Pictures: Tallinn’s Kopli peninsula over the years

Film maker Mirjam Matiisen has over the years photographed diverse life and people in the Estonian capital’s Kopli subdistrict that, not long ago, was a no-go area, but is now transforming for better.

“I moved to the Pelguranna housing estate next to Kopli in 2015. On the one hand, I was attracted by the diverse language and living environment, which reminded me of Kohtla-Järve (a neglected industrial town in north-eastern Estonia – editor), and on the other hand, Tallinn’s rich cultural life was in close by. The proximity of the sea, the abundance of parks, the relatively low car traffic was also attractive,” she said.

“Fortunately, this richness and diversity is still well preserved today. The open space of Stroomi beach, the Stalinist architecture and the tree-lined avenue of Lõime street, the tiny Sitsi market from the Soviet era, the Derevyashka bar at the end of Kopli street, where energetic ladies dance to Russian disco on weekends, and all those cool neighbours with whom it’s good to practise Russian – this is all Kopli for me.”

“I’ve read that urbanists say an urban space is exciting and vibrant when it’s designed to bring people from different backgrounds together. In this photo gallery, you can see the different places and people in Kopli (but also in Pelguranna and Sitsi) who make it so diverse and special today.”

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