Siim Vatalin

2015, Tartu (Estonia)

I live in the Universe, on this planet, inside ecosystem, amongst humanity, locally in Tartu, Estonia.

I engage in environmental activism, political innovation, cooperative economy, city gardening.

I was born on 17th of December 1976 in Tallinn and spent my childhood in nearby settlement called Saue. My path of self awareness started from my own reflection through nature around me – I realized that it all liked to grow and I noticed that I liked that. There was a tiny garden in my back yard where my grandmother and mother had a few flowerbeds and some strawberries, peas, potatoes, pumpkins etc. Finally I planted my own apple tree. Later on I also learned how to relate to Universe and other human beings. After some educational and emotional dead ends I spent a few years in Scotland, finally I grew homesick and returned to Estonia where I started to engage in different voluntary activities that revolved around environmental issues and political activism. In 2013 I was part of local initiative to empower local communities to participate in local elections in order to shake stagnant patterns of power – Vabakund got 3 seats out of 49 in the city council. Right now I am mostly involved with sustainable transport and city gardening in Tartu, we run a small NGO (Tartu Maheaed) that has a big ambition to initiate a revolution in city gardening, we are in dialogue with the municipality and there is a good chance that in couple of years we shall have several plots in permanent use for gardening.

Let’s grow together!

Realized during an Artist in Residence stay at Trükimuuseum in Tartu, Estonia (February 2015).