to support Kai during difficult times, take a walk in their virtual wardrobe, where you can find both sweaters and caps, as well as a herb tea that boosts immunity and relieves stress – all that at special spring discount. After the end of the quarantine period and the reopening of Kai, you can go to the next exhibition of the house with a discount ticket!

What do you listen to, watch and read?

Kadri: I have to admit that I’m addicted to radio, especially political programmes; but thankfully, Radio Kuku also plays good music. There’s a pile of books on my nightstand, waiting to be read, but I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do so.
I respect ETV and the British TV series they show. My last movie-going experience was Jaan Tootsen’s documentary “Fred Jüssi. The Beauty of Being”, before which I watched many a good movie at DocPoint, with “For Sama”, a tale about the Syrian Civil War, leaving a lasting impression. It serves as Waad al-Kateab’s (a young journalist) explanation to his little daughter as to why they stayed in Aleppo and didn’t give up. It should be mandatory watching for everyone who feels their life is complicated, difficult or unjust – this sets everything in balance. I read “Raggie” (“Sipsik”) and planned on watching its new animation flick  as well, but that will have to wait a bit.

Triin: Staying home has indeed provided valuable time for activities that have been out of a reach next to normal daily assignments. Watching movies and TV series has never been a priority for me, I prefer reading. At the moment I am in the middle of Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer” and Ingeborg Bachmann’s collection of short stories – both very different authors. As for the music, I’m a big fan of Klassikaraadio although I don’t consider myself to be a classical music aficionado at all. At home or while driving a car I usually have the Klassikaraadio on. For example, Tiia Järje’s show “Järjejutt’ is always an exciting show that expands my knowledge on classical music.

What do you feel and think?

Kadri: I feel that mankind has angered Mother Earth and received messages “this can’t go on”. We live in an interesting time, when major changes can swiftly be brought into effect – provided there is sufficient will and aim. It sounds naive, but only the idea that all of us can make a difference makes me act.

Triin: I would like to hope that people have a strong sense of collective responsibility – every small decision may seem like just one sand grain from a big mass of deserts. However, everyone’s contribution here is extremely important. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning it feels as if I’m part of a science fiction story, but actually to a larger extent only the medium of my work and the working environment has changed. As a true optimist, I believe that it will be over sooner than we expect.

What kind of a future do you dream of?

Kadri: My dreams are utopian, but what if we stopped buying some products because they are packaged in something with such a large ecological footprint? We could lower the tempo a bit, perhaps fly less often, use public transportation, drive bicycles and enjoy long walks. Maybe we could dedicate some time to just being, because constantly being on the hamster wheel leaves no space for new ideas and thoughts. We would give real meetings a chance, avoiding to stare at our smartphones during every spare moment. Because how much do we really need to be happy?

Triin: I dream of simple things – a beautiful warm summer filled with good art and music. I am also looking forward to the first summer of the Kai Art Center and our neighbours in Noblessner – a summer between the Nordic sun and the Baltic sea. I also dream, wish and hope that people will stay fit and healthy. Everybody’s health is equally important.