Our 2019 General Election focus kicks off with a look at three key battleground issues: welfare, tax and health reform
This year’s CPH STAGE is boldly encouraging its artists to follow their expression to the absolute limit
INSIDE 9 1 June 201 23 May dk/en cphstage.
DANISH NEWS IN ENGLISH VOL 22 ISSUE 8
CPHPOST.DK 16 - 29 May 2019
NEWS A vile thing happened on the way to the Forum
Neighbours poles apart The feminist divide between Denmark and Sweden
INCLUSION A DELUSION
Borgen and porn: No faking it Facebook and adult website users extra vigilant ahead of June 5 vote BUSINESS Immigrants still struggling to find jobs despite influx
9 FOOD & DRINK
Truly great or no shakes? Time to believe the hype at Denmark’s top cocktail bar?
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In light of the right-wing news that has polarised voters in recent elections, Facebook is in talks with Danish entities, including the fact-checker Tjekdet, to ensure the election will be as free from ‘fake news’ as possible.
Right-wing concerns THE MAJOR parties have said they won’t include new Islamophobic party Stram Kurs in any coalition, with Claus Hjort Frederiksen, the defence minister, expressing concerns their rhetoric will raise the terror threat. However, Dansk Folkeparti has said it will have no problem “discussing a co-operation” with the party.
Erection campaign BUT THERE was nothing fake (not even an orgasm) about the news that Liberal Alliance MP Joachim B Olsen has knocked out a surefire winner by putting an ad on Pornhub to reach prospective voters. The former Olympic shot put silver medallist’s rhyming slogan translated as: “When you finish wanking, vote for Jokke”. “Half the internet is porn and you need to be where the voters are,” he told DR. (CPH POST)
OME 13 PARTIES have confirmed they will contest the 2019 General Election on Constitution Day on June 5, which will include 29 days of campaigning – the longest period since 1975, which clocked up 35 days.
Rainiest, sunniest, snowiest Euro elections on May 26 WE’VE HAD the rainiest March ever, followed by the sunniest April, and one of the snowiest Mays! That’s right, it snowed on May 3 and a day later the coldest ever May temperature (0.8 degrees) was recorded. At the time of going to press, there were no signs the customary May warmth will arrive anytime soon. Meanwhile, the country remains perilously dry.
SOME 13 seats are up for grabs in the European Parliament in elections on May 26 in Denmark. The deadline for EU residents to register to vote in Denmark has long passed, and so has the deadline in most of the other 27 states. Meanwhile, Margrethe Vestager remains a 10/1 fourth favourite to become the next president of the European Commission.
More liberal than ever
Three holidays in 25 days
THE DANES are even more liberal and free-spirited than at any time in their recent history, according to a new book written by an Aalborg University academic. Most people now approve of casual sex (72 percent; 1981: 42), abortion (95; 79), divorce (99; 89), homosexuality (96; 66), cannabis consumption (55; 22) and euthanasia (94; 82).
DENMARK is looking forward to the first of its late spring/ early summer bank holidays this Friday. Great Prayer Day secured its place in the calendar when numerous holy days were merged into one. It will shortly be followed by Ascension Day (Thursday May 30) and Whit Monday (Monday June 10).
INSIDE OUR NEXT ISSUE, OUT 29 MAY!
A CPH POST SPECIAL EDUCATION
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
Denmark 2019 or Deep South 1919?
ONLINE THIS WEEK AT LEAST ten people were arrested during trouble on May 1. Violent clashes occurred at Israels Plads at midday as anti-fascist demonstrators fought members of Liberal Alliance and Venstre’s youth organisations. And then trouble erupted again at Fælledparken as Socialdemokratiet leader Mette Frederiksen took to the stage.
Explosion rocks Valby A HUGE explosion at a warehouse belonging to the T Hansen vehicle dealership rocked Valby at around 02:30 on May 10. Police suspect the cause came from outside the premises. Meanwhile, a huge blaze engulfed four roof terraces in Islands Brygge on May 7. Nobody was injured in either incident.
Three local murders
Builder King honoured A SIX METRE-HIGH statue of Christian IV, the ‘Builder King’ who oversaw the construction of most of the early 17th century buildings Copenhagen is famous for, has been erected in front of Børsen at Slotsholmen. Christian laid down the foundation stone of Børsen in 1620.
MEP candidate dismayed by vile racial slur on his campaign poster BEN HAMILTON
F THE 13 parties confirmed for the 2019 General Election on June 5, it’s fair to say that many are anti-immigrant, and that two of them – Strum Kurs and Nye Borgerlig – are overtly racist. Some might argue this is a good thing, as the racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic voters might be spread so thinly, they will get a limited number of representatives in Parliament. Defaced by racism BUT TRY telling that to David Munis Zepernick, a Frederiksberg councillor for Radikale who is currently campaigning to be
Outside the Forum − but in Frederiksberg 2019, not Rome 54 BC
elected as a MEP on May 26, whose maternal grandfather is from Sierra Leone. On his way to Copenhagen Airport on May 8, Zepernick paused to glance at one of his campaign posters near the Forum Metro station in his home district and was dismayed to see the word “Nigger-elsker” (nigger lover) had been scrawled next to his image.
Is this really 2019? “THIS IS Denmark 2019, and not the old South a 100 years ago – I honestly thought this particular wording went out of fashion decades ago,” he told CPH POST. “Now it looks as if racism is showing its ugly face again and, a bit surprisingly, right here in my own quiet and peaceful municipality of Frederiksberg.”
Looks damning for ‘Dr Daterape’ Intriguingly the nationality of the defendant is undisclosed
DOCTOR is currently on trial at Copenhagen City Court, accused of raping two women in March and April 2018 at his flat. The court has heard that the doctor, 32, conducted online searches for ‘daterape’ and ‘drugrape’ – allegedly in a bid to learn how to effectively dose women so they could not stop him raping them. Met via Tinder THE DOCTOR is believed
to have met the first woman via Tinder and the second in a nightclub. In the first of the cases he allegedly used the drug halcion, and in the second scopolamine, which he bought from Alibaba. Remnants of the drugs were found in the women’s urine after the alleged incidents.
Those halcion nights
Damning photos THE DOCTOR, who has been in custody since his arrest last year on May 1, has denied all 15 charges bar one: taking four photos of one of the women while she slept naked, which
were without her consent. Although the nationality of the doctor has not been confirmed, court reporters reveal that while he speaks and understands Danish, he had an interpreter in court. (BH)
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ONLINE THIS WEEK Elegant and expensive RENTALS search engine HomeToGo has ranked Copenhagen as having one of the 30 best nightlifes in Europe, but found it is the seventh most expensive. The capital is let down by having the third dearest taxis. Nightclub entry, on the other hand, was pretty cheap compared to rankings leaders Ibiza and Mykonos. Tbilisi, Bucharest and Belgrade, meanwhile, were the cheapest cities.
Daycare pledge IN LINE with trade union demands, and following parent demonstrations across Denmark, Frederiksberg Municipality has pledged to raise the number of its daycare pedagogues to one for every six kids in the kindergartens (børnehaver) and one for every three at the nurseries (vuggestuer). The proposal should take a year to implement.
Pavement overpayment PEXELS
A MAN WAS shot dead on Helgolandsgade in Vesterbro on May 7. Police suspect the culprit fled in a black Audi that was later found burnt out near Holbæk, where a young man was shot dead on April 28. A day later a 58-year-old woman was bludgeoned to death in her own home in Tisvildeleje in northwest Zealand.
Editorial offices: International House, Gyldenløvesgade 11, 1600 Copenhagen Denmark
16 - 29 May 2019
SOME 4,000 landowners in the capital – mostly in the city centre, Nørrebro, Vesterbro and Christianshavn – overpaid 17.5 million kroner in 2016 and 2017 to a scheme to keep the city’s pavements clean, and now it has emerged that the municipal charges may have been erroneously calculated as far back as 2012.
Hospice bed shortage COPENHAGEN hospices have to reject almost every third person because of a lack of beds. The situation is unchanged since 2017 when more funding was earmarked.
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16 - 29 May 2019
Rival forces are marshalling their troops for the epic struggle ahead
to be seen whether his gamble will pay off.
PAUL MCNAMARA, LAUREN BEAUCHAMP & ALISON GOLD
The old guard ON THE one hand we have the red bloc, comprising Socialdemokratiet, Socialistiske Folkeparti, Enhedslisten, Alternativet and Radikale. Their opponents are the blue bloc: Venstre, Dansk Folkeparti, Konservative, Liberal Alliance and Kristendemokraterne.
UNE 5 SEES a long-awaited general election taking place in Denmark. Lagging in the polls, PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen has gambled on waiting until almost the last minute before calling the election. It remains
WELFARE • Battle severity: Battle of the Bastards • Agent provocateur: Mette Frederiksen • Key incendiary device: Pensions • Potential civil war: DF vs government • Potential casualties: Retirees, benefit recipients
THE WELFARE state remains a cornerstone of Danish life. It is characterised by universality – all citizens in Denmark have the right to free medical help, free hospital treatment, free education and a pension independent of savings and employment.
TAXES • Battle severity: War of Jenkin’s Ear • Agent provocateur: Anders Samuelsen • Key incendiary device: Top tax bracket • Potential civil war: DF vs LA • Potential casualties: Top two tax brackets
CCORDING to Tax Ministry estimates for 2018, Danes paid around 998 billion kroner in taxes and tariffs. That equated to 44.9 percent of the country’s GDP and is one of the highest rates worldwide. However, Denmark has a cradle-to-grave comprehensive welfare
However, do non-western immigrants deserve its benefits on a par with Danes? Can and should Denmark retain a classic welfare society that ensures support for everyone ,or should Danes become accustomed to fewer free services? Here is a rough guide to the main strands of the debate. Red Bloc SOCIALDEMOKRATIET wants a socially just distribution of benefits in society – and thus equal opportunities for everyone. It also argues that any abuses of the system should be punished, and that the number of non-western immigrants in residential areas, schools or educational institutions must not exceed 30 percent. state system, so it could be argued you get a lot for your money. A number of parties in both blocs hold strong views about taxes – and whether to raise or lower them. Red Bloc OVERALL, the red bloc supports taxes as the bedrock of the social system and as part of the labour market security model. Socialdemokratiet moved towards the centre under its former leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who implemented a tax reform to raise the tax threshold for poorer people, as well as lowering taxes for the wealthy. The objective of the party is still to support an equal and just society, so taxes won’t be coming down much an-
Raw recruits SHOULD they manage to gain any seats, Nye Borgerlige and Stram Kurs share a lot of policies with the blue bloc. The independent candidate Klaus Riskær Pedersen is more of an unknown quantity though. CPH POST has put together a guide to three of the major battlefields in the election: health, taxes and welfare. Our next issue will follow up with immigration, climate and education.
Game of clones: the battle for middle ground
With two elections, it will look like Berlin in the 1930s
Alternativet is putting sustainability at the very heart of its policies, including those in the economic and social areas. An equal society is at the heart of everything. It has pledged to work to ensure all public institutions have a formulated strategy that deals with inequality–creating structures. Going to work more radically, Enhedslisten also puts equality, solidarity and freedom first – but wants to abolishing private property rights. Investing more in the welfare state creates more jobs and a stronger economy. Socialistisk Folkeparti promises to fight for a strong public sector, but also thinks more should be done to prevent social problems and enhance social mobility. SF
also wants to crack down on tax havens, under-the-table work and social dumping. The party also intends to equalise the admission requirements for high schools and vocational education. Radikale would like to see more investment in welfare, particularly for vulnerable children, as well as better daycare and help for mentally disadvantaged citizens. It also believes the education system should be more inclusive when it comes to giving a leg-up to children from poorer backgrounds.
ytime soon. Mette Frederiksen, the party’s new leader, promises to “tidy up taxes and fees and pursue tax evasion aggressively”. SF wants to strengthen the welfare state and finance it though a wealth tax and higher taxes on share profits for high earners. It would also like to beef up the tax control system. Alternativet wants to end the current tax moratorium as part of a reform of the way property is taxed. There should also be tax incentives available for companies who move towards more sustainability. There should also be a tax on financial transactions. Radikale, which moves between red and blue blocs, has pledged to overhaul the tax system in order to make it more attractive for people to work more.
Blue Bloc THE BLUE bloc parties tend to disagree a lot – especially when it comes to favouring the rich by jettisoning the top rate tax. Liberal Alliance holds the view that money is best kept in people’s own pockets. If you work, you should be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. One of the party’s hobby horses is lowering the top tax. It also proposes that nobody should have to pay tax on the first 84,000 kroner earned. That would equate to around 7,000 tax-free kroner per month. The PM has been vocal in opposing lower taxes, but has stated that he does not think all tax cuts are wrong. Konservative leader Søren Pape Poulsen would like to see
Blue Bloc DANSK Folkparti has a strong focus on welfare for Danish citizens. Care for the elderly, sick and disabled is a public task.
Hospital waiting lists must be eliminated and more money must be invested to fight cancer. At its core Venstre’s welfare policies are: fewer Danes on public support, increased economic growth and a better and more efficient health service. Liberal Alliance wants to cut the public sector in order to increase efficiency and reduce bureaucracy. The Konservative view favours more community involvement to foster a sense of responsibility amongst friends, family and the community. Targeted help based on the individual is the solution – whether that is help with foster families, hospitals or homes for the homeless. (PM)
corporation tax eliminated to increase Denmark’s international competitiveness. Dansk Folkeparti leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl proposes tax easements of 5 billion kroner to motivate poorer people to take vacant lower-paid jobs. The idea is that it ought to be financially attractive to work rather than being on benefits. Dahl would also like to give tax breaks to those who earn less than 350,000 kroner. DF is also against reducing the top rate tax. Whatever happens on June 5, in order to form a government these parties will have to collaborate to some extent, so it remains to be seen whether the tax cutters or those who want higher taxes on the rich will win the day. (LB)
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HEALTH REFORM • Battle severity: Waterloo • Agent provocateur: Mette Frederiksen • Key incendiary device: Threat of privatisation • Potential civil war: No obvious schisms • Potential casualties: Patients, public workers
EPENDING on the outcome of the election, the way healthcare in Denmark is provided could change dramatically. One of the things on the table for the upcoming election is a potentially major restructuring of the Danish healthcare system: the elimination of the five regions. In his New Year’s speech, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced that he intends to replace them with 21 municipal-level organisations and increased local facilities. Health reform is a major plank in Venstre’s election campaign. Socialdemokratiet, on the other hand, is advocating the retention on the regions, neighbourhood hospitals nearer to citizens, and employing 1,000 more nurses. Personal experience COPENHAGENER Tanja Juhler Maureschat, 23, is very familiar with the healthcare system from a patient’s point of view. Since she was born she has had to frequent various specialists in spina bifida, a chronic condition that can cause weakness in the legs, and other neural challenges. At least every four months Maureschat goes to Rigshospitalet for a minor procedure. She has noticed a great difference before and after the 2007 reform. “Before, I got a time I had to be there and I was seen instantly, but now I am having to wait for three, four, five hours before I’m through,” she said. Others report witnessing hospital staff under increased stress. Centralisation vs decentralisation THE CURRENT regions are composed of publicly-elected officials and were created in 2007 as part of the Danish Municipal Reform. The 2007 legislation consolidated 80 hospitals into 62, with an ultimate goal of 53 hospitals by 2025. “If you carry out this reform, you’ll have a lot more power centralised at a government level and some at the municipalities,” explained Kristian Taageby Nielsen, a consultant at Danish Regions. “You need something in between to balance the two levels. In order to create a
more coherent healthcare sector you need the regions to have a bigger overview than the municipalities, but a more local one than the national government.” Rasmussen said the reform intends to “put the needs of the patient before the system”. Nielsen doesn’t believe the upcoming reform will move Denmark towards a more integrated, seamless, healthcare system. Improving patient experience, he says, is dependent on a stronger communication infrastructure between the hospitals, regions and municipalities – and a larger healthcare workforce. Geographic differences A REPORT by economist Terkel Christiansen at the University of Southern Denmark noted that the 2007 reform, while mostly positive in its impact, led to the closure of local hospitals primarily in rural areas. Maureschat believes the influx of people from these outlying areas to Rigshospitalet is causing longer commutes and increased waiting times for her routine treatments. The new reform, while technically decentralising, probably won’t help alleviate these issues, Nielsen contends. “Of course there will be some problems with waiting times now and again, but it is hard to see how the reform to destructure is going to change this. All we can do is try to build the right hospitals and have the right technologies at the hospitals for patients to have the right treatment.” The 2007 reform aimed to streamline and enhance patient treatment across the nation. The consolidated “super-hospitals” provide the benefit of putting highly specialised professionals in close proximity to one another, enhancing collaboration and communication. These benefits are at the core of the argument for centralisation. Modernising healthcare NIELSEN emphasises that consolidating the hospitals allows for the remaining facilities to obtain the newest and best technologies available. Not only is the system continuing to improve, but centralisation should make allowances for Denmark’s ageing demographic. “A lot of patients both in the future and right now will have a chronic disease – maybe more than one. By centralising at the bigger hospitals you can offer different treatments at the same hospital,” he added. (AG)
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
ONLINE THIS WEEK
MANY PEOPLE living in the German district of Flensburg oppose the construction of a 1.5-metre high fence across the Danish-German border to keep out wild boar and wolves. The fence’s placement in the forest of Kollund Skov would contravene a local statue introduced in 2006, and local Flensburg politicians want it rerouted.
Army assault concerns THE ASSOCIATION for female veterans, Foreningen Kvindelige Veteraner, has called for an investigation into the prevalence of sexual violations in the military. The news comes in the wake of the association receiving about 100 reports over the past two years from women who feel they’ve been sexually violated while serving in the military.
Danish accent is sexy THE DANISH accent is the 16th sexiest in the world, according to a survey of Big 7 Travel readers. The survey didn’t specify whether it was the sexiest accent speaking English or the most alluring mother tongue. Topping the survey were the Kiwi, South African and Irish accents – the exact brogue a traveler might want to hear emerging from the undergrowth in an emergency.
Aarhus top for students AARHUS is the best student city in Denmark in 2019, according to Studentum.dk. Copenhagen came second, followed by Aalborg, Randers and Viborg. Odense was a disappointing 11th place and Esbjerg 16th.
Influential in the EU DENMARK is among the top five most influential countries in the EU, according to a University of Gothenburg survey. Denmark is considered a preferred co-operation partner, the survey found, and punching above its weight in terms of wielding influence in the Council of the EU. The other five were Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Divided by a bridge and feminism FLICKR/DAVID HALL
Opposition to fence
16 - 29 May 2019
In many ways, Denmark and Sweden are very similar, but on women’s rights they couldn’t be more split LAUREN BEAUCHAMP
More reaction in Sweden “I DON’T think that the ad would have got through in Sweden,” Pia Lianno, a Swede who lives in Denmark, told CPH POST. “It feels completely outlandish. But it would definitely spark a debate about sexism and the female body.” According to Professor Rikke Andreasson at Roskilde University, the reaction in Denmark would have been more varied. “Some might see naked female breasts on buses as a sign of Danish liberation, others as a sign of capitalism, and others still as an illustration of how Danish culture objectifies women,” she told CPH POST.
THE FOREIGN minister, Anders Samuelsen, attended a meeting in Nuuk on May 9 concerning expanded American engagement in Greenland, where the US was represented by its secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.
Caught in Rostock
HE OUTCRY that greeted a woman’s naked bust in an advert for breast enhancement on Copenhagen buses in 2014 sported differing reactions in the Nordic world. While the Danes continued to sip their tea, the Swedes couldn’t hold back. Many were outraged.
Minister at Nuuk meeting
A MAN WHO escaped custody at the Eastern High Court on April 30, where his appeal against an eight-year prison sentence for killing somebody in 2017 was being heard, was apprehended in Rostock in Germany after taking a ferry there from Trelleborg in Sweden. Bar a few cycling accidents, the effect was negligible in Denmark
the women profess to be feminists. And this is no surprise to those living there. “For me feminism is about working actively in order to achieve equal political, economically and social rights between genders,” explained Lianno. In Denmark, the definition of the word is viewed somewhat differently. As Charlotte Venvike, a Dane interviewed in Copenhagen recently, told the Guardian: “It depends what you mean. I’m not marching on the streets.”
society – both in Denmark and Sweden.”
Minimally feminist A RECENT You Gov and Cambridge Globalism poll revealed that Denmark is one of the least feminist countries in the developed world. In Sweden, in contrast, 46 of
Feminism in the fabric SWEDEN has been ratcheting up down on its feminist policies in recent years. Just recently it became the first country to use the word ‘feminist’ in its foreign policy. “Our gender equality policy aims to achieve gender equality on all levels: from the economy to education, health, and so on,” added Lianno. “The first step is to acknowledge that we live in an unequal
Negative connatations JUST ACROSS the Øresund, Denmark was the last of the Nordic countries to initiate a feminist political party, Feministisk Initiativ, and when it made its debut in the municipal elections in 2017, it received just 0.7 percent of the vote. Very few Danes back the #MeToo movement – just 4 percent of men and 8 percent of women, according to a recent survey, which was a much lower rate than in Sweden. In a sense, many Danes view their society as equal already, according to Professor Andreassen. “Feminism is often associated negatively with angry women or women who hate men,” she said. “Or feminism is associated with being a victim. Most people don’t want to be victims. Many Danes are in favour of women’s rights and gender equality, but they do not want to label themselves as feminists.”
Free to sell cannabis
Calls for donor blacklist
Fewer legit cigs sold
SPECTRUM Cannabis has become the first Danish enterprise to be given the green light to officially produce medicinal cannabis. Following an 18-month trial, the Lægemiddelstyrelsen medicines agency approved a permit. Spectrum believes its product, which it will start selling to pharmacies and overseas in the autumn, is cheaper and of a better quality than foreign versions.
CONCERNS over large amounts of foreign money supporting the building of mosques have led to the government and Dansk Folkeparti proposing a donor blacklist similar to the one applying to ‘hate preachers’. The immigration and integration minister, Inger Støjberg, would like to see a ban of up to two years for donations of over 20,000 kroner that work against Danish democracy.
DANES paid tax on a reduced number of cigarettes in 2018, according to the Tax Ministry. The number fell by 14 percent to 5.28 billion, suggesting that people are smoking less (possibly at the expense of e-cigarettes) or buying more illicit cigarettes from abroad. Last year, the number of smokers increased for the first time in two decades – a total that includes party smokers.
Cycling offences rare AROUND 5 percent of cyclists break the law, according to research carried out by the Vejdirektoratet traffic body at traffic-light controlled junctions in eight major cities. Of the 28,579 cyclists monitored, there were only 1,649 traffic offences logged.
Jail for Facebook post A 31-YEAR-OLD man from Randers in northeast Jutland has been sentenced to 10 days in prison for writing a detailed post about how to kill wolves in a closed Facebook group. The man denied that the initiative was to encourage people to kill wolves.
Great year for pant DANES returned 200 million more deposit bottles and cans in 2018 than in the previous year, raising the total to 1.4 billion – a saving of 143,950 tonnes of CO2. According to Dansk Retursystem, 90 percent of the pant vessels are returned.
Blaze in national park A HUGE blaze broke out in Stenbjerg Klitplantage, which is part of the national park in Thy in northwest Jutland, on May 7. In dry and windy conditions, 70 firefighters managed to contain the fire.
Climate law enthusiasm SOME 1,045 proposals were submitted by the end of April by citizens eager to contribute to a future climate law. A proposal for a new law is expected in October.
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ONLINE THIS WEEK
FROM 2020 organs can be harvested from people who die due to cardiovascular problems. The parliamentary approval is good news for the 500 Danes currently on the national waiting list, as it will increase the number of organs by around 35 a year. In 2018, 40 people in Denmark died waiting for a new organ.
Infection outbreak A BACTERIAL infection found in the intestines of many animals and common in pigs, yersinia enterocolitica, has been found in 18 Danes since March 30. In related news, the State Serum Institute has confirmed two more cases of measles. One was a female tourist from Russia, and the other a young man in Copenhagen infected by the strain at large in the late winter.
New type of flour bug PEST EXTERMINATORS have warned of a new, more active variety of silverfish – the wingless insects that often find their way into your flour and porridge oats, but consume pretty much anything. The grey, or long tailed, silverfish are “better crawlers”, Rentokil warned TV2.
Tried and trusted DNA IT’S GENERALLY believed a species needs to have a high rate of genetic diversity to survive, but Natural History Museum researchers have proven that the genome of a narwhale from west Greenland goes back millions of years. In related news, seven killer-whales were spotted heading north into the Kattegat on May 5 – the third sighting in two years. Normally, they are seen once every five years.
Survey with porpoise THE UNIVERSITY of Southern Denmark has asked the residents of Funen to help them keep tabs on the porpoises that swim around the island. So far, more than 400 people have downloaded the Marine Tracker app that enables data to be collected.
Boost for organ donations
Climate crawl: Public want faster progress But are they prepared to fly less, eat less meat and drink less milk, asks the Klimarådet council
HE KLIMARÅDET climate council has warned that Denmark is unlikely to fulfil its goal of becoming CO2-neutral by 2050 unless the public make major lifestyle changes. People must fly less, eat less meat, and consume fewer meat and animal products such as eggs and milk, warns the chair of the council, Peter Møllgaard. More research needed “IN THE area of agriculture in particular there is a high degree of uncertainty,” he said. “We must set some research and development in motion now, so we are able to implement its findings after 2030.” The council would like to see the Danish government use surcharges on CO2 emissions as a tool, but cautions it would not be desirable if the surcharges merely moved the emissions problem elsewhere.
The public’s picture differs somewhat from the state
and hydrogen-powered vehicles are needed, Hertel told TV2, and he will be pleased to learn that the Autonomous Mobility company has applied to the Vejdirektoratet transport authority for permission to run up to four driverless electric buses in Østerbro. The buses, which are part of a European four-year pilot scheme and free for the public to use, will follow a 1.3 km circuit around the new Århusgade quarter in Nordhavn between 10:00 and 18:00. Over the next four years, the AVENUE-project will test buses in Copenhagen, Geneva, Lyon and Luxembourg.
emissions by up to 25 percent. Additionally, the government wants to make it more difficult for people to get around the new regulations. A digital control system will be introduced that reads vehicle number-plates automatically to minimise inconvenience caused to commercial traffic by physical zone boundaries.
Driverless bus pilot BETTER incentives to use electric
Law targets old vehicles THE STATE is making progress, but not as quickly as the public would like. Earlier this month it passed a law enabling the tightening up of environmental zones to stop older diesel-powered lorries, buses and vans from entering a number of Danish cities unless they have a particle filter fitted. The law singles out Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg, leaving it up to the cities themselves to decide whether or not to implement the enhanced zones. If fully implemented, the measure could reduce soot particle
Focus on Paris goals IN OTHER related news, a group of 20 Danish municipalities across the country are joining together in a project called DK2020 to put impetus behind achieving the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement. A new recycling centre built from recycled concrete has opened in Sydhavn to enable the city and its residents to radically improve the way they dispose of unwanted household items. Some of the materials will be sold. And a Eurostat report reveals that 20 of the 28 EU member countries managed to reduce their CO2 emissions during 2018. Denmark only finished 18th with a 0.2 percent reduction – a long way behind to top dogs Portugal, Bulgaria and Ireland, while bringing up the rear was Latvia. (CPH POST)
More nature needed!
White Nights upon us
Viking fort application
DENMARK uses 64 percent of its land for agriculture, making it the world’s second-most land-cultivated country, and a UN report has now urged countries like Denmark to dedicate more land to nature. With a million animal and plant species worldwide teetering on the brink of extinction, the UN report urges immediate action.
FROM EARLY May until early August, light from the Sun will always be visible, even after setting. ‘White Nights’ is a little bit like a nightwatchman when you can’t directly see him, but the light from his torch alerts you to his presence. There are three degrees of twilight: Astronomical, Twilight and Civil. The latter is bright enough to play golf in.
FIVE MAYORS have joined forces to obtain UNESCO World Heritage Site listings for the Viking ring forts in their municipalities. The five forts are situated in Jutland, Funen and Zealand and were built during the reign of Harald Bluetooth over 1,000 years ago. Already on the UNESCO list are the Jellinge mounds, Kronborg Castle and Roskilde Cathedral.
Premature death toll THE WILL amongst the public for rapid change is certainly there. In April, a survey revealed that 62 percent would like to see diesel vehicles forbidden in city centres over the next three to years. According to Professor Ole Hertel at Institut for Miljøvidenskab, traffic pollution is responsible for 1,000 premature deaths every year in Denmark – out of around 3,0004,000 fatalities caused by pollution.
Obesity clues at birth
RESEARCHERS from the obese child unit at Holbæk Hospital and the University of Copenhagen claim it is the way the genes of the mother and child interact in the womb that determines the birth-weight, reports DR. Their study of the genetic data of more than half a million people should help to further identify which children have the highest risk of becoming obese.
Battery-powered trains THE STATE railway company DSB, Movia and the Ministry of Transport are carrying out an analysis on the practicality of running direct trains powered by batteries between Copenhagen and Nykøbing Sjælland, reports Ingeniøren. If successful, this could be a much cheaper alternative to installing electric pylons along the railway network.
Funding bias SOME 20 percent of researchers get 90 percent of the available funds, according to a report from the think-tank DEA and the Center for Forskningsanalyse. Male professors in natural sciences are the most favoured recipients, reports Videnskab.dk. This applies to money disbursed by both private and public funds.
Croc in the cliffs THE WHITE cliffs of Stevns Klint have served up another incredible find. Inside a block of chalk, amateur geologist Peter Bennicke discovered the remains of a crocodile that existed some 66 million years ago. The find includes two well-preserved teeth and two crocodilian armour plates. The remains are expected to be displayed at Geomuseum Faxe later this year.
Why breasts tend to boil A TEST carried out by the DR consumer program Kontant reveals that seven out of nine supermarket chicken breasts contain more water than advertised. The ‘Budget’ breast fillets sold in Bilka contained 118 percent more water than was declared. Only breasts produced by Vores Fjerkræ and Rose passed the test.
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
ONLINE THIS WEEK THIS YEAR’S Roskilde Festival is the second-fastest selling in history, relegating 2018 to third place, to trail only 1996. It sold out of its full-festival tickets on May 6. A limited number of one-day tickets are available for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. This year’s Roskilde opens on June 29 and finishes on July 6.
FCK wins Superliga FC COPENHAGEN won the Superliga on May 6 with three games to spare thanks to an exciting 3-2 defeat of Brøndby at Parken. It is their 13th league title since the club’s foundation in 1992.
All set for Eurovision DENMARK will perform seventh in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 16 in Israel. The bookmakers expect Leonora to qualify for the final two days later, but rate her chances of winning at 100/1.
THE ACCLAIMED DR series ‘Bedrag’, which made its debut in 2016, will be remade as an English-language show in Hollywood. Alice Guy Productions has secured the rights to remake all three seasons – the result of DR Salg attending the MIPTV industry fair in Cannes just before Easter.
Precious metals stolen A COLLECTION of about 50 medals and trophies won by the late Danish footballing legend Harald Nielsen have been stolen from Arena Nord in Frederikshavn.
VER 15 MILLION visits were made to the nation’s exhibitions last year – a dip of around 350,000 on 2017, according to Danmarks Statistik. The most popular attraction continues to be the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, which attracted 755,584 visitors, followed by Den Gamle By in Aarhus (546,485), Aros in Aarhus (508,008), New Carlsberg Glyptotek (448,934) and Christiansborg Castle (436,693). The National Museum’s main building was ninth with 365,245, but if all 20 of its locations were included, it would come top with 1,729,101.
Her clothes do the talking
DENMARK is the 12th best country in the world at hosting big sporting events, according to analysis firm Sportcal. It moved up two spots in 2018, while Copenhagen was ranked ninth. The analysis takes into account data accumulated over the last seven years.
New eSport strategy
Straight lines at work, and a long line of visitors
Long way behind Tivoli LOUISIANA has some way to go to become Denmark’s most visited attraction. Figures for 2015 revealed it was number six on the list, a long way behind Tivoli, which with nearly 5 million was easily the most popular.
Completing the top five back then were Dyrehavsbakken (2.7), Legoland (1.7), Copenhagen Zoo (1.148) and Djurs Sommerland (0.802). Nevertheless, Louisiana has maintained its stranglehold on being the most visited museum – a record it has held since 2007.
Hospital’s secret garden
Living his footy dream TWITTER/ MICHAEL PETERSEN
Remake for crime show
Top sports host
LEFTFIELD Theatre had a high number of walk-outs during the four-night run of its new play ‘The Director’ at Teaterøen from April 23-29 – but the play’s actual director, Lee Elms, was delighted.“Audience members swore and yelled at actors … and one woman yelled at an actor, slammed the exit door and could be heard screaming from the lounge,” he enthused. “Cool!”
Not since 2006 has another exhibition venue been more popular than the museum of modern art in Humlebæk
FACEBOOK/ HELENA CHRISTENSEN
Happy with walkouts
Lucky 13 for Louisiana: as popular as ever FACEBOOK/LOUISIANA
Roskilde sells out
16 - 29 May 2019
Thin cozzies, thick skinned
An oasis greets visitors
Michael on hallowed ground
HELENA Christensen is back in the limelight for wearing clothing deemed inappropriate by fashionistas and for contributing to ‘Mystify: Michael Hutchence’, a documentary that looks into the 1992 incident in Copenhagen in which the INXS singer was assaulted by a taxi driver, causing him brain damage. While Christensen spoke extensively to filmmaker Richard Lowenstein, it’s safe to say she won’t be speaking to Alexandra Shulman, the former editor of the British edition of Vogue, who called her out as ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ for wearing a risqué bustier to a recent event. (BH)
A SECRET garden has blossomed at Copenhagen hospital Rigshospitalet. The therapeutic garden, which is intended to create a space of recreation for patients going through cancer treatment, is a smörgåsbord of colours, sound and light. Where there was once a dull, white staircase leading down to the corridors where patients receive radiation therapy, you now enter an artistic creation brought to life by painter Maria Dubin, composer Frederik Magle and light designer Kim Borch. Together they have created an immersive experience: a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ for all to enjoy. (Anna Terp)
WHEN DANISH second tier side Viborg FF took on HB Køge recently, it wasn’t overly surprising to know there was a certain Michael Petersen in the crowd. His name is about as Danish-sounding as it gets, but there’s more to the story behind his presence in the stadium than one might imagine. Petersen is from Minnesota in the US and travelled thousands of kilometres to watch the team he has played in the popular PC game Football Manager for the past decade. As well as multiple Danish Superliga titles, he has twice taken Viborg to the Champions League final – losing both times! (CW)
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THE GOVERNMENT has unveiled its first eSport strategy. An expert panel will assess ways of offering support. In related news, Astralis has become the first team to be ranked number one in the world for a whole year. Since being founded in January 2016, the Danish Counter-Strike giants have earned 42.7 million kroner in prize money.
Fuglsang ranked third DANISH cyclist Jakob Fuglsang has shot up the UCI World Rankings following his triumph in Liége-Bastogne-Liége last month. The Astana rider rose seven spots to second place, although he has since fallen to third.
No repeat triumph THE LAST remaining Dane has been knocked out of the Stanley Cup – two rounds short of the finals. Oliver Bjorkstrand and the Columbus Blue Jackets crashed out to the Boston Bruins in deciding game seven of the second round of the playoffs. Lars Eller, a winner last year, remains the only Dane to have ever won the Stanley Cup.
Towers pipped by Roosters US FOOTBALL team Copenhagen Towers are out of the NEFL League after a 18-22 defeat to Helsinki Roosters in Gentofte on May 11. The Towers had opened their title defence by overcoming the Stockholm Mean Machines 28-25 a week earlier in Sweden.
Top of the bill BRITISH comedian Bill Bailey, a regular contestant on ‘IQ’ who is best known for creating humour out of music, is performing at DR Koncerthuset on October 1. Tickets cost 325 kroner.
16 - 29 May 2019
ONLINE THIS WEEK DENMARK has never had higher inequality, according to a Fagbladet 3F trade analysis of Danmarks Statistik data. Since 1912, the Gini index has been used to measure economic inequality, and it rose from 22.07 in 1987 to 29.32 in 2017. While the poorest 10 percent remain people who have an income of less than 10,600 kroner a month, the wealth of the high-earners has shot up.
Vestas saviour to leave VESTAS chief executive Anders Runevad is stepping down. The 59-year-old Swede is credited with steadying a ship that was in rocky waters when he took over in 2013, the previous two years were generally regarded as a period of crisis. Henrik Andersen, the current CEO of Hempel, will take over on August 1, but Runevad will continue to advise.
Green hue at Danfoss DANFOSS revenues shot up to 11.6 billion kroner for the first quarter of 2019, despite a slowdown in China. Strong sales in North America and western Europe were fuelled by the group’s increasingly green focus and the strong performance of its industrial vehicle and refrigeration units.
Large cuts at Pandora PANDORA is closing down 50 stores (4 percent of its total number) and shedding 1,900 jobs (including 700 production positions in Thailand) following a 12 percent fall in Q1 revenue. Sales at its physical stores decreased by 10 percent, while online trade rose 7 percent. However, its 2019 expectations remain unchanged at a 3-7 percent fall in revenue.
One-week SAS strike ends THE SAS pilots’ strike came to an end on May 2 after they accepted a 3.5 percent rise in their salaries. The seven-day action led to the cancellation of over 4,000 flights, impacting over 400,000 bookings. Exact figures will be confirmed on May 17.
Inequality at a high
Doorstep challenge: recruit workers from within Employment consultancy urges Danish companies to recruit from the foreigners already here, not from overseas MARIA RAMIREZ
ITH DANISH unemployment at around 3 percent, its lowest rate for almost a decade, businesses are in need of more hands. Nevertheless, immigrants are still finding it difficult to find jobs in Denmark. Jayne Watt, an immigrant from the UK, had to walk around her neighbourhood in Copenhagen handing out her resume in order to get hired. Without a bachelor’s degree, Watt said her employment options in Denmark are limited. “Everyone here has the opportunity to get an education,” she said. Because of this, she finds it challenging to compete against her Danish counterparts in the job market. “I have to fight doubly hard if I want to get a job.” More than a welcome WATT IS not the only foreigner who has struggled to get a job in Denmark or in Europe in general. According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate for immigrants in the European Union is 7.5 percent, while for non-immigrants it is 6.9 percent. This is why Karey-Anne Duevang, a fellow Brit, founded Welcome Group Consulting, a company that helps foreigners to enter the workforce and become
Yielded little so far THE STATE has only managed to get 10 million kroner back from the 470 lawsuits it has launched to retrieve 12.6 billion from the tax refund swindle carried out between 2012 and 2015. The state faces an estimated 2 billion kroner in legal fees, but expects eventually to retrieve 6 billion.
Russian fuel accusation
The best candidates are often in plain sight
integrated, whilst also assisting Danish companies that want to hire immigrants. After moving to Denmark, Duevang also found it difficult to get a job. Even though she had held managerial positions in her home country and overseas, her first step up the employment ladder was “a survival job”. This experience, as well as her job as an operations manager, has helped her to better understand the Danish workforce. Not only did she struggle to enter the market, but she was later tasked with hiring and training workers. “That enabled me to be on both sides of the fence,” she said. More effort needed THE IRONY is that Danish employers are in dire need of workers, but often face hurdles to take on suitable internation-
als. In October, the Ministry of Employment launched a program intended to “make it easier and less bureaucratic for Danish companies to attract and employ foreign labour”. Duevang believes the emphasis should not just be placed on bringing in more immigrants, but on hiring those already in the country. And another priority, she adds, should be integrating them. “Getting them here is one obstacle. Getting them to stay is the next,” Duevang said. Steen Nielsen, the deputy head of the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), has a similar perspective. “It is absolutely vital that we as a society make a great effort to integrate them into the workforce,” he recently said.
Arla on target
Refugee boost for state
Pension reform finalised
ARLA’S efforts will cut its CO2 emissions by 7,330 tonnes this year. The measures include using bio-based plastic to produce 600 million milk cartons and making 560 million yogurt pots recyclable. Overall, Arla intends to cut its CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2030 at a rate of approximately 8,000 tonnes a year and to be CO2-neutral by 2050.
SOME 24,000 refugees aged 21-64 who have been in Denmark for at least three years have found employment – up from 11,000 in 2015. Kristian Jensen, the finance minister, has described their employment as a “billion kroner boost to the economy”, as the state earns roughly 300,000 kroner every time one is employed.
WITH THE support of Dansk Folkeparti and Radikale, the government’s pension reform will enable worn-out workers (those judged unable to work more than 15 hours a week) to retire six years earlier than the current retirement age of 67. The reform will also provide more favourable economic terms for those who want to top up their pension with part-time work.
DAN-BUNKERING has been accused of selling 30,000 tonnes of jet fuel to Russian forces operating in Syria between 2016 and 2017. The Middelfart-based company insists it does not deliver fuel to any entities on the EU sanctions blacklist introduced in 2014, but DR claims it has evidence to the contrary.
Brits love deprecation BRITS have responded well to Carlsberg’s latest advertising campaign in which it has retweeted a number of negative comments made about its beer – comparing it to the “rancid piss of Satan”, “a bitter divorce” and “the bath water your Nan died in” – and then made a video showing its employees reacting to them.
Fur flies at producer KOPENHAGEN Fur will this summer lay off a fourth of its workers (between 130 and 150 employees) in response to a fall in demand for its skins, reports Landbrugsavisen. For example, mink production has fallen by 30 percent of late – a blow to Danish interests that hold a 40 percent market share worldwide.
House price increase HOUSE prices have risen 2.1 percent since April 2018 to equal a decade high of 14,057 kroner per square metre, according to Boligsiden, which expects prices to continue rising.
Organics on the rise ORGANIC food sales rose by 14 percent in Denmark in 2018 to total 12.9 billion kroner, according to Danmarks Statistik. Fruit and vegetables accounted for 38 percent of the increase.
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
16 - 29 May 2019
Failed by society: why autistic kids in Denmark aren’t going to school A 2012 policy aimed to integrate special needs students into regular classrooms, but it has mostly been a failure, contend experts ERIC BENNINGHOFF
ORE THAN a third of autistic kids in Denmark aren’t going to school, according to a new survey conducted by Autism Denmark, an organisation committed to improving the quality of life of individuals with the disorder. Of the 35 percent not attending, some have been absent for five years.
2012 law to blame HEIDI Thamestrup, the president of Autism Denmark, blames the country’s 2012 Inclusion Law for the increasing trend among autistic kids aged six to 16, which her organisation has been observing ever since it started yearly inclusion surveys in 2013. The inclusion law aimed to transfer more children with special needs from special schools to general public schools. It set a target of 96 percent of the entire student body in Danish public schools receiving their education in regular classrooms by 2015. “Inclusion in Denmark is just a word … it means nothing,” Thamestrup contended. “The politicians who made the 2012 law had a lot of power but no knowledge. They didn’t understand what the consequences could be if it wasn’t implemented properly. No one understood how complex this would be.” Lacking the budget THAMESTRUP contends that the Inclusion Law was created to save the government money by shifting kids from more expensive special schools to mainstream schools, without providing them with the necessary support to be able to succeed. The budget in schools for special education students is very low, explains Thamestrup, and teachers
in mainstream classrooms often don’t have the knowledge and training required to support and include children with autism. As a result, these kids are frequently not receiving the proper treatment in mainstream settings and dropping out of the school system. Thamestrup believes the Inclusion Law is part of a larger political movement aimed at initiating cutbacks in the welfare state, which includes spending less money on special needs individuals. “Those who feel it the most – and feel it first – are those with the strongest needs, such as kids with autism,” she said. Emilie’s example “THEY’RE not home because they don’t want to learn – but because the framework around the learning prevents them from being able to do it,” concurred Liselotte Hyveled, the chairman of the Danish Disability Council, whose now grown-up daughter Emilie has autism. Emilie started at a private school – which worked well until she was diagnosed at the end of the seventh grade. She then left school during the first week of the eighth grade and sank into a suicidal depression that kept her out of the system for two years. She wanted to get an education, but was bullied and wanted nothing to do with neurotypical children – those without neurological illnesses or disorders. “Emilie went from thinking she was different, to realising she was different, but by no means inferior,” explained Hyveled. “She had to learn to use this to her advantage, instead of letting it bring her down.” After being re-integrated into a small special needs school, Emilie got into the specially supported Higher Preparatory program for people with autism. But she only lasted five days because of the overwhelming public transport scene she had to face at Nørreport Station during her commute each day. Hyveled laments the absence
of a private bus to take the kids to school, as she thought it was a great program, but at a non-ideal location. “A more individual, flexible environment is needed,” she concluded. Now 22, Emilie is completing her education online, and she hopes to become a fantasy writer. Inclusion can work … TINNE Steffensen, an analyst with the Danish Institute for Human Rights’ disability team, is an advocate of inclusion. “In general, inclusion is something to be aimed at because it brings down the barriers of segregated education systems,” she said. “But of course, it’s important to look at the barriers in typical public schools for people with special needs.” According to Steffensen, the state has a commitment to provide “reasonable accommodations” to these individuals, because Denmark is a ratifier of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This entails providing the necessary modifications needed to bring down the barriers that prevent people with special needs from properly accessing equal education. One size does not fit all BUT HYVELED is not so sure, as “neurodiverse kids are all different”, and this creates problems. “As they are much more sensitive to outer stimuli and the need for structure, it is important to access and apply individual solutions when attempting to integrate children with autism in ordinary schools,” she contended. In other words, a ‘one size fits all’ structure is not sufficient. Accommodations such as smaller classrooms, quiet lunch areas and sensory tools can be essential for the success of some of these kids. “In addition, it is a prerequisite for successful integration that the teachers and staff have sufficient information about the disability in question to apply and understand the appropriate support,” added Hyveled.
Liselotte Hyveled and her daughter Emilie
Harmful to society THAMESTRUP is adamant the current system is harmful. “As it is at present, we are hurting these kids,” she said. “They have potential, but they’re not getting a chance right now.” While the learning curve becomes steeper for the students, diminishing their possibilities of breaking into the workforce, there are also negative repercussions for society at large, according to Hyveled. The parents of kids with autism not attending school may have to stay home and quit their job, and they have a higher chance of becoming divorced. Society, meanwhile, is losing out financially by not utilising the full potential of all its citizens. The stress can often lead to depression. According to Thamestrup, many psychiatrists have told her her that they’re seeing more kids with autism between the age of seven and nine contemplating suicide than ever before. Nevertheless, the Inclusion
Law has had a beneficial impact on some individuals with less complex needs, according to Steffensen. “There have been children who have gained from it, and children who haven’t,” she said, citing positive effects such as improvements in grades and an overall movement towards greater inclusiveness for those who’ve been able to integrate more easily. Better integration needed MOVING forwards, Thamestrup hopes to see better integration of children with autism into the education system. The well-being, participation and development of autistic kids within their school settings, she contends, is at the core of what real inclusion should look like. Both the student, and those looking in from the outside, should be able to feel it. “We need to ask ourselves how we can get the best out of the talents people have,” Hyveled concluded.
Heidi Thamestrup: “Inclusion is just a word ... it means nothing”
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DANIEL K REECE MIND OVER MANAGING Daniel is the managing director of Nordeq Management (nordeqmanagement.com), managing cross-border investment projects with a focus on international corporate and tax law issues. Educated as a lawyer, Daniel also teaches in the International Business and Global Economics department at DIS Copenhagen. Daniel is passionate about mindfulness as a means of personal transformation.
Bigger issues in play THIS IS like a family arguing over which TV channel to watch while the house is on fire. There is only one issue of our times, and it is not immigration, although it is linked to it. Preventing catastrophic climate change is our priority and obligation. Some 50 percent of all carbon emissions released into the atmosphere have happened over the last 30 years, and 85 percent since World War II. This is on us, and future generations
Gareth (email@example.com), who has a passion for creativity and innovation in business, has been the CEO of the British Chamber of Commerce in Denmark since the start of 2017. Gareth has a background in management consultancy working for Price Waterhouse, PwC Consulting and IBM, and he also teaches at Copenhagen Business School.
Business and football ties THE RECENT extraordinary games involving Liverpool and Tottenham have been a catalyst for positive conversation and a refreshing change from the Brexit discussion – even with people who would normally not support these two teams, The unexpected outcomes, leading to two English teams qualifying for the Champions League final, has already generated a lot of discussion about leadership, inspiration, teamwork, diversity and taking opportunities. There is no doubt there are
IN 2 ISSUES
GARETH GARVEY UK-DK TRADE
The Valley of Life
We're Welcome – Honest!
Danish Capital in 2019
will hold us responsible for our actions – then and now. Inspiration from Britain SOME INSPIRATION for optimists recently came from an unlikely source: central bankers and politicians in the UK. Britain has been ridiculed in recent months for its inability to deal with Brexit. Nevertheless, amid the political chaos, the civil disobedience campaign led by Extinction Rebellion and School Strike 4 Climate has put the environment at the top of the agenda in the UK like never before. And recently there have been two major developments. Strong examples FIRSTLY, the UK’s MPs have unanimously endorsed a motion to declare a formal climate and environmental emergency. Formal advice was passed to the governsome important business lessons to be found here. Business people keep telling me they need clarity in relation to Brexit, and while this is understandable, we must make sure we are not paralysed by the uncertainty and we remain alert to take opportunities as they arise. It’s been an education OVER THE same period, I was reminded of the strong links between Denmark and the UK in business education when I met a great group of people from the Møller Institute, a leadership development and conference centre at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. The centre was built with a donation from the AP Møller & Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation, designed by Henning Larsen and has a focus on
Is Lars as focused on Denmark’s youth as he should be?
ment to set a legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. This target includes flying, shipping and all greenhouse gases, and it allows no offsetting of emissions abroad – making it the toughest of any major economy. Secondly, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, together with his French counterpart François Villeroy de Galhau, recently endorsed an initial report representing a coalition of 34 central banks. The Network for Greening the Finandeveloping leaders who make a positive difference. BCCD and its predecessor organisations recognise the business benefits of international education and has a long history of working with top educational institutions and their students in both Denmark and the UK. We will continue to do this and, in the autumn, we are planning an exciting leadership and market expansion trip to the UK that will combine education (London Business School), company visits and, subject to next season’s fixture list, the Premier League. Keep an eye on our website or contact me directly!
cial System will attempt to put climate change and its threat to the financial system at the heart of global financial policy. The root cause IRONICALLY, if climate change issues are not dealt with, then the world will see a migration problem unparalleled in human history. For now, as well as being the generation most responsible for climate change, we could also prove we are up to the challenge of tackling it. MAX PIXEL
VER THE last few weeks it has been interesting to discover how many Danish business people have strong loyalties to English football teams.
LARS LØKKE RASMUSSEN/FACEBOOK
PARLIAMENTARY election will take place in Denmark on June 5. Due, not least, to the hatespeech mongers and racists vindicated at Stram Kurs gaining the necessary endorsements to take part in these elections, it is expected that immigration will again be the central theme.
No cockerels coming to roost?
So much in common THESE sporting and educational connections demonstrate how much the UK and Denmark have
in common, strengthen our business connections, and help us to spot new business opportunities. All of this give me confidence that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, Denmark and the UK will continue to be strong business partners and, although there will be plenty of challenges, there will be many great opportunities for companies that remain alert and ready to take them.
IN 3 ISSUES
IN 4 ISSUES
IN 5 ISSUES
Fit For Business
Give Yourself a Chance
21st Century Alchemy
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
Democracy at work in Euro elections
Positivism not PC MOST PARTIES don’t considered it politically correct to express positive and constructive attitudes towards the EU unless they are followed by a ‘but’ – if for no better reason than to prevent Dansk Folkeparti controlling the floor. Even Dansk Folkeparti has modified its rhetoric since the Brexit chaos in the UK. On May 26 Denmark will elect its representatives. It’ll be interesting to see how an apparent set-back for DF will influence the election. Last time Morten Messerschmidt won a landslide victory, but since then his credibility has taken a dive, and this time he’s running for Folketinget and not the European Parliament. This time, the anti-EU party Folkebevægelsen mod EU is being challenged by Enhedslisten – the socialist left wing – and that might split the votes. The remaining parties should be able to
deliver a united Danish backing for the the European Parliament to make the Danish voice heard instead of wasting time and influence on individual crusades.
Born in India, adopted by Britain, Smitha (chaplain@ st-albans.dk) is the new chaplain of St Alban’s Church. In the UK, along with being a Church of England priest, she travelled Europe working as an English teacher, trainer and examiner. Smitha continues to work in an advisory and advocacy capacity at a national level on matters of liturgy and social justice
Jettison the opt-outs THE FOUR Danish op-outs are no longer relevant, but few politicians dare to propose a referendum to make them go away. Not that they cannot be worked around, but they are still a pain in the neck when it comes to fully-fledged political initiatives, which can be advantageous for a small country in a large forum. Among these is manoeuvering Margrethe Vestager into position to become the chair of the European Commission. Some Danish politicians are eager to prevent her returning to Denmark where her charisma could upset the present political balance. Big issues communal THE CANDIDATES are also infected by negative attitudes. They claim to work for Danish interests, but at the same time want to make sure the EU doesn’t become more federal. This means sacrificing big issues such as climate change, border controls, environmental controls and control of financial institutions – all of which need common regulation. Let’s hope the Danes make the right choices and elect people who will make the EU strong instead of risking its implosion. Hungary and Poland will have to be called to order, and that needs more than the voice of the speaker in the UK Parliament, who has become world-famous for his calls for order again and again in vain. Democracy does not come easy, but it is the best we’ve got. (ES)
LECTIONS have been called for both the European and Danish Parliaments only a couple of weeks apart – which is great for multi-party democracy. However, even after 50 years the EU election remains at the back of most Danes’ minds. A recent survey showed the majority of young Danes couldn’t recall the name of even one of the present Danish representatives to the European Parliament. It has been mainstream amongst Danish parties to express scepticism towards the EU. Only Radikale has constantly expressed support – mainly because it considers the EU the security umbrella needed to avoid civil war and foreign aggression rather than NATO.
16 - 29 May 2019
REVD SMITHA PRASADAM
Make it Great Prayer Day, Month and Year
E ARE TOLD endlessly that we live in a global village, and now there’s almost instant communication around the globe. There’s a degree of interconnectedness we could never have dreamt of even 20 years ago. Is this what the Kingdom will look like? Money talks IN SOME ways, globalisation is wonderful. Never before have we been in so much contact with people from other cultures and traditions. We’re beginning to recognise we are truly each other’s brothers and sisters. Sadly, the global village is also a curse held together by trade, which not only enriches but impoverishes. It is sometimes also linked together by violence – witnessed horrifically on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, and generally and continually through the mafia, money laundering, human trafficking, civil wars and the drugs trade. In the global village, hundreds of languages are spoken – yet it seems to me there is one domi-
nant language: money. Everything can be converted into money and money into everything – even though money itself is becoming increasingly intangible as digits twinkling on a mobile or computer screen. We often bend our knees before the false god of wealth in which many kingdoms grow. Thy kingdom come THE KINGDOM of God is justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It operates in a different language altogether – working within us in a more beautiful and subtle way, witnessing global and transnational forces, and making us attentive to other accents and other human stories. I want to tell you about a global phenomenon that began in 2016. The brainchild of the archbishops of Canterbury and York, it is a global call to prayer from Ascension Day to Pentecost. Using a line from the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come”, it encourages us all to pray for five people to know Jesus Christ.
Starting first in the churches of the UK, it is now a global, ecumenical movement. Pentecost, when the babble of Babel was transformed into understanding and mutuality, marks the birthday of the church. It was nothing short of the global future of a baby born in Bethlehem, whose message filters and reaches into the whole world for whom it is destined. From 20 May to June 9 (if not all the time), we need to cherish personal encounters, local voices and small stories so we are able to reach the hearts and minds of friends and strangers – speaking with the spaciousness of the word of God, for then we will truly begin to glimpse what it means to be children of the Kingdom and pray “thy kingdom come” with a fervour. Ahead of the game? ST ALBAN’S Church will be open every day from 10 am to 4 pm during this period. Why not come and be part of the movement of prayer and change in which the Spirit of God speaks to our hearts with disturbing peace? My own prayer is that we will be swept away by a globalising force that is as mighty as rushing wind, gentle as breath and all-consuming as fire. My desire is that our hearts and minds will be enlightened to seek justice and know God. My wish is that each of us is emboldened to speak on behalf of those who suffer injustice. My longing is that five people in the season will come to know the love of God and seek treasure that will not fail. Join this takeover bid and pray “thy kingdom come!” But then again, perhaps Denmark was always one step ahead with the Great Prayer Day?
16 - 29 May 2019
OPINION IAN BURNS
An Actor’s Life
The Road Less Taken JESSICA ALEXANDER
A resident here since 1990, Ian Burns is the artistic director at That Theatre Company and very possibly Copenhagen’s best known English language actor thanks to roles as diverse as Casanova, Shakespeare and Tony Hancock.
Mishra’s Mishmash MRUTYUANJAI MISHRA IN 2 ISSUES
ITH THE General Election in Denmark comes the televised party leader debates – virtual chaos as 12 politicians clamber for their turn to share the mic with Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen. Too much balance THIS GOODWILL to give all the parties an equal opportunity can backfire in these increasingly populist times. Recently I heard that BBC News is committed to being even “more balanced” with its coverage of politics, and I dread to see how that manifests itself. It was my impression that the corporation was already cutting corners in its bid to have so-called experts representing both sides of the argument for the sake of balance. Brexit was an obvious example, with dodgy Nigel Farage, one of the orchestrators of the vote through his long-term leadership of UKIP (UK Independence Party), in constant demand. I fear for the future of English politics if his like is allowed to continue to dominate our airwaves for the sake of balance. Poisonous Paludan NOT TO be outdone here, in one of the happiest countries in the world, we have a new Danish nationalist-nutter to spill your milkshake over. His name is Rasmus Paludan. Such is the respect of the media for all electable politicians, you can see the montage now, starting with a close-up of Mrs Paludan saying: “He was a very lovely lad when he was a boy, but he was never the same after we dropped him on his head.” Why does the taxpayer have
Crazier than Christmas VIVIENNE MCKEE
Early Rejser ADAM WELLS
IN 3 ISSUES
ZACH KHADUDU Independent of the fascists, fanatics and flatulence
to pay for his police protection when he spouts his poison in public? Surely he can find his own sponsors to advertise on his shirt, so we can all see where he gets his funding from. Imagine if all politicians had to do that? I said “bus stop”! ENVISAGE a different report, this time with a voiceover from a BBC newsreader. “With each passing flatulent-filled minute, Brexit continues to drive the nation mad with boredom and anxiety, and the frustration felt by many is palpable. People are falling asleep on their way to work, arguing on the street, mishearing backstop every time someone says bus stop …” Cut to vox pop with Ian Burns, a hairy 60-plus Scot based in Copenhagen. “Wave after wave of incensed injustice is beginning to surge down from that bit at the top of the map of the disunited queendom called Scotland, and English arrogance will no longer be able to stop the tide towards the inevitability of Scottish independence. Many Scots who can’t vote anywhere can’t wait to get their hands on a Scottish and European passport.”
Time for a clean-up SADLY, though, there are more important issues at hand. My selfish generation has stupidly destroyed the planet. I apologise. We have sucked its resources dry in record time to increase our profits. Incessant greed has won over common sense. We’ve shamelessly brushed nuclear waste under the carpet for future generations to clear up, but the profits have not been shared. They’re simply stored away in tax havens by the obscenely rich, who have already built massive underground bunkers with access to clean water, livestock, sex-slaves and air-filters in anticipation of the total chaos that might come. They’ll need people to care for their every need, so a few of us might be chosen and, like the subservient fools we are, we’ll just tug our forelocks and be bloody grateful. Many extinct species are already calling to us from their graves, and more will soon follow, but there’s still the hope that this younger generation will demand cleaner politics for a cleaner world for everyone.
A Dane Abroad KIRSTEN LOUISE PEDERSEN IN 4 ISSUES
Mackindergarten ADRIAN MACKINDER
Straight, No Chaser STEPHEN GADD
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
16 - 29 May 2019
PHOTOS BY HASSE FERROLD
A gathering of the African ambassadors at the South African Embassy on April 17 was well attended. Among those there were (left-right) Ghanaian ambassador Amerley Awua-Asamoa, Benin’s ambassador Eusebe Agbangha, South African ambassador Zindzi Mandela, Niger’s ambassador Amadou Tcheko, Burkina Faso’s ambassador Maria-Goretti Agaleoue, Ugandan ambassador Nimisha Madhvani, the Cote d´Ivoire chargé, Moroccan ambassador Khadija Rouissi and Libyan ambassador Mohamed Selim
The Latvian Embassy, in co-operation with the Danish Cultural Institute, proudly presented ‘The Mover’, the opening film of the Baltic Frames Film Festival on May 7. Among those present were (left-right) Lithuanian ambassador Ginte Bernadeta Damusis, Latvian ambassador Alda Vanaga, Turkish ambassador Uğur Kenan İpek, Czech ambassador Radek Pech, Austrian ambassador Maria Rotheiser-Scotti and Cinemateket program director Jesper Andersen. The festival will continue until May 19
South Korean ambassador Choi Jai-Chul (red tie) was the proud host of the performance ‘Scent of Ink’at Det Ny Teater on April 13. Performed by his homeland’s NDCK National Dance Company, the staging was part of the celebrations to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations with Denmark
EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager (centre right) was the guest of honour at the European Business Summit at BLOX to mark Europe Day on May 9 where she shared a panel debate that included British ambassador Dominic Schroeder (centre left) to address the future of the continent
Israeli ambassador Benjamin Dagan was the proud host of the opening of the ‘Beyond Duty’ exhibition at City Hall on April 8, which saluted the mostly unsung heroes who aided countless Jews to survive the Holocaust
Romanian ambassador Mihai-Alexandru Gradinar (standing, centre) was one of the guest speakers at the April edition of the International Copenhagen Club
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A great many members of the diplomatic corps gathered at the Polish Embassy in Hellerup on May 7 to celebrate the country’s Constitution Day. Among those gathered were (left-right) Serbian ambassador Jasmina Mitrovic Maric, Indian ambassador Ajit Vinayak Gupte, Polish ambassador Henryka Mościcka-Dendys, Italian ambassador Luigi Ferrari and his wife, Albanian ambassador Elida Petoshati and Finnish ambassador Vesa Vasara
Romanian ambassador Alexandru Grădinar, along with his wife Andreea (right), invited Margareta, the custodian of the Romanian crown, along with her husband Prince Radu to a special reception at his residence on April 30
Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein (left) was the esteemed guest at an event organised by Danske Medier at Axelborg on May 7, where he took the stage with American Club Copenhagen president Spencer Oliver, a former executive director of the Association of State Democratic Chairmen, whose phone was tapped at the Democratic National Committee headquarters inside the Watergate Building during the infamous break-in
Are you looking for a church to call home? There's a place for you!
levende kirke femagervej 39, hvidovre Georgian ambassador Gigi Gigiadze (centre left) was present at a lecture at the University of Copenhagen on April 15 that touched on his country being Jason’s destination in his hunt for the Golden Fleece
16 FOOD & DRINK THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
16 - 29 May 2019
Sip away the evening in Copenhagen’s timeless cocktail lounge BRØNNUM August Bournonvilles Passage 1, Cph K; open daily 11:00-02:00; lunch served 11:00-15:30; cocktails 120160kr, non-alcoholic cocktails 70kr; bronnumcph.dk EMILE YOUNG
EHIND the heavy doors of Brønnum, time stands still. Ranked as Europe’s 14th best cocktail bar by travel site Big 7 Media, we had to see what the hype was about. Brønnum is located by Kongens Nytorv and is quintessentially Danish in its understatement. Though its location has also been home to either a bar or a cafe almost continuously for the past 255 years, Brønnum isn’t weighed down by its history. Instead, the cocktail lounge incorporates historical pieces into an inviting, modern setting. As my friend Tristan and I walked in, we felt like we were stepping into a friend’s living room – a slightly upscale friend’s.
Posh but inviting WE WERE led from the bar counter seating in the entryway through a warm chandelier-lit room buzzing with low laughter to a secluded section in the back lined with velvety couches and poufs. A glass door to our side led into a lit courtyard. For a bar that is so luxurious, Brønnum manages to be
warm and comfortable. The bar is arranged to facilitate small conversations, with each booth partially sectioned off from neighbouring booths. Tristan pointed at the wall behind me and laughed. A painted Jimi Hendrix gazed soulfully over our heads. Before the evening, we’d exchanged a flurry of texts: what’s the dress code, is there a dress code? Leaning back amidst the Belle Époque and Art Deco vibe of the place, we were glad we’d decided on semi-formal cocktail attire. Stories from the past THE STAFF who occasionally checked on us were extremely professional and down-to-earth. Showing us around the premises, Grégoire, our waiter, told us stories from the bar’s past. “This place is a former opera house. Sometimes, customers in their 50s would tell me: ‘I met my wife here 20 years ago.’ The back bar used to be a place where couples would sneak off to, but now it’s a place you can reserve for parties. Or, we also open it up on busy weekend evenings,” Grégoire revealed. Tasting the classics IN APRIL, Brønnum debuted its spring cocktail menu, and we were lucky enough to sample it. We started with variations on two classic drinks: the CPR Margarita and the Clover Club Sour. Both were very simple yet elegant in their presentation. The margarita has a small pop of pineapple, but the flavour
doesn’t overpower the lime or tequila. The drink ends on a light jalapeño aftertaste, which gives the classic drink a slight sparkle. The sour, on the other hand, starts sweet, followed by sour, and ends on a bittersweet note. “It’s a rainbow of the whole palate but with a nostalgic sweetness,” observed Tristan. Mixing it up OUR SECOND drinks, the Matcha Mint Julep and Just Dill With It, were more daring. The julep is refreshing but with a strong kick thanks to a velvety taste of bourbon and the slight bitterness of matcha, a traditional Japanese ceremonial green tea. On the other hand, I was surprised by the Just Dill With It. This drink has an amazing pop of dill in a sweet and sour drink that is held down by tart gin mixed with a subtle lambic beer base. A smooth finish THE STAR of the night was our final drink, the Naughty Alexander. A dessert cocktail, the Alexander is strong with hints of bourbon and rum without being too creamy or sweet. When paired with a dried apricot bite, the tang of the snack pops the drink’s sweetness and balances its overall smoothness. As we wandered back out onto the streets once more, we realised the hours had just flown by at Brønnum. If you’re looking for a short retreat from the fast pace of Copenhagen life, swing by for a drink or two in this timeless bar.
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King of comedy departs: Jay says “Goodbye” when we had barely said “Hello” Departing Improv Comedy Copenhagen artistic director Jay Sukow brought invaluable experience to his role, but he also learned a few lessons of his own ALI GOLD
AUGHTER is often called the universal language. But in the world of comedy, where so much relies on double meanings and wacky figures of speech, humour doesn’t always translate – even when everyone is speaking English. Autumnal start IMPROVISATION comedy teacher Jay Sukow learned this lesson pretty quickly after making the move from Los Angeles to Copenhagen in October. “Copenhagen is a very unique city because people are fluent and learn English from early on,” he told CPH POST. “But even though they speak English, they don’t necessarily understand certain phrases or references. I’ve noticed that when you play more physical and less verbal in your choices onstage, people can relate to that a lot more. How people act is more universal.” Brits and Americans tend to be more verbal in their comedy, he has noticed. When teaching and performing for international audiences, as Sukow has done for the past seven months at the Improv Comedy Copenhagen (ICC) theatre, it is important to
interact with the audience using physical cues as well. Summer loving SUKOW has also taught in Spain, which was more of a challenge. “When you go to another country where [English is not widely spoken], you have to adjust how you communicate,” confided Sukow. “Even when I’m teaching, I might say: ‘Don’t throw your scene partner under the bus,’ and people might take it literally.” After attending a comedy festival in Spain last year, he met representatives from ICC who offered him a seven-month contract as the artistic director, head of training and teacher. On May 1 that contract ended, and Sukow headed back to Los Angeles to continue a stateside career that started in 1992. In his early days, he trained under several US comedian superstars, including Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert. “If you had told me then that there would be festivals around the world where people would be improvising, I wouldn’t be able to comprehend it,” he said. Spring in his step SUKOW ended his stay in Denmark by attending the sixth annual Copenhagen International Improv Festival in mid-April. The festival, which attracts international visitors from countries as far flung as New Zealand, was
a marked success and a highlight of Sukow’s experience in Copenhagen. “It was amazing to see everyone coming together to celebrate what this art form is, and because it’s Copenhagen it’s almost a celebration of ‘we’ve gotten past the darkness and cold of winter,’” he said. Seeing the city “explode with energy” at the recent emergence of the spring weather has been particularly enjoyable, according to Sukow. Another special part of the festival: many of his friends came from the United States to Copenhagen to teach alongside him. With seasoned pros “I GUARANTEE that if everybody took one improv class, the world would be a better place. You are focused on the ensemble and making good choices,” he said. “You will laugh, but there’s no pressure to be funny. You’re never by yourself – it’s all about games and play.” Sukow emphasises that everyone going to an improv class for the first time is nervous and hesitant. However, the lessons learned in practice can be useful in making friends, succeeding in a team, and interacting with co-workers. ICC provides instruction and shows in English, making it the perfect place for expats to find friends, branch out and build a network and home in Copenhagen.
Modest Jay stalled on sharing a photo of himself and Steve Carrell
Wintry wonderland AHEAD of returning home, Sukow was looking forward to it, but also a little sad to be leaving. “This is a second home for me now, and I can’t see myself not ever coming back,” he said. Since moving to Denmark, Sukow has most missed his family and friends, his favourite park near his home, and his favorite burger place in California. Now that he is preparing to head back home, he has begun to
reflect on what has made his time in Copenhagen so wonderful. “What I’ll miss most is the people. Anybody who takes an improv class or who performs – they are the most interesting, smart people. You encounter that the world over and you can’t replace that,” he said. “You have a dinner party and you look across the room and see people from all over the world. And Copenhagen allows that to happen because there are so many expats here. I’m going to really miss that.”
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
OUT AND ABOUT
Her speech on the subject ‘Leadership is the thing that you think you cannot do,’ addressed ‘glosspphobia’ – the fear of making a speech – and detailed its many symptoms, which include increased blood
pressure, perspiration, a dry mouth, the stiffening of the upper back muscles, intense anxiety, nausea and a feeling of panic. But the pros outweigh the cons, she told those gathered,
ALL PHOTOS: TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL
UIRE Vuolasvirta (second right) was the guest of honour at a recent meeting of Toastmaster International (toastmasters. dk/clubs) in Copenhagen on March 8.
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who all nodded knowingly as she said: “We’ve all been there.” Other speakers (left-right from centre right) included Asger Lindholdt, the CEO of talerne.dk, who spoke about how storytelling can really grab
people’s attention, meeting chair Sarah Macphee, the Toastmaster International club growth director for the Nordics and Germany, and Karin Hulgaard from Haldor Topsøe. DAVE SMITH
ELLAHØJ Hallerne in Brønshøj was the place to be on April 13 for the Copen-Netball tournament, an event organised by the capital’s only team, at which it competed against rivals from cities
such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Stockholm. On this occasion the organisers welcomed an esteemed guest, South African ambassador Zindzi Mandela (centre right: left). Every Wednesday some
15-25 people – mostly women, although there are a few men who regularly attend and compete – gather at Bellahøj Stadium, Hall 2 to train from 20:00 until 22:00 (the first two training sessions are free).
BOOKS & COMPANY FACEBOOK PAGE
Glitter, glamour and girl power are showcased at Carina Axelsson’s launch of the alternative princess narrative ‘Royal Rebel’(May 15, 17:00-19:00; Books and Company, 1 Sofievej, Hellrup; free adm, booksandcompany.dk)
If you’re new to Copenhagen and fancy volunteering at different institutions, International House CPH has you covered. A lack of Danish skills isn’t a problem (May 23, 17:00-20:00, Gyldenløvesgade 11, Cph V; free adm)
Enjoy comedy with a cocktail included in your ticket price to help get rid of those pre-show jitters (May 16 & 23, 20:00-21:30; Copenhagen Improv, Frederiksholms Kanal 2, Cph K; 80kr, improvcomedy.eu)
Been wanting to give acting a try? This free session gives you the chance. Come and read, or just sit and listen! (May 20, 18:30-21:00; The Globe, Nørregade 45, Cph K; free adm)
Zimbabwean, Australian, New Zealand and Danish players. And they enjoy an active social calendar. Every month, they hold a beer night, and they’re never short of an excuse to hold a get-together. DAVE SMITH
COMING UP SOON
The mixed team competes in international tournaments, and it is always on the lookout for new players. The club is made up of lots of different nationalities, including British, Irish, South African,
ALL PHOTOS: COPENHAGEN NETBALL CLUB
Neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer is here to explain the impact of too much digital media use, and for that you’ll need some cocktails (May 18, 20:00, Grey Hall, Christiania, Refshalevej 2, Cph K; 75-150kr)
It is Eurovision time again. Denmark’s semi-final is on Thursday, while the final on Saturday (May 16 & 18, 20:00; Købmagergade 52, Cph K; free adm; studenterhuset.com) LAUREN BEAUCHAMP
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Minimal content vs Gorgeous George: subscribing is a Catch-22 BEN HAMILTON
HAT DO Steve Jobs, Truman Capote, Wyatt Earp, Christopher Columbus, Robin Hood and a big sloppy police dog have in common? No, it’s got nothing to do with the sexual molestation of native Americans. The answer is they’ve all been the subject of ‘twin films’ (Turner & Hooch and K-9, for example) – that phenomenon when two studios release virtually identical films at almost the same time. Two is apparently the golden number in Hollywood, with executives figuring they can share the marketing costs. It all started with Gone with the Wind. Bette Davis missed out on the role of Scarlet O’Hara, and Warner Bros promptly cast her in Jezebel, the story of a Deep South heroine battling her way through the Civil War. And because, quite frankly, the rival was so long, it was released a full 18 months earlier. And then in the 1960s, very similar films to The Graduate – involving an older woman seducing a younger man – sandwiched the Oscar winner. One of them was even called Benjamin! Caught out by a mash-up FOR ITS director Mike Nichols, that wasn’t his only brush with twin films, although his second flirtation did not become obvious until he sat down to view a screening of the ‘rival’. When Nichols made Catch-22
for the screen in 1970, he was Hollywood’s most reliable pair of hands taking on one of the 20th century’s most popular books – seemingly a recipe for certain success. And he remained confident until he arranged a screening to watch another anti-war film scheduled for release, Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H. “We were waylaid by M*A*S*H, which was much fresher, improvisational and funnier than Catch-22,” recalled Nichols. “It just cut us off at the knees.” Its director Robert Altman had a banner in his office that simply read “Caught 22”. George and Wooster BOX OFFICE failure swiftly followed as the critics tore into what they regarded as a travesty of a script given the richness of the source material, while film-goers, who had flocked to see war films in the 1960s, deserted the genre when the horrors of Vietnam rendered them unheroic and too close to reality. Now we’re immune to everything, and Catch-22 (from May 18 on C More) is returning as a miniseries with George Clooney onboard as producer, co-director and star. Given that the main criticism of the film was that it merged characters and cut good storylines, there are high hopes that this, with Hugh Laurie also onboard, could be one of the series of the year. Selma goes Central Park Five LAURIE’S come a long way since he was one of Peter’s drippy friends,
as has ecological warrior Emma Thompson – a 8,000 km carbon footprint to fight climate change in London when it suits her. In Years to Years (HBO Nordic from May 22), a new British series created and written by Russell T Davies (A Very English Scandal, Doctor Who), her character is equally controversial and, who knows, portentous, as she is a celebrity who becomes a politician. Felicity Huffman has burnt that bridge with her college admission bribery, so maybe she’ll end up visiting the same prison the central characters in the miniseries When they see us (Netflix from May 31) spent over a decade in for an assault they did not commit. Huffman and the always excellent Michael K Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire) head a strong cast for this retelling of the Central Park Five case. Ava Marie DuVernay (Selma) directs, and it looks absorbing. The same can’t be said about What/If (Netflix from May 24), a new anthology from the creator of Revenge. Renée Zellweger stars, and the trailer looks like a perfume ad. To complete our TV lookout, three series are returning for second helpings on Netflix: The Rain (May 17), Good Girls (May 31) and She’s gotta have it (May 24). Twilight with cystic fibrosis IN CASE you haven’t guessed it, the TV output this issue is vastly superior to what’s on at the cinema. Is Red Joan (45 on Metacritic; May 16) just Red Sparrow 40 years
“Jeeves, what did I say about mixing PG Wodehouse and World War II?”
on? Judi Dench is the retired spinster in suburbia being investigated by the British secret service. Five Feet Apart (53; May 16) is a Twilight rip-off in that it is a depiction of two teenagers in love who cannot kiss – not because one of them is a vampire, but because they both have cystic fibrosis. Living with the carcinogenic kid in Brightburn (Not Released Worldwide; May 23) isn’t going to end well. It ponders the question: what if Superman was bullied at school. Chronicle got a lot of joy out of a similar premise. But if we had to recommend one release – it wouldn’t be John Wick 3 (NRW; May 16) or Will Smith as the genie in Aladdin (NRW; May 23) – go and see Ralph Fiennes’ The White Crow (60; May 16), the story of Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the West. However, some critics didn’t like the choppy timeline. Brainstorm me some movies SADLY there is no such promise on Netflix. In fact all four of its
films this issue sound like they were brainstormed in an ad break. “Give me Black Lives Matter and Back to the Future – let’s establish some gravitas and then turn it into a goofy comedy.” The result is See you yesterday (May 17). “Give me Stranger Things and War of the Worlds. Make sure the kids are even more ethnically diverse. Keep the BMXs.” The result is The Rim of the World (May 24). “I like the Southeast Asian bits in Master of None. And The Big Sick. So let’s go all Asian. Korean vs Vietnamese/Chinese … perfect, but make sure they’re like all other American privileged city folk.” The result is Always be my Maybe (May 31). “Allison Williams was scary in Get Out. And sexy. Let’s find something else in which she can be scary and sexy. Just make it up as you go along.” The result is The Perfection (May 24). But to be fair, there are no twin films – yet. That will depend on how many times these releases are downloaded by the pond amoeba.
DANISH ON A SUNDAY Twice a month we invite you to experience a Danish classic or critically acclaimed new production with English subtitles or dialogue. On May 19th: The award-winning drama ‘A Fortunate Man’. We present some 50 films with English dialogue or subtitles every month. See what’s on at cinemateket.dk or visit us in Gothersgade 55
Welcome to the biggest theater event of the year! CPH STAGE is proud to present the 7th edition of the Copenhagen based theater festival with more than 100 plays, performances and events taking place all over Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. More than 50 performances will be accessible for non-Danish speakers. You will find both Danish and international productions and a long list of events. Visit cphstage.com for the full program and information. Welcome! CPH STAGE APP Get it for free via App Store and Google Play.
virginia Woolf - foto Klaus vedfelt