Common Ground

Original title “√úhisel pinnal”

Video, 37 min


Camera: Erik Norkroos

Editing: Kristina Norman, Erik Norkroos


Still from the video


Still from the video


Still from the video


Still from the video

During and after the World War II, over 72 000 Estonian refugees fleeing from the German and the Soviet occupations were granted political asylum in the Western countries.


Since 1997, when Estonia joined the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, 350 foreigners have applied for asylum in Estonia. The international protection has been granted to 67 people.


The audiovisual study entitled Common Ground brings together people on screen, who have a lot in common about their life stories. But due to the fact that some have left Estonia as war refugees 70 years ago and the others have arrived in Estonia recently as refugees, it is not likely that they would ever meet. The Estonians, who have led a long life in exile, share memories about the hospitality of the receiving country. Refugees, who wait for endless months for the verdict of their asylum permit at the Illuka Reception Center for Asylum Seekers in the only existing refugee camp in Estonia situated near a derelict village 1,5 km from the border of Russia, talk about their surreal everyday experiences in that isolated place.


The material has been filmed in 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden and near Jaama Village at Illuka County in Eastern Estonia.