The new season of OurCulture Academy bring utopists to Viljandi.

The 2014/2015 OurCulture Academy season emphasises and concentrates on utopias. During the season, talks are given by people who try to implement projects which either based on first impressions or preconceptions are considered to be impossible. The people who represent utopias come from different walks of life but they all believe in their ideals and following them. And as it turns out – they are surprisingly successful in their endeavours.

A utopist does not necessarily have to be "crazy". His/her ideals might fit in comfortably with the prevalent values of the society. However, belief in living up to these ideals might not be as common. That is until we realise one day that the utopia actually works in real life.

The curator for this season is Marko Veisson who is a sociology and cultural anthropology lecturer at UT Viljandi Culture Academy. "We all strive for some kind of ideals. The people who we invite to give talks on the topic of utopia are those whose ideals are slightly more radical and who have to override predominant ideas in order to live up to them. When talking to the performers, we try to find atypical solutions and critically evaluate dogmas and the aforementioned utopian ideals," added Veisson.

haavaAt the first meeting of OurCulture Academy, the guest is Hans Hõrak who is a sociology student and an inhabitant of the occupied Anna Haava 7a house in Tartu. The house belongs to the heirs of Jaan Tõnisson and it had been empty and dilapidating for years. Since 2011, a group of young people has been living there who have made the rooms inhabitable and are trying to follow several anarchist ideals in their everyday lives. They try to be as independent of the capitalist economic system as possible, live a sustainable life and reduce consumption by using items and eating foods which have been thrown away. How does this kind of life actually work? What kind of battles do you have to fight and what kind of compromises do you have to make? How sustainable is this kind of lifestyle?

Everyone is welcome to attend the lectures.

Citizens of Viljandi can receive a Viljandi Culture Academy Continuing Education diploma for attending the lectures.

In order to get one, you have to attend 75% of the lectures (13 lectures and 3 colloquiums are hold during a season). Attendance is free of charge.

OurCulture Academy lectures take place in the Chamber Hall of the Traditional Music Center, the first meeting takes place on September 16 at 18.00.

Future lectures: 30.09, 14.10, 28.10, 11.11, 25.11, 9.12, 17.02, 3.03, 17.03, 31.03, 14.04, 28.04 and 12.05.

The lectures are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and the Town of Viljandi.