The art of nonviolent resistance: the story of the Singing Revolution in Estonia

On the 17th of July, at Casa del Mar, we facilitated a workshop dedicated to the topic of nonviolent resistance and shared the example of the Singing Revolution in Estonia. The workshop was organized by Alice Britta Kukk and Helen Maria Raadik, who are carrying out their European voluntary service in Barcelona, at the Fundació Catalunya Voluntària and at Nexes Interculturals de Joves per Europa, with the support of the Estonian National Agency and the program Erasmus + of the European Commission.

The idea of organizing this workshop was born from the wish to introduce the Estonian culture and history and explain the unique series of events that took place during the Estonian independence movement, named ‘the Singing Revolution’, and through this, also inform the participants about nonviolent resistance.

During the workshop we introduced the historic events that took place in the 3 Baltic countries (in Latvia and Lithuania as well) in the late 80s and beginning of the 90s: a popular nonviolent movement that resulted in the independence of the 3 countries.

This nonviolent resistance reached its goal by using cultural heritage and, more concretely, the tradition of choral music, using song as the main “weapon” against the political and military oppression of the Soviet Union.

Furthermore, the workshop focused on explaining the characteristics of nonviolent resistance, emphasizing the importance of using this approach as it is a more effective, inclusive and beneficial way to spark positive change.

The workshop brought together 19 people, residents of Barcelona and nationals from 9 countries. We created an open space where the participants could share their thoughts and ideas, as well as learn from others about some of the most critical problems we are facing due to political, economic and social injustice, and how we can build not only fairer but also more peaceful societies by avoiding all types of violence and using the nonviolent strategy and methods, to fight for human rights, democracy, freedom and justice all around the world.

The 3 topics that were discussed in 3 groups during the workshop were: the salary gap between men and woman, the situation of homeless people and the situation of people who have been evicted.

We are very thankful to everyone who participated in the workshop as well as to the Estonian Embassy in Madrid, who provided us with materials about Estonia.

Alice Britta Kukk

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