Tallinn Photomonth opens at EKKM with an exhibition reflecting ecological concerns and nationalism

Jonathas de Andrade, still from the video O Peixe (The Fish), 2016. Courtesy the artist and Galeria Vermelho, Sao Paolo.

When You Say We Belong To The Light We Belong To The Thunder – the opening exhibition of Tallinn Photomonth contemporary art biennial brings together 12 international artists.

For the curator, Heidi Ballet, the starting point for this exhibition is the question how psychological reactions to climate chaos are influencing real life politics. The display proposes an imaginary study of the notions of ‘owning’ and ‘belonging’ in relation to soil.

While recent decades were marked by the drive to disconnect from physical locations, ideas of place and belonging seem to have seen something of a revival, both in a renewed care for the planet but also in increasingly harsh migration policies. The inquiry focuses on how images regarding the units that we belong to – the world, the nation state, the family – have implications for our level of care.

The title is borrowed from the lyrics of the 1985 pop song We Belong by Pat Benatar. Months after We Belong towered in pop charts in the West, Mikhail Gorbachev announced Perestroika, which made it possible for Estonians to openly protest their belonging to the Soviet Union, and a large ecological movement became the catalyst for Estonian independence. Embedded in local and global research, the exhibition studies the intruding pull of nationalism in relation to ecological concerns.

Curator: Heidi Ballet

Artists: Angela Anderson and Angela Melitopoulos, Adam Avikainen, Cian Dayrit, Jonathas de Andrade, Bram Demunter, Silje Figenschou Thoresen, James T. Hong, Edith Karlson, Ana Mendieta, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Maarten Vanden Eynde and Musasa, Ana Vaz and Tristan Bera.

Research contributions by Marika Agu and Francisco Martinez, Konstantinos Doumpenidis, Tanel Rander.


The biennial’s press preview is held at EKKM at 11am.

The exhibition opening on Friday 6 September at 6pm is preceded by a series of talks between the curator, artists and researchers at 4pm.

The biennial launch party at EKKM starts at 9pm, followed by a live concert by Seltskond Pargis at 10pm and DJs.

Event in Facebook


When You Say We Belong To The Light We Belong To The Thunder
7 September to 20 October, 2019
Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM)
Põhja pst. 35, Tallinn

EKKM opening times: Tue–Sun noon–7pm
Free entry


Supported by:
British Council, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Estonia, Tallinn Culture Department.