The head of the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom will be Keiu Telve

As of April 5th Keiu Telve will be the Managing Director of the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom. Keiu Telve has studied cultural research at the University of Tartu and will defend her doctoral thesis in ethnology this year. Formerly she worked as the Traveling Exhibition Project Manager at Vabamu. She has also helped build up the Centre for Applied Anthropology of Estonia, which carries out qualitative research, and has been involved in several international science projects. In her doctoral thesis Telve studies Estonians’ labour migration to Finland and its effect on family relationships.

In Vabamu she managed the biggest traveling exhibition project in the history of Estonia assembled as a gift for the centenary of the Republic of Estonia, “Masters of Our Own Homes: Estonia at 100”. The exhibition gives an overview of Estonian history and culture and last year travelled to Stanford, Toronto and Boston.

Keiu has also worked at the Tartu City Museum. She has assembled a travelling museum lesson set for schools, a “Museum in a suitcase”, and led the community project of the Tartu City Museum called “Across the River”. “Vabamu has great potential to be a meeting place, to join generations and communities and to launch discussions. This is the goal that our team will continue to work on. In my opinion it is essential for a museum to target both the people visiting the museum as well as to make itself visible and heard when discussing topics important for society. Vabamu will continue telling touching stories from our recent history, finding new innovating exhibition sites and creating gripping and thought-provoking content with experts,” Telve said.

"Keiu is a remarkable young woman with a passion for freedom,” said the museum’s Council Chair, Sylvia Kistler-Thompson, “We are confident she will be a powerful leader who ensures Vabamu sustains its commitment to older generations while also engaging younger people and making vivid the reality that freedom is not free,” Ms Thompson added.

The Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom and its branch KGB Prison Cells is managed by the Kistler-Ritso Estonian Foundation. Within the last three years the number of visitors of the foundation’s museums has more than tripled. In the summer of 2017 the foundation opened the KGB Prison Cells and in the summer of 2018 it opened a new permanent exhibition at Vabamu called “Freedom Without Borders”, thereby doubling its exhibition space ‒ from 660 square meters to 1120 square meters.

Photo: Mihkel Maripuu