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Summer school “Shame and Guilt in Finno-Ugric Cultures”

Fenno-Ugria’s summer school “Shame and Guilt in Finno-Ugric Cultures” took place in Kadrina Manor in Tartumaa between 18–20 August 2023.

The aim of the seminar was to discuss what guilt is, what shame is and how our different traditions deal with them. The seminar was a follow-up to the seminar “Coping with Crisis and Trauma in Finno-Ugric Cultures” held in Tapa on 10 May.

On the first evening, the summer school’s guest, Evgeni Goman, former Minister of Culture and Theatre Director of Murmansk Oblast, now based in Kirkenes, spoke about life in the border region between Norway and Russia. He presented his recent art projects with a political focus. The important thing is that communication is not interrupted, he said, commenting on the war situation and the position of cultural figures in it.

Evgenij Goman

This was followed by social activities, with performances by Anti Lillak, museum teacher, musician and member of the board of Fenno-Ugria, Mari Alexey Alekseev, representative of the Etnomeedia NGO, and others. Ragna and Jenny, interns from the Norwegian Embassy, were also present.

Ragna ja Jenny Norra saatkonnast

On the second day, Inga Ignatieva, clinical psychologist and lecturer at the University of Tartu, introduced the summer school on the topic of “Shame and Guilt in Finno-Ugric Cultures”. In an in-depth theoretical lecture, she spoke mainly on the basis of psychoanalytical insights about where our sense of shame comes from, why we feel guilty in the various unfortunate situations of life, and why guilt and shame are good. In the evening, folklorist Madis Arukask, chairman of the Fenno-Ugria board, summarised the theme through the prism of culture, drawing on the views of Geert Hofstede, Michel Foucault, Ruth Benedict and others.

On Saturday 19 August, Tõnu Seilenthal, a member of the Fenno-Ugria board, also raised the Finno-Ugric flag, which on 20.08 was replaced by the Estonian flag on the occasion of the anniversary of the restoration of independence.

The event is supported by the Open Estonia Foundation/Citizens in Action Foundation.