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Home. Your home. Your place. Your memories. Your belongings. In the blink of eye, it’s
gone. ‘What Would You Take?’ is an exhibition of twelve photographic and narrative
portraits from the Ukraine diaspora, the largest displacement of people since the Second
World War.

If you want to get out, you have to stand back from what you possess – this is the inflexible law of forced dispersal. These are the stories of twelve people from Ukraine who suddenly had to leave their home, taking only the bare essentials and a cherished belonging that speaks to their life. Each story is evidence of shocking loss. Every object speaks to other objects left behind, and each person is witness to other people who didn’t find their way out of the hellfire. But it’s also an illuminating portrait of courage, of resilience and dignity, of lives continued. They are songs of flight, but also songs of return.

‘What Would You Take?’ is a question directed at the viewer. The objects in this exhibition reminds us that we are all potential surrogates for homelessness, and the question for each of us is the same: after the scattering of things into the world, and the confusions of identity, how much is left of your life – of you – should you manage the crossing.

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20 November 2023 – 10 December 2023

Viru Keskus has always been more than just a shopping centre, having always offered visitors high-quality cultural experiences, and supporting culture has been something we take very seriously. We also pay attention to the changes taking place in society and the world, and offer the opportunity to experience and live through this exhibition.


31 May 2023 – 20 October 2023

The 12 Star Gallery at Europe House shows work which celebrates the creativity and cultural diversity that is the hallmark of the European Union. Exhibitions are organised mostly by the embassies and cultural institutes of the EU countries. Forthcoming exhibitions are listed below, as is an account of past shows and brief history

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What Would You Take?

Documentary (23 min, 2023)


The What Would You Take? documentary tracks the same path as the exhibition and gives the viewer the opportunity to delve even deeper into their stories. The portraits taken by photographer Kaupo Kikkas come to life through animation; people's destinies unfold through close-up shots by director Heilika Pikkov.

Directed by Heilika Pikkov
Produced by Ülo Pikkov / Silmviburlane
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Kaupo Kikkas, photographer
“On the morning this brutal war started, I realised that this is not only a war, but a terror that shakes the foundations of everything I consider dear to me. Everything my parents taught me is suddenly turned upside-down. Respect, compassion, friendship and love are replaced with looting, torturing, kidnapping and murdering. Even though Estonia and Ukraine share a border and the collective memory of the Soviet period, I didn’t have much contact with Ukraine and what was going on there. But, with the Russian invasion, I immediately started a project of solidarity. This project culminated with the December 2022 journey from Tallinn to Donbas to collect the stories for the ‘What Would You Take?’ exhibition. The stories I heard are almost too hard to stand, but I learned that next to darkness there is always hope and kindness."
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Frances Stonor Saunders, curator
“I’d worked with Kaupo on an earlier exhibition of ‘What Would You Take?’ in December 2018, so when he called me in the summer of 2022 and suggested we do another version focused on the Ukrainian crisis, I immediately agreed. Together with the translator and fixer, Ulyana Osovska, and the documentary film-maker, Heilika Pikkov, we set out from Tallinn on 12 December in Kaupo’s car. He drove us safely through heavy snow blizzards to Riga, then to Vilnius, then all the way through Poland to the border town of Przemysl, stopping at each location to meet the people who had agreed to be part of this exhibition. We left the car at Przemysl and travelled by train from there to Lviv, and then on from Lviv by the night train to Kyiv, to meet those in the exhibition who had been internally displaced.
We were lucky, there were no air raid sirens in these beautiful cities while we were there. All I had to worry about was the treacherous icy cobblestones. I spent most of the time looking at my feet, praying that my new winter boots would keep me upright and spare our Ukrainian hosts the job of taking me to hospital with a broken leg. I left Kyiv on 22 December and was in Poland the following morning. On 24 December, I was home, but in Kyiv the air sirens wailed as Putin’s Christmas present of renewed attacks on Ukrainian targets was delivered."