University of Tartu's events in European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024

Tartu, together with Southern Estonia, is the European Capital of Culture 2024. 

The arts of survival, or "ellujäämise kunstid" in Estonian, is the artistic concept of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024. The arts of survival are the knowledge, skills, and values that will help us lead a good life in the future. These are the knowledge, skills, and values that we endorse, cherish, share with and learn from Europe. 

The four most important arts of survival featured in the Tartu 2024 programme are uniqueness, sustainability, awareness, and co-creation.

The University of Tartu supports the values of the capital of culture and manages several projects included in the programme.

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Main programme events

Urban nature festival "Nature creates"

The “Nature Creates” festival makes you notice the biodiversity around us. We will delve deeper into the connections between nature and culture in urban spaces and enjoy nature-inspired works.

Organiser: University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden


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Festival of Heritage

UNESCO's Heritage City Viljandi shows that heritage is an improver: the festival discusses how folklore and traditional knowledge can help us find sustainable solutions to economic and environmental problems, and visitors get to learn folk skills themselves. The event takes place from 1-5 October 2024.

Organiser: University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy

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Kissing Tartu  

It is an initiative of human consideration and respect, consisting of an educational programme, concert performance and an unprecedented mass kissing session. We will talk about things in a simple and honest way and provide great entertainment. 

Organiser: Tartu Student Club, University of Tartu Youth Academy


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Tartu World University

This is a series of community academies, in which active communities from South Estonia as well as the world's top scientists and cultural figures inspire each other and improve the world. You will have the chance to seek solutions to global problems locally, and vice versa, together with other forward-looking people. 

Organiser: University of Tartu Centre for Ethics


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Toomemägi Revisited

Toomemägi, central to the city of Tartu, comes to life with light, culture and science. You can walk around among the ruins of the cathedral and witness a holistic light show. You will get to experience surprising installations that showcase the cultural heritage of the University of Tartu. Toomemägi is truly worth exploring. 

Organiser: University of Tartu Museum


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Exhibition „Unknown“

The exhibition focuses on the cultural meaning of endangerment to bring to public attention aspects of extinction through artistic means. The exhibition takes place from 5 April to 23 September 2024.

Organiser: University of Tartu

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Main programme events associated with the University of Tartu

Ryoji Ikeda’s solo exhibition

Ryoji Ikeda is a world-renowned Japanese composer and artist who is above all known for his audiovisual performances and installations. Ikeda will create two new works for the Estonian National Museum: an audiovisual installation based on the scientific data of the Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, and a sound installation created in collaboration with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. In addition, one artwork that already exists, the audiovisual installation data-verse, will be exhibited. The exhibition is up from 2 November 2024 until 2 March 2025.

Organiser: Tartu 2024

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sTARTUp Day Business Festival

sTARTUp Day is the biggest business festival in the Baltics, taking place on January 24–26 in Tartu.


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Tartu – Rich in Research

The exhibition "Tartu – Rich in Research" presents 24 success stories from Tartu's rich scientific heritage that have significantly contributed to global advancements in science throughout the ages.

Organiser: Research in Estonia

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Side programme events


#sustainability #Tartu2024 #for society #news
According to the latest census, 243 languages are spoken as mother tongues in Estonia, so we have a lot of people who speak Estonian as a second language.
#Tartu2024 #news
University of Tartu Museum opened ‘Lifesaver’ installation on Toomemägi.
#open science #sustainability #Tartu2024 #culture #news
The international conference "Traces of Extinction: Species Loss, Solastalgia, and Semiotics of Recovery" held on 5–7 June 2024 at UT Oecologicum (J. Liivi 2, Tartu) sheds light on the various aspects of biodiversity loss and discusses cultural, subjective, and semiotic approaches to understanding species extinction. Registration is open until 23 May.
#sustainability #Tartu2024 #culture #for society #news
A multidisciplinary student exhibition emerged under the leadership of Timo Maran, Professor of Ecosemiotics and Environmental Humanities, as a result of an interdisciplinary research project and a semiotics master's course. The course combined semiotics, natural sciences, and methods of creative inquiry. The exhibition, opened on 9 May, presents the Umwelten of animals to the public. It is also part of the Prima Vista and the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 programmes and will remain open until 20 June.