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This is right now

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Sirens and the Copenhagen town hall bells ringing, cranes moving, cars moving. Kid found some colored plastic strips, tied them to a stick and is thus eternally entertained, seagulls and the sounds of spray cans. Jeppe and Persille are shooting a music video for their upcoming record (which you should totally support – not at least because it´s a record of protest songs) so I´m the groupie for a couple of hours before I´ll do my last speech on this tour at Gladsaxe Hovedbibliotek tonight.

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(yeah that´s a drone and I appreciate the fact that this machinery can be used to the exact opposite of war and surveillance)

Last night I was on a talk show. A rapper named Pede B was there too presenting, among other skills, his skills in improvisations so I said “fascist regime” and then he made a little song about that. I dig.
I also kind of like this Eurowoman article (I told you about it earlier, remember, the photographer?). Why do I like it? Why do I like doing the speeches? Why do I like communicating via the media? Isn´t it contradictory to our lifestyle, aren´t we supposed to be very fermented? Blessed. Lineddressed.
Yeah, you could say that and I totally respect your right to present me for the cultural stereotypes and the narrow narratives because what I REALLY like is to challenge the cultural stereotypes and the narrow narratives, I think it is most needed that we do exactly that. If we are to deal with the crisis (in humanity, in climate) we need new kind of stories. New kinds of realities.
Merging of realities. Merging of understandings.
So that´s why I do it.
And I´m pretty fucking proud about it too.
Plus I really  thoroughly enjoy doing something I´m good at. It is the most wonderful feeling.

I cannot live without this and therefore you could say- and it would be meaningful- that the very thing that liberates me (“putting into words”) also enslaves me, ties me to my culture. Would have been better if I could just sit there and weave. Alone.
I just can´t. So don´t shoot me.

One thing nags me about my work though.
I´ve been told several times now, after a speech, that I was much funnier in real life, much more optimistic than in my written words. That I´m not as gloomy and/or sad and/or angry as they thought I would be. Not so much in a crisis. Not so shaken.

Why this bias in the written word?
I don´t know. I suspect it might be strangely characteristic for us environmentalist…. (and with good reason too but on a more optimistic note this article made me feel some hope)

I know though that this pictures make me weirdly happy and now I´m going to put into words why it makes me happy.
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It´s ugly. Yes. Polluting. Yes.
But see the buildings in the background? These are white privilege. White privilege is spreading, consuming almost every empty space of my country…. but before it does rebels are expressing themselves in color and although they are not flawless or considerate – not even consistent and certainly not better than you- they still exist.
They might not have all of the answers. They might not present you with a solution. They just exist.
Everywhere.

Tomorrow we´ll be heading home. I can´t wait. I need the sense of time out there, I need the feel of it just like I need air.

I love you world.

17 comments on “Before I go home

  1. The bias in the written word…that’s a good question. I think it’s easier, for me anyway, to express my raw emotions in the written word. I can go back and edit and re-write until the emphasis is correct and just the right word is in just the right spot. When I speak, I tend to soften the words for the listener…and I’m not a good speaker so the words don’t come out as easily. It doesn’t make my words any less important or sincere. It just makes them easier to hear. I can’t judge whether that is good or bad. I just know I do it, too.

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    1. You are defintely on to something actually my friend told me something quite similar just yesterday.. and I don´t know either whether it´s a good thing or not.

      The good spirit engages people that would otherwise alienated on the other hand the good spirit is definitely less clear about the actual threats to our human collective (climate crisis, austerity ect) It´s the main dilemma I think for us who are communicating about these issues….and it has deep roots into something in our personalities, a larger conflict. Nice to hear you recognise!

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  2. smcasson says:

    Speaking of throwing out expectations! I didn’t even know camo (camouflage) hats existed in Europe!! Especially not on your head! Haha, no, I’m not seriously making fun. Glad you’re enjoying. Safe travels.
    Is it duality if “two” interests or habits exist in you, if the two aren’t expected together? As a (crude) example, I enjoy nice leather dress shoes and a crisp charcoal suit vest AND denim overalls and muck boots. (Although I won’t go so far as to say at the same time) Is that duality? It’s just me.
    It’s just you. People can frame you how they like.

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    1. BeeHappee says:

      😀 Andrea rapping in camo hat next to graffiti about how weaving sucks. .. while she says Jeppe’s jacket is not so cool, too european. Oh you guys are hilarious!

      Andrea, glad you are having fun, beats the weaving for sure.

      Like

    2. Haha! Well DID YOU NOTICE THE SILVER MOOSE ON THE HAT??!
      It´s because of the silver moose I´m wearing it 🙂
      And yup. We are all living in our dualities and it´s ok.

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      1. Is it weird that the moose was actually the first thing I noticed in the image???

        Hej Scott, we have tons of camo here in Europe and the cool thing is, is that every country has its very own! I am talking military here, not civilian. Military surplus was a great cult, fashion kind of thing… Strangely and ironically enough often used by those opposing everything it stands for.

        Now that last image of your son, Andrea….. To me that single image perfectly captures my perception of urban Europe and the kids therein…It says it all…. The surroundings, the face, the hair, the hand… Chaos, madness, imprisonment.
        Your boy will grow up far from it, at least for some of the most important years of his life.

        Is there a bias for, in, of (which one is it??) the written word? I don’t know. To me those words come from one self. Direct, pure, unaltered and can indeed be altered afterwards.
        The spoken word is the one that directly interacts. It still comes from one self, but in a direct reaction to the surroundings. If you have a distant, uninterested, mute group of listeners, your words will be affected. They suck the words dry until they shrivel and die… If you have an enthusiastic, participating group your words will be accordingly affected. They still might say the same, but they will be completely different. They will glow, grow wings, fly and be alive….
        Feeling and interaction. Once out there is no altering them…

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        1. True, Ron, I think that picture of my son is crazy too….. life in the loop is crazy fast, hectic, on the train right now going home, going home, going home into the wild!!! Yah! 🙂

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  3. nicoleaugust says:

    I find written English always much more formal than spoken. My husband tells me the difference is not as dramatic in French. Danish ??

    Your last photo makes me think of a book I just finished reading. The author writes about ugly things so beautifully.

    Heather O’Neill: “lullabies for little criminals”.

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    1. I like the tittle of that book! (will look it up)

      It´s strange with the language, “I” definetly change when writing in english instead of in danish….. I find english less formal but I learned english through movies and online articles, the internet, so the kind of english I have learned is less formal I think that the actual english actual english people speak in reality. I´d like to find out. One day I´d like to go to an enlighs speaking country…. 🙂

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      1. If you do, pick Ireland!
        And go to the countryside and stay and bed and breakfasts. The Irish, those people…. We spent nearly a month there and I really liked them. Casual and their sense of humor…

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      2. smcasson says:

        Your English sounds perfectly normal to me, except for a few words different (different words for the same thing – lorries in Britain vs semis / tractor-trailers in US)
        Of course I can’t find one example in your comments here Andrea… Being perfectly honest here: you sound like any other English speaker I’ve heard! (Did I just compare you to Americans? I’m so sorry!! 😉
        Yes I noticed the moose, but what is it a logo for? Or is it just a moose pic?
        Ron- military camo had a moment in the 90s here but lots of people in rural areas wear hunting camo out in public as a lifestyle statement now. *eyeroll*
        Look up “bucked up apparel”
        Andrea, I’m not trying to make fun of the hat, just explain why it caught me off guard. 🙂

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      3. nicoleaugust says:

        Yes, your english is much less formal, and that is the BEST thing about it ! You can feel the immediacy of it :). English on the internet (and maybe other languages too ?) is more informal than in books.It is kind of refreshing. My husband is fluently bilingual in English/French. When he’s back in Quebec speaking French he sometimes seems like a whole different person to me. He even laughs differently !

        Heather O’Neill grew up “on the streets” of Montreal. Her writing voice is amazing and crazy beautiful.

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  4. I know, I know (that you´re not making fun of the hat but you should know that my husband makes fun of that hat all of the time so even if you did make fun of it I wouldn´t mind 😉
    (I´m grounded in my camo!) 😉

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    1. smcasson says:

      What’s the moose stand for?

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  5. ncfarmchick says:

    Love the moose, whatever it stands for. Funny that I’m cuddling my camo-clad youngest child (long underwear he likes to sleep in) while reading this post. He and his brother love to wear camo but I tend to be sure they wear some more visible color with it – I don’t need any help not being able to see my children in the woods!
    Maybe some of the difference in the tone of the written versus spoken word is the reactions of the listeners (with the latter.) Maybe the talks, even if prepared ahead of time, play out more like conversations as the speaker responds to the expressions and gestures of the audience. The reception of the written word is delayed and maybe it is more like talking to an empty room (until all of us start commenting and then….look out!)
    I know many people don’t like grafitti and it is sad when people are disrespectful and damage other’s property but I find some of it really intriguing. Thing like carved initials on picnic tables in a park, spray paint on train cars or even writing on bathroom walls. They all certainly say something about our world, not all of it scary or ugly, just interesting.

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    1. That might be true and this might be why I do enjoy doing the talks, there is an imidieacy about it and an intimacy that I love… as I LOVE it when the commenting begins here on this blog! 🙂

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  6. Dear andrea
    I like your writing in english and you manage it expressively.
    After all, If you did not post in English many of us could not share in this blog.

    To me though, you do still sound like a Dane using English–I enjoy that!

    (English may be the lingua franca of the world, at the moment, but to me it is not a plus for everyone to use it sounding like actors in a tv series made in Los Angeles. some difference and variety is more interesting.)

    the lack of agreement between subjects and verbs in some of your constructions seems typical–must have something to do with Scandinavian languages?
    Maybe conjugating verb “to have” is problematical, because it is also used to form past tenses in English? It is an irregular verb in English, I think.

    If we were speaking, many of the verbs here would have been put in contracted forms, such as didn’t for did not.
    Makes written English seem more formal than spoken.
    Being formal has its rhetorical uses, as in: being very clear about something and “make no mistake about it”.
    But then ambiguity has its uses too, and leaves more up to interpretation. Your directness strikes a good balance between being emphatic, and being open to interpretation.

    Mainly, it seems important to reinforce your determination to do what you have chosen to do, not try to critique it. Your English does not need to be perfect for your readers to get a pretty good idea of what is on your mind.
    I speak only English, unhappily, although a number of family members are multi-lingual. It is a great thing to pass over into another thought process.
    All best,
    ~ abigail

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