This Monday 9th of March we are starting a series of documentary photography workshops with girls aged 17-23 and women aged 40+ in the town of Narva, Estonia - the hometown of femLENS founders Jekaterina Saveljeva and Maria Vesselko. You can read about Narva and its historic complexity that we hope will become visible to all of us through its residents!

Narva is a unique town. For centuries, it has been a border crossing point and a melting pot of different nations and cultures.
The geographical and historical intersection of the East and the West is the main feature of the past and the present Narva. However, the border is not only a dividing line but also a meeting place: the bridge connecting Estonia and Russia is called the Friendship Bridge for a reason.
It is enough to say that in the second half of the 16th century, Narva, long before St. Petersburg, was a “window to Europe” for Russia.

The history of the town was shaped by numerous wars and battles, with great powers fighting for it. Over the centuries, Narva was ruled by Danes, Germans, Swedes, Russians and Estonians. It is the only place in the world where two fortresses — the 15th-century Russian fortress and the 13th-century Hermann Castle — rise on the opposite banks of the Narova River, at the distance of an arrow's flight, presenting a unique architectural ensemble in northern Europe. It was here that the Great Northern War began in 1700, which changed the destiny of Narva as well as of the whole of Europe.

Its tumultuous past aside, Narva has always been a centre of international trade. In the Viking age, a trade route known as the route "from the Varangians to the Greeks" passed through Narva, and later so did a trade route from Tallinn to Novgorod. In 1345 the trading settlement was granted town status.

In the 17th century — the golden age of Narva — the town centre with its Baroque style architecture was built, giving Narva a festive urban look. Unfortunately, after World War II, only a fraction of the town’s former glory survived.

In May 2004 Estonia became a member of the European Union, and the town of Narva, conveniently located on/near the border, received new development opportunities. 

Today Narva is Estonia’s third largest town and constitutes part of the eastern border of Estonia and the European Union.

In spite of many reconstructions and wars over the centuries, Narva has miraculously preserved some of its medieval features, offering unique sights.

With Narva being home to femLENS, we are happy to announce that in March 2020 we are going to run two series of workshops there: one with a group of young girls and another with a group of women.

Statistics (as of January 1, 2020):

55 907 people
30 820 of females
25 087 of males

Ethnic composition:
Estonians – 3.6%
Russians – 83.3%
Ukrainians – 2.4%
Belarusians - 1.8%
Finns – 0.6%
Tatars – 0.5%
Others - 2.4%
Unknown – 5.4%

Estonian – 48.5%
Russian - 36.0%
Ukrainian – 0.5%
Belarusian – 0.1%
Latvian - 0.2%
Lithuanian – 0.2%
Undetermined - 13.6%
Other – 0.9%