Dachas, science, and culture: Lilian Pungas and Judith Kiss realise the first transfer event of flumen in Eastern Estonia | 8 & 11 September 2022

Foto: Sanni Seppo

On 8th and 11th of September 2022, two public transfer events of the flumen research group will take place in Sillamäe (Estonia). With these events, flumen would like to facilitate an exchange in the research region of Estonia between scientists, actors relevant to the research topic and the population. On the one hand, our PhD candidate Lilian Pungas will present her previous research results. On the other hand, the topic related to her research will be placed in the context of local transformation processes in discussion and conversation rounds. Lilian Pungas is doing her research on dachas as an example of an agro-ecological circular economy and as a place where socio-economic crises can be cushioned. She is particularly interested in the human-nature relationships of the dacha gardeners. Therefore, she interviewed several stakeholders in Sillamäe and the region Ida-Viru. Especially these interviewees, but also other interested people will have the opportunity to learn more about our scientific interest and our results and to contribute their own views, opinions, criticism, questions, and supplementary thoughts. The latter are also important for us for further reflection on our flumen work. Judith Kiss, who coordinates science transfer at flumen, will also attend and write a short report on the events.

On 8th of September 2022, starting at 5 p.m., our colleague Lilian Pungas, a community representative from Sillamäe and scientists from Tallinn will meet with residents of Sillamäe – especially dacha gardeners – in order to discuss the importance of dachas/allotments for the living conditions of the people, but also for the future development of the region. There will be several short lectures on the dacha culture and the special characteristics of Sillamäe, followed by a discussion with the audience on the topic “Dachas and Urban Gardening – for whom and for what?” At the same time, the Finnish photographer Sanni Seppo will show her photographic works on dachas and urban gardens in Finland and Estonia.


  • Annela Samuel, documentary photographer and currently a PhD student at Tallinn University, is researching the experiences of older people in and with the village of Sillamäe.
  • Saara Mildeberg, who is researching the potential of cultural tourism in Ida-Viru County, will talk about the special “heritage” landscape (heritagescape) of Sillamäe, which can only be experienced on site.
  • Lilian Pungas from the University of Jena will talk about dachas in Ida-Viru County as an example of agro-ecological circular economy and socio-economic resilience, as well as about the gardeners’ human-nature relations.
  • Hardi Murula will talk about future scenarios for Ida-Viru County, where, for example, dachas are an important component of a possible development scenario (the so-called “Estonia of Eco-Communities”) proposed by the Development Monitoring Centre for the county.
  • Bianka Plüschke-Altof looks at the similarities and differences between community/urban gardens in Tallinn/Lasnamäe and dachas in East Estonia.

The Day of Open Gardens will then be celebrated on 11th of September 2022. In the Sputnik allotment cooperative, gardeners will open their gardens to an interested public. Home-grown vegetables, fruit and flowers will be sold, there will be music, entertainment and workshops on various gardening topics. The photo exhibition by Sanni Seppo will also be on display there once again.

Foto: Sanni Seppo