Frozen dreams – letters from Gulag
I used letters and photos of my grandfather to create „Letters from Gulag” series. I combined old photos together by embroidery and sewing techinques. Each stitch is like heartache, a line of tangled thread – tangled life and concern for loved ones. Men in labour camps and women, daughters, sisters hunching at needlework.
My mother was 6 years old when her father was arrested and sentenced 25 years imprisonment + 5 years deportation with confiscation of all property.
My grandfather was sent to Vorkuta camp in Komi ASSR beyond the artic circle.
The 25+5 was a common way of punishment in the Stalin era, which was given out to tens of thousands of people in order to keep goals mines in North Ural in operation.
No Estonian family was untouched by the waves of arrests and deportations. Dreams and lives were frozen. Children who were born and raised in this terror are now grown up but their traumatic memories still haunt their dreams, relationships and actions. The war in our hearts is not over. I’m waiting for rain that melt the ice inside of us.