Bremen - Tallinn
Close up 2016

Bremen-Talinn Grafik: Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut’s Close-Up programme enables cultural journalists from the print, online and radio media to swap workplaces with a colleague from abroad for three to four weeks. In 2016, one of those couplings was taz-editor Benno Schirrmeister from Bremen and the journalist Greete Palmiste from Tallinn. 


Bruno Schirrmeister

Benno Schirrmeister

Editor at taz.die tageszeitung, Northern Germany desk, Bremen 
Host mediumEstonian Public Broadcasting in Tallinn   
Time of stay: Autumn 2016   
Would like to report on: I would really like to report on the theatre group No99, but it will be touring through Belgium and France then. But where there’s one exciting performance group there is usually at least one more and I will find it. Then there are a few very unconventional comic artists, Triine Lille caught my eye, and Joonas Sildre. I’ll try to contact them. If all else fails, I’ll investigate the mystery of the Brotherhood of Blackheads of Reval: Hanseatic history.   
How I’ve perceived my host country until now: Conquered in the 12th century by a Catholic Bremen terrorist militia, how embarrassing, then Danes – Tal means Danish, linn means city –, Swedes, Russians, Soviets, freedom is sung, independent for exactly 25 years. The massive (and big sinister) neighbour is Russia. Digitalization must be extremely advanced in a state where people can vote via text messaging, public transport in Tallinn is ticketless, great! Whether that is so in Tartu – I’ve no idea. The university is there. Learning more Estonian than “tere” and “nägemist” – I'm afraid nothing will come of that. They even have different lengths in the consonants! Without being able to tell from the spelling. Cool. Lots of islands, lots of lakes, forests – and very, very few people.  

Greete Palmiste Greete Palmiste

Editor at Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR), Online/Multimedia, Tallinn 
Host medium: taz Bremen   
Time of stay: Autumn 2016   
Would like to report on: In Estonia, Germany is mainly in the news when it’s about the European Union, NATO, the Brexit and, of course, the refugee issue. Since Estonia has also promised to accept refugees, it would certainly be interesting to find out what integration measures in Germany work well and how Estonia can learn from it.   
How I’ve perceived my host country until now: As a member of the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages, as an economically and politically strong country. But also the country of meat dishes, sauerkraut and Christmas markets.