Mobile Lives, Immobile Representations

in Transfers

The article looks at how cultural constructs of “urban” and “rural” are used in policy measures. The question is opened by analyzing twenty-five short films submitted for the competition Once upon a Time in Our Village organized by the Estonian Ministry of Agriculture and Just Film (a nonprofit organization). The competition calls for young people to “depict the future and possibilities of rural life.” The aim was to prevent out-migration of young people from the rural areas. As the data show, the films echo cultural constructions that depict the rural as opposed to the urban: traditional, quiet, and a haven of the national past. The future and technological possibilities are something that are constructed as an urban phenomenon, and thus, not present in the films.