Michiel van Mens Photography Black White Baltic States bs903 bewerkt def 6cm

Baltic States in 1993, Black & White (analog)

In June 1940, the Red Army occupied the entire territory of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Since then, the name ‘Baltic States’ has been used by the three countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In the late 1980s, the first cracks began to appear in what we then called the USSR. In the Baltic states a movement emerged that we called the ‘singing revolution’. On August 23, 1989, a human chain of 600 kilometers, from Tallinn to Vilnius, formed by two million people. The Soviet Union recognized the independence of three Baltic states on September 6, 1991. From August 1993, troops were withdrawn from the region (from Lithuania). In 1994 I left for the Baltic States with my camera. There I visited the three capitals, the former KGB prison in Riga and the various parliaments. The fear of the Russians was still palpable. On the street many demonstrations of citizens who stood up for their newly acquired freedoms. It was impressive to be so close to the birth of new democracies.

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