STATE OF MIND
Martina Zamboni Florida with a Chance of Snow 4 Romina Vinci Waiting for an Unknown Time 12 Ella Kiviniemi Safety Zone 22 Emilia Kangasluoma Last of the Seamen 30 Karolis Pilypas LiutkeviÄ?ius Life in Green and White 40 ChloĂŠ Glad The Taste of Blue 48 Vincent Kleemann Yammer Bay Young 57
FLORIDA WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW The good life of the Swedish riviera. BY MARTINA ZAMBONI
The people waiting in line for their sandwich and Thai massage at the Österlen Golf Club seem more active, more tanned and more well-off than your average pensioner. In a way, they’ve always been special. They were the first teenagers who did not wear a suit just after confirmation: instead, they listened to Bob Dylan and hitchhiked around Europe. They took charter flights to exotic locations. Now they are retiring, and they want to do it in style.
LEFT Jan Eric Rutefeld enjoys a glass of red wine at home in Simrishman. “When you’re old, you want to have the best you can have. You want to live in the nicest place you can find. And this is the nearly perfect place.” RIGHT There are four golf courses in the region, but the Osterlen Golfklub is the biggest. “People come from Germany, from Italy, from all over, just to play here. It’s a world class course. It gets busy from 6am,” says Eva Algottson.”They say it’s just like Pebble Beach in California,”
n a warm Friday morning in mid April, Gerry Algotsson, 69, is out competing against his wife Eva for the last hole of the golf course near Simrishamn, Sweden. It is the second game of the season and he is not playing well. He stands still with his back to the sea and practices his swing. The stretch between hole seven and ten is Gerry’s favorite: sweeping views over the Baltic and the neighboring town of Vik, a small cluster of crayon-box coloured houses. It
does get crowded, though, which slows down the game, because golf etiquette demand you do not start if another player is on the green. Other pieces of golf etiquette: wear colourful clothes; scream ‘fore’ to warn passersby of errant balls and, most important of all, always, always, repair the grass. Gerry, a former resident of Stockholm, moved to Simrishamn six years ago. He lives a few hundred meters from the club, in a white house surrounded by apple trees.
Besides golf (“a very social sport”), he plays the bassoon with his band, the Woodwind Quintet, and rides an off-road motorbike. He is one of the tohusands of pensioners that moved to Österlen to enjoy the good life of the Florida of Sweden. Simrishamn, population 6500, still looks like the tiny fisherman village that it used to be. There’s a church, a library, two supermarkets, a museum with old cars, and a plethora of little art galleries selling paintings by local artists and other knick
knacks. Thanks to the pensioners, the city has the third oldest population in the entire country. And Tuscany it might be: there’s the slightly undulated landscape and there’s even a winery, after the railway crossing just out of town, even though the austere warehouse, aptly named “Nordic Sea Winery”, looks more like an IKEA showroom than a Tuscan villa. “The new Simrishamner is very much into art. He only talks about 7
LEFT Swimming pool at the Österlen Golf Club. CENTER Vivi Ringdahl, 83, moved to Simrishamn because of the mild climate. Thanks to the constant influx of pensioners, the town has the third oldest population in Sweden.
deep things. He decorates his house and plays golf year round. You’ll most likely find him painting by the water,” says Karin Von Schenck, a former journalist at Svenska Dagbladet who now runs a gardening business. The media have dubbed her ‘sparrisdrottningen’: the aspara gus queen. Jan Eric Rudefeld, 75, Rudis for his friends, is a former advertiser and a proud member of the local 8
branch of the Rotary’s club. He does, of course, paint: brightly colored acrylics on a thin, metallic foil, a special technique that he perfected himself. Many of the paintings show sliced apples. “For my age, I had a very good start. The first exhibition was wonderful. A lady bought three and still wanted to buy more. But I don’t paint as a hobby: I paint to sell. I always saw my life in hours: every
hour is a sum of money. In the advertising business, everywhere. Otherwise, I’m not interested. I’m not an idealist, you could say.” Life in Simrishamn is busy for Jan Eric, his wife Barbro and their circle of friends. There are coffee-dates everyday at 10:45 at Café Kagan, on the main square; there are music rehearsals, charity events and parties. People like to visit each other’s home often.
RIGHT The ice cream kiosk by the pier is one of the few places where both locals and newcomers hang. The two groups don’t mix much. “We’re not together so much. There’s a line,”says Jan Eric Rutefeld. “They have children and family, and we don’t. We mostly meet people who have moved here from the outside. ”
“They drink wine. They eat good food. And they like to decorate their homes and show them to each other,” says Anders Ødde, 69, a former Philosophy teacher, who moved here from Lappland. “Many people here live in the past. In their lives, many of them were leaders in their professions and they want to tell everyone about that. They were diplomats and owners of big companies. They only talk about
what happened before. The jobs they had, all the travels they made.” “When you have a job, you have a position,” says Jan Eric. “People know where you are in the ladder. But when you are a pensioner, you are nothing.” “But you are,” says Anders, “You are a human being. But in many cases, that is not enough. That’s not interesting.”
Easter is coming to Simrishamn. Tourists flock the streets and the flea market is one. People decorate their windows with even more care. At the winery there’s an exhibition of barrels painted by local artists and the ice cream kiosk is busier than ever. Karin von Schenck sits at the café with a friend. “Someone once asked me: what is the soul of Simrishamn? And I said: I’ll tell you when I find it.” 9
TOP For five years now, Jan Eric and his friends have been 足meeting every morning 10:45 for a morning fika, traditional Swedish coffee and cake. TOP LEFT The local winery, one of the first and biggest in Sweden, is housed in a former Unilever factory building. BOTTOM LEFT Jan Eric and Barbro Rutefeld in front of the house where they lived for the past sixteen years. In the 1980s there was much talk about demolishing the small fishermen houses by the harbour, because of their bad condition. In the 90s they became popular as summer houses for out-of-towners and are now very sought after. Many local families have sold their house and now live in the countryside.
WAITING FOR AN UNKNOWN TIME Away from their home countries and from their families, the Asylum Seekers hope to be accepted by the Promised Land that they always dreamed of.
BY ROMINA VINCI
Kidane has been living in Ranum AsylCenter for six months. He is from Eritrea and he has crossed Ethiopia, Sudan, Lybia, Italy and Germany to arrive in Denmark. He shows a picture of himself on a boat crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
anum, north of Jutland: a group of friends is spending one of the first spring days at the beach. They come from Africa, and the harsh Danish winter has really taken a toll on them. They call each other brother and sister. Sometimes the events of life are stronger than blood ties. Markus, 21 years old, is originally from Eritrea but he lived in Ethiopia for 19 years. He arrived here six months ago. “When I look at the sea, in my mind I relive again the nightmare in the Mediterranean Sea. 14
We were three hundred people in a little boat, after two days it was broken and the water was inside. Most of us couldn’t swim, I thought that I was going to die over there. But when everything seemed lost, the Italian Navy came and saved us”. Markus is one of the 100.000 people that were saved in the first ten months of 2014, but according Frontex (European Agency for the External Borders) more than 3.400 people died trying to arrive in Italy crossing the sea last year. Now he lives far away from the Italian coast, but also here, in a little and quiet town in the north
Salina comes from Eritrea. She arrived in Denmark with a broken arm: she had an accident in the Sahara desert while trying to reach in Tripoli from Sudan.
of Jutland, it’s difficult to forget the fears. He doesn’t feel safe yet, because he doesn’t know what the future holds.
Far away from their home countries
In Ranum, a town of less than a thousand inhabi tants situated in Vesthimmerland Municipality, four hundred people are waiting to know if they can build a new life here. They are asylum seekers now: they dream about becoming refugees. If they can not, they risk being sent back to their country of origin. “My father is in prison in Eritrea, I don’t know
if he is still alive – Markus says – My dream? I want to study to be a politician, I want to teach democracy to Africa”. Also for Kidane looking at the sea is not easy. He lost his best friend during the crossing, “He was below deck on the boat and he breathed the gas of the engine”. Now his sister is in Tripoli, waiting to board a ship. “I know that it’s very dangerous for her”, he says with a thin voice, “but it’s the only chance for us, we can’t live peacefully in our country”. 30 years old Kidane arrived in Denmark 15
Syrian kids, whose homes in Aleppo and Homs have been destroyed by bombs, play in Ranum AsylCenter.
Deni, 4 years old, is from Ingushetia, one of the poorest republics in Russia, near Chechnya. His father has been tortured in prison for two weeks. Deni hates Denmark: every morning when he wakes up he starts crying. “I want to go home”, he repeats. He does not have any friends in Ranum AsylCenter, because most of the kids speak Arabic or other languages, and he only speaks Russian. He always plays alone. On the wall in his “new” house there are his drawing. 16
September last year. He is born in Segeneiti, in the south of Eritrea, and he studied theology and philosophy in Asmara. Now he has been living in the Ranum AsylCenter for six months. Every afternoon, from three to four, he teaches basic English grammar to the other Eritrean guys: “We are obligated to go to school here, but they teach Danish and they talk in English, and most of the Eritreans can speak just their mother tongue, so it’s very difficult for them”.
A pain so strong
According to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, around 3.000 Eritreans flee the country each 18
month. Human trafficking networks continue to prey upon them, including in Sudan and Egypt. Salina, 20 years old, arrived in Denmark with her arm broken: “We were crossing the Sahara desert by Land Rovers driven by two Libyan guys. They drove fast and we had an accident. Ten people died, I was saved but I was wounded”. In Tripoli Salina met Kidane. They were in the same compound waiting to be boarded and cross the Mediterranean. “She was crying all the time about her arm, but nobody took care of her”, he remembers. “They told me Shut up!”, adds Salina. She had
With pieces of wood and metal, in a corner between two building, people have built small sacred places. There is a Mosque and a place for Christians Orthodoxy. In Ranum there are also Catholics, Pentecostal Christian, Hindus and two Buddhists.
surgery on her arm in Denmark, five months after the accident. “I suffered so much that I no longer feel pain”, she says, “I’m alive just thanks to God”. And the faith, for most of them, is the only reason of life.
The power of the faith in a place that is not a place
At this moment there are more than 30 different nationalities in Ranum Asylcenter, most of them are Eritrean, Syrian, Somalian and several religions: Muslims, Christians, Buddhist. They live peacefully with each other, everyone tries
to make a little space where to pray and stay together to listen to the Word of God. Because in a place that is not really a place like an asylum center, where days go the same way, and the waiting can be for an unknown time, the most important thing is to try to have schedules each day. “We put some rules to follow, such as going twice a week to a school of language, spending ten hours of week doing little jobs inside the center. They are also obliged to maintain their rooms clean”, says Lars Vestergaad, responsible for communication in Ranum Asylcenter. “Since they don’t have status as a refugee they 19
are not allowed to work, and they can’t afford to travel, they are not able to build a new life,” explains the spokesman. “Nobody knows how long they have to wait, it depends on the Immigration Office”.
The unknown time for a new hope
For an asylum seeker who is single, the pocket money is around 1.200 krones every two weeks, just enough to buy something to eat. If you smoke, for instance, you can have a problem, because cigarettes cost too much. Often cigarettes could be your best friend, because they don’t speak. But in this center, after a long time, every one has learned not to ask questions about each others lives. “There is a man who has been here for 11 years, what shall he do? He lost all hope of the future”, says Yara, an Egyptian girl who speaks fluently English, Arabic and French. “It’s the worst place for any person, you are 20
obliged to spend time with the people that you don’t know. They can lie to you, because the truth, and the past behind each one, is a mystery. We live like in a reality show, but this is not fiction, everything is damn real”. 25 years old Yara has lived in Denmark for four years. She worked in a shop but when her visa expired, they put her in this center. She lost her job, “because no job waits for you for an unknown time”. After one year Yara got a positive answer and, before leaving the center, she organized a small party. She is moving to a Municipality near Copenhagen and she will never forget her fellow adventures Jamil, Ali, Narin, Abdallah. But, as she said, “now it is time to start living again”.
During a party, Ali (on the left) asks Kisanet (in the middle) to dance to his favorite Sri Lanka song. Ali was born in Ampara, and he left his country two years ago.
At 6 a.m. Yara says goodbye to her friend Jamil and Ali, before leaving Ranum and move to Copenhagen.
SAFETY ZONE “Most people don’t understand how one can be afraid of food.” BY ELLA KIVINIEMI
abine wakes up in the calm white bedroom, a few hours after her boyfriend Ronny has gone to work. She prepares her breakfast: 100 grams of protein mixed with protein powder, with some vitamins, dietary fibre and unsaturated fat on top. It’s safe, because the ingredients are healthy. She knows very well that the meal has about 200 calories. It’s not too much. The appartement is silent and Sabine feels strong with the coffee in her hand. A cup of coffee used to be a whole meal for her. Next time Sabine eats is in the evening. It’s so wonderful when Ronny does the cooking. Then she doesn’t have to touch the food, the cold and slimy meat, or the eggs that might have salmonella. The feeling of the food makes her lose her appetite. When she cooks for herself, she has to wash her hands all the time. She might end up going to bed at eight and
“I love the smell of coffee, the taste - and I love how I feel full after drinking it and that it starts my metabolism.” Extract from Sabine’s diary skip the whole dinner, if Ronny is not home. There are always good reasons not to eat: food is disgusting, it costs money, and she’s not even hungry. “I just want to sleep instead”, Sabine says. Sabine Stache is 27 years old, but she doesn’t work or study. It’s too tiring to be around people, sitting at the computer, and telephones ring so loud. Sabine is not ready for surprises.
A fly that bumps into the window or a paper bag that rolls across the street in the wind can frighten her off. “I’m being attacked”, her body tells her. Then it’s better just to put on sunglasses and get home fast. Rest for a few days, and try again. Sabine spends most of her time in the quiet, white appartement, reading the news, wri ting her blog. The cat Joey takes her thoughts away from stressful things like eating. At some point, she takes a walk by the small river that flows through Odense, and maybe runs some small errands in the centre, still avoiding the busiest streets. It’s always a bit uncomfortable to go out. She feels he could be standing there, 24
just outside the door. Even though it’s impossible. The violent ex has been in prison for four years.
An easy way to punish
“He had so many opinions, and they changed every day” Sabine recalls. First he could blame her for eating too healthy, and next he would buy her way too small panties. Once she didn’t sleep with him on a trip in Norway, and so he decided she couldn’t take anything from the hotel buffet the next morning. He threw out the food from her kitchen or maybe gave it to his mother. He also took jewellery, money, and all kinds of things that Sabine liked. “He didn’t want people around him to be happy.”
The psychologist has told Sabine to go out more and do some sports. But Sabine knows that it’s dangerous, because she can end up excercising too much again.
“Been waiting for an hour to eat breakfast, but still don’t feel hunger. I don’t like to fill my stomach with calories, if I’m not hungry. But I have to eat (...) so that I don’t faint when I go outside home.” Extract from Sabine’s diary 25
“Just came home from training. I didn’t really have the energy, but father is coming to visit me tomorrow, and he’s bringing rolls.” Extract from Sabine’s diary
Finally Sabine had enough evidence to get the ex arrested for domestic violence. But his blaming eyes kept haunting her. Sabine felt like a terrible person because she had let the police take him. She didn’t deserve food and she had to exercise. She would eat only 500 calories per day and go to the gym for four hours in the evenings. After only a few weeks she had already lost eight kilos. Sabine was proud, as most of the people struggle to lose weight. “The feeling of success got me high in some way”, she says. When Sabine’s psychiatrist suggested she might have anorexia, she didn’t believe him. Sabine was 23, not a teenager. She didn’t see herself as a whale in the mirror, nor did she admire skinny models. They present clothes, not their bodies. Sabine just liked this controlled lifestyle. It was kind of a hobby, and she was good at it.
One evening Sabine’s father found her lying on the floor of her apartment, almost uncon scious, and took her to the hospital. The long and hard road to recovery started. “If I put on weight, I feel that my ex gets closer”, Sabine explains. Before, she could even smell him and see him put his foot on the scale. He was laughing, because he wanted Sabine to be unhappy. For her, getting bigger was not the same thing as getting fat and ugly. Sabine just liked to be a small person. People didn’t see her and it felt nice. The violent ex and anorexia had isolated her. “It’s a bit scary, because nobody really wants to disappear”, Sabine admits.
Seeking for comfort
When Ronny became Sabine’s new boyfriend, she started feeling better. Now she could concentrate on something else than just herself.
She was embarrassed to throw up when Ronny was around. With Ronny, Sabine learned again how to watch a movie and eat take away food. Ronny also made her promise to eat twice a day, even when he was not around. She has to get stronger, so that they can travel to Tanzania together. And perhaps have a family some day. The eating disorder is not a thing they discuss often. People around Sabine are content because she looks healthy. “They scan by body but they can’t see that I’m still sick in my mind.” Sabine gets some psychological treatment for her post-traumatic stress disorder, but she thinks the doctor doesn’t know how to help her with the anorectic thoughts. Little by little she tries to find more foods that she is comfortable with. For now, it’s nicer to eat only half of things and use a teaspoon. The health effects of some foods is a reason to eat them, even though they have calories. Sabine still exercises a few times every week, most importantly before or after eating something unhealthy. The danger is not over. Sabine feels quite good in this weight, in this relationship and
“His presence makes me so happy that I sometimes like to eat unhealthy food. Afterwards I can regret that, but I’m not able to throw it up anymore. I can only ‘train it away’ during the following days.” Extract from Sabine’s diary
with these foods, but this safety will not last forever. She is constantly haunted by the thought of the day her ex gets out of prison. Until that day, Sabine is not ready to abandon her eating disorder completely. “Anorexia drags you. It can happen to anybody. It’s natural to seek things that make you happy.”
Above: Ronny and Sabine order some indian food to celebrate their 37th month together, like they always do on the first day of each month.
On the right: Sabine hates to go to the supermarket alone. It takes a lot of time to read through the nutritional information on the packages and to choose what to buy. 28
“Sometimes when I’m scared of the big bad world I really miss to feel very small, almost invisible again.” Extract from Sabine’s diary
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a dying breed, Finnish seamen. But for now, the men are sailing around the Baltic Sea and waiting.
Last of the Seamen BY EMILIA KANGASLUOMA
Joakim Grönqvist has spent all his life on the seas. He calls his family every now and then.
Henri Hongisto and Ari Kalijärvi burst into a laugh when Visa Villa shows them girls on Tinder. Tinder is one of the favourite past time activities when there is an internet connection.
aiting. That is what the life of a seaman is made of. Waiting for the next harbour, waiting for the shift to end. And right now, waiting for the rain to stop. Prima Lady, a Finnish cargo vessel, has made a stop in Fredericia, Denmark, to unload its cargo of steel wheels. But while the rain is pouring, nothing can be done. Luckily for the seaman as they are still tired from last night.
There was a little party in Visa’s, the chief officer`s cabin the night before. Men were listening to Finnish pop music from a laptop, drinking beer and talking about politics and women. Or the lack of women. Arska and Visa shared stories about large vessels and old sailors. Posters of naked women hang on the walls. Someone was even brave enough to try the nightlife of Fredericia. ”Back in Finland we always tell friends how crazy the life on the sea and the harbours is,
Prima Lady is a recent purchase by Prima Shipping Group so there is no gym or sauna on the vessel just yet. Miika keeps fit by doing pull-ups.
but actually we just stay in the cabin all night with the boys. We listen to some Elvis Presley and play Tinder,” Visa admits laughing. This is the life of an ordinary cargo vessel.
Young crew in an old vessel
There are a captain and seven seamen on this vessel. Joakim Grönqvist is the Master. Chef Ivo Steinberg cooks the lunch as apprentice Henri Hongisto and AB Aleksey Korotkiy remove old rust. Chief Officer Visa Villa is check-
ing the unloading of the cargo, 2nd Chief Officer Sergey Onegov is taking photos. Chief Engineer Ari Kalijärvi is pumping water into the tanks. The crew is young as four seamen are under 30 years old. The seamen are always on a journey. From one harbour to another, from one country to another. For Joakim, becoming a seaman was an easy choice as all his family has had careers on the seas. Visa, however, told his parents he would become a captain one day. At that time
Visa Villa, Miika Tani, Aleksey Korotkiy, Henri Hongisto and Sergey Onegov clean the cargo hold from the straps of the previsious cargo.
he was five years old. Now he is one step from being a Master himself. Prima Lady is 88 meters long and 12 meters wide. Almost the same size as a hundred meter long running track. Over 3000 tonnes of cargo can be loaded. In comparison, the vessels that actually are large can carry up to 50 000 tonnes. Sometimes, when a really large vessel sails close by, Miika and Visa are so embaressed that they pull the caps of their hats deeper. Prima Lady is 20 years old now, an old lady. The vessels usually retire at the age of 25-30.
Close to extinction
The sea is open and enormous but not empty as the traffic has increased rapidly. Tight straits are almost crowded. Finland is now the third biggest operator on the Baltic Sea after Russia and Sweden. As well as the amount of the traffic also the sizes of the vessels have grown.
The cargo hold of Prima Lady is massive. It is dark, humid and cold. As if one was inside a whale´s stomach. Between loading and unloading the cargo hold has to be cleaned and dried. In Gdansk, Poland, it is loaded again, this time with snow-white powder of soda ash. The soda ash will be used as a fertiliser later. The ash spreads around the vessel in the wind. Since 2010 shipping companies in Finland have been allowed to hire foreign seamen. Foreigners are hired because they are cheaper than Finns. They don´t have to be paid holiday wages or other extras. Little by little Finnish seamen become extinct, just like the ash disappears from the deck. Aleksey and Sergey are Russian. It is their first shift on a Finnish boat. They do the same jobs as the Finns but the wage is a lot lower. The men seem like outsiders as they don’t speak the language.
Visa is worried about the future of Finnish seamen. In the past few years, hundreds of seamen have been left unemployed. The trend is similar in other Nordic countries. When Henri started his apprenticeship six weeks ago, Visa gave him an instruction for life: ”Study something else and never get married.” Henri is getting married next May and is solid about his career choice.
Nothing to do
As the vessel leaves Poland, two little birds try to travel secretly in the ship. Air becomes fresh again and wind blows the hair. The sea feels so big and the ship so small. Prima Lady is inching with the speed of 11 knots. Almost 20 kilometres per hour. Waiting. Seamen have to have nerves of steel. While waiting, men smoke cigarettes or lay down in the mess.
Meals divide the day. Ivo cooks a meal three times a day. Ari can’t stand potatoes so pasta is eaten in almost every meal. For most, the working day ends at five. Then men go to their cabins and close the doors. They watch movies and read books. Sometimes they watch films together in the common room or play cards. ”There is nothing to do other than surfing in internet, drinking beer and talking nonsense,” Miika says. Finnish Seaman’s Service lends books and movies to the vessel, mostly crime novels and action movies. ”I don´t feel like watching some romantic drama and crying alone in my cabin,” Henri says.
The work is physically demanding. The vessel is full of stairs and ladders. Heavy ropes must be carried around. The lifestyle is unhealty as
In the harbour of Gdansk Miika finds time to call his girlfriend in Finland. There is nothing to do in an industrialized harbour other than waiting.
“We don’t do anything here unless we really have to.” - Miika
The cargo hold has to be cleaned after every cargo. First, it is washed with a hose and then drid by hand. Everything else except for liquids can be loaded.
smoking and alcohol are essential. Seamen are the labour force of the sea. Even the wage is almost the same. A great advantage are the holidays. Finnish sailors work for a month and have a month long holiday. It’s because of holi days that many do this job. ”I wouldn’t be able to do anything else now that I am so used to this schedule. At home I spend my time with my girlfriend,” Miika says. Miika found his girlfriend on Chrismas Eve. He rings an hour long phone call to her whenever he has reception. The phone bill is horrible, he says. ”When I didn’t date, I didn’t mind how long my working shift was. Now I want to go home because I miss her.”
Finding a woman
Being away from home for four weeks can
be tough, especially to those with a family. Girlfriends and wives have to be independent. If a washing machine breaks at home, it is difficult to give instuctions from the boat. Joakim, the master, says that his wife is almost like a single mother for the most of the time. The wife has to be found first, though. ”Life on a ship is like that, everything always goes to hell with the ladies. Things that have been arranged get cancelled because the cargo is late. In the next holidays I will ruin what I produced the last time. Many seamen never find anyone,” Visa says. Tinder is played again. Not everyone makes the cut. Criterias are high. Henri is on his first shift ever and still sees the positive sides on being away from his girlfriend:
Visa shares his bedroom with several women that hang on the walls. He tries to go to bed early because his morning shift start at four o`clock. Usually he is still up at midnight.
”We both get our own time here. And anyway, I wouldn’t even want to bring her to this environment.”
One can`t be afraid of the sea
The night is pitch black in the sea. The vessel keeps constant humming. During the early hours, waves grow larger. Loose things move around in the cabin. Ivo, the cook, gets seasick as always. In the morning Henri continues painting: ”Wind is so hard that paint doesn´t stay in the brush.” One really relies on the mercy of nature in this job. One can´t be afraid of the sea. If a great storm breaks, waves hit the bow. But calm, quiet summer nights are the best there can be. Seamen hang hammocks to the deck and jump into the sea. In August they
celebrate lobster parties. But sometimes the ship feels too small and makes people restless. As the ship reaches North, the air gets colder. The breath steams. Finnish girls can be found on Tinder. They are blond and have blue eyes. The port of Hamina, a town in southern Finland, can be seen through the mist. There is snow on the shores and ice rafts float in the sea. Prima Lady easily breaks the thin ice layer as the vessel docks. The bridge has barely been placed when the men are already on their way. Visa’s mother picks him up and Miika leaves with his girlfriend. Tomorrow the vessel continues to Sweden but while waiting there is just enough time to get wasted.
LIFE IN GREEN AND WHITE
Not everybody knows what happens when the echoes of the seemingly primordial shouts of the football fans bounce off the walls of the stadium for the last time, when the last whistle is blown. This is about trying to look through the seemingly negative façade of the “ultra”. “You could call it my second family”, says Jonas. BY KAROLIS PILYPAS LIUTKEVIČIUS
ilniaus Žalgiris scores a goal in a match against Klaipėdos Atlantas. The fan section of the stadium erupts in a ferocious show of support. Some fans stumble down the stadium platform to greet the players face to face, others light flares. Everything is engulfed by smoke, the air fills up with loud chants. Jonas Šečkus, 36, is a father of two young kids, he’s happily married, enjoys his job as a geologist and as a geology lecturer at Kaunas and Klaipėda universities. He has been a hardcore football fan since 2010.
Jonas’s first trip with the fan club was in 1998, after that came a break from the football fandom. But since 2010 he’s been back in the stadium with his friends, trying not to miss any of the matches.
“Yes, I’m an ultra. What’s bad about being so into something? And of course, just like in any family there are people who are, to put it lightly, a bit weirder, but there’s also really good guys. What keeps everyone in line is that we have boundaries that should not be crossed”, explains Jonas.
Politics of the game
Being a dedicated football fan in Lithuania is a different experience than being one in countries that are more wellknown for the sport. Žalgiris’s budget consists of a smaller amount than what country’s most beloved sport – basketball and it’s two biggest teams get. And since a football club is more expensive to maintain than a basketball team, the level at which this sport is played in Lithuania is lower than what people are used too in more football oriented countries.
That contributes to the fact that there aren’t as many fans as usual with football fan clubs elsewhere. But “Pietų IV Ultras” could be considered as a phenomenon. It’s fan base, which consists of around 100 people, is strinkingly dedicated and well known amongst populous mostly for the ferocity that is publically often closely associated with fanaticism. Since Žalgiris was established in 1965 it was assosciated with the national history, and this makes most of the fans very patriotic, in some cases even ethnocentric. “I don’t think you can separate any sport from politics. But since football has the strength of being the biggest sport in the world, politics are easily visible in it”, Jonas explains. Žalgiris football club has played a major part in history as a means to express the independence and freedom of the country.
“Of course if some sort of pro-russian “vatnik” would suddenly appear among us in the stadium and start preaching his ideology it would end badly for him”, says Jonas while eating sandwiches made by his wife. He talks about violence in a very nonchalant way, but with some thoughtful reservations. Without telling how badly it would end for the guy with such a political disposition, he makes it clear that it certainly wouldn’t be nice.
“My students know that I’m an ultra, but I don’t parade that in front of them. I usually don’t wear the my colors to the lectures or my work”. Contrary to what most people would think about an “ultra”, football fandom fits into Jonas’s life without any repercussions, he says.
In his home and at his work Jonas makes an effort. When the courier bings in a childs bike, colored green – as favoured by his football club, he is looking forward to gift it to his daughter. At his office, Jonas is extremely concentrated on making the upcoming lecture and the slides as interesting for his students as he could.
“It’s a way for people to vent. After their stressful jobs, or with the intention to get something off their minds, they come here with the same intentions like the ones who go to shooting clubs. We go to watch football and support our team. I think its meaningful. From the sidelines it may look violent, since we shout and burn pyrotechnics. But we shout so they can hear us, we burn flares so they can see us, that’s what support is about.”
“I love teaching. It’s not about the money, it’s about the experience that this occupation gives you”, Jonas admits.
Jonas is clearly not a fan of the media and how it gives ultra a negative connotation by portraying this lifestyle as violent.
A day to day ultra
Jonas’s wife Ramūnė isn’t a big football fan but has been to a couple of matches with her husband.
The family bought a green bike for the youngest member of the family, the daughter Aistė. She just turned two.
“Media wants bad news, because those are an easier sell. If a conflict between the police and the fans erupts, they won’t even look into who’s the culprit. Of course the fans are the bad guys, because police has the status of untouchable public guardians. That’s a normal view, but since there’s a lot that’s wrong with police in most countries, Lithuania not excluded, everything gets complicated.”
The police, on the other hand, has a different opinion about the fan club. Always hovering around the part of the stadium where the fans gather, they constantly observe the people.
“Once I arrived at the stadium and a police officer who I didn’t even know, greeted me by name. They monitor us very closely, maybe even make pictures of us.”, a young fan from the fanclub said. “They’re annoying”. This timidly hostile view of the police seems to be shared by many of the fans. Before the game they often glance at the officers in a belligerent way and murmur some remarks about them. “There were times when I was involved with some violent stuff, but I won’t talk about it”, Jonas says while putting on his green and white scarf.
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for one of the more important matches in the Lithuanian football league. KlaipÄ&#x2014;dos Atlantas against Vilniaus Ĺ˝algiris, two of the strongest teams in the league are going to play at the home stadium of the latter team. After passing the security checkpoint just outside the stadium, Jonas enters the area of the stadium reserved for the fan club. He seems to feel at home here. The constant smile on his face while he meets his friends quickly changes to an expression full of excitement by the time the match starts. The chanting begins, flares are lit and everything fades into a mist of excitement and smoke.
THE TASTE OF BLUE How synesthetes question our perceptions of the so-called reality. BY CHLOE GLAD
“My Æ is brown, my W is black,” Mette tells. “At some point, I was so focused on what colors my letters were that just looking at a sign would be overwhelming.”
t was exactly a year ago that Mette found out. Nothing in particular was happening that night –she spent her time messaging classmates, some teamwork needing to get started for one of her media courses at Aarhus University. The girls were group number 3. “It’s almost my lucky number,” Mette wrote. “It looks a bit like 8.” “But they have totally different colors,” her friend replied. “Yep, it’s red and 8 is blue,” the young girl agreed. On the other side of the screen, the classmate froze: she realized Mette had synesthesia. The 22 year-old student didn’t think of the hues of her numbers as something peculiar - we usually don’t really question how we perceive the world. After all, when she discussed the weekdays with her sister, she too told that she was visualizing each of them in specific nuances, along with the months and letters. Later, Mette’s sister admitted she never knew what they were talking about.
A synesthete’s brain is wired a bit differently. Neural connections that normally don’t exist tangle two senses or more, resulting in distinctive, consistent perceptual experiences. A word can trigger a salient taste in the mouth, numbers can be spatially arranged in the mind and have textures, or physical reactions can be induced by a sound. In theory, every combination of sensations is possible, even though some are more common than others, like Mette’s tainted graphemes -or Johanne’s colored hearing.
“Everything turns yellow in my head”
“We used to draw everything at my Warldof school, but oh! Look at these…” she apologizes in a chuckle. The last notes of “The Swan” resonate on the white walls of her flat, not far away from Aarhus central station. Johanne drops her green pencil; she’s finished
representing what Saint-Saën’s piece looks like in her head. “I have an overall feeling of the piece, in the background,” she explains pointing at the blue wavy forms entirely covering the sheet. “Then it depends on what I’m focusing on. All the details have a different pattern and different colors, and they kind of melt together.” She sighs. “It’s a bit difficult to separate them from each other.” Her boyfriend Thomas puts the song on repeat. When she got aware of her unique perceptions, Johanne first panicked: as scientists initially thought two centuries ago, her conservatory teacher laconically compared synesthesia to “a light mental illness condition”. Now 31, the freelance violoncellist knows that her sensorial experiences - of music, but also of letters and numbers - are not related
For Johanne, music evokes twickles, textures and waves. “They go up and down,” she explains, “but also backwards and forwards. Like a curtain.”
to insanity, or schizophrenia, or any kind of “super skills”, as she says. “Some things are easier, but some are harder, and I maneuver in that.” Mathematics has always been a hassle, but on the other hand, she can perfectly tune her cello. “Everything turns yellow when I get a perfect A chord,” Johanne smiles. “Also, when I’m composing; I see these grey holes, until I find the right color. If it makes sense to me, musically speaking, they just get the right colors.” “But does it have a function?” interrupts her boyfriend, whose name is “yellow like an overly ripe pineapple.” “I mean, your senses, as they normally are, they have a purpose. So why are some working together? What is the value of synesthesia?” Researchers still haven’t figured it out. Synesthesia is such a complex phenomenon
to study that even basic figures are uncertain. Some talk about 2% of the population that could be concerned; others estimate it up to 5%. One of the theories argues that everybody is born with it and, although these connections would naturally fade away while growing up, a few people, for unknown reasons, seem to develop them. Maybe synesthetes end up having a better memory. Maybe they learn faster. Maybe those colors are mostly disturbing in some cognitive tasks. Neuro-scientist Thomas Alrik Sørensen has another idea. “There might be something fundamentally different with synesthetes,” he begins. “My suspicion is that there isn’t. My suspicion is that synesthesia is just a normal variation in how we perceive the world.” In his daily work, the researcher at Aalborg
University focuses on expertise and on learning processes, convinced that the perception depends “very much on previous incomes” –your red A could for example come from those wooden letters you’ve been playing with as a child. But for now, the researcher has to analyze Anneline’s data, who just finished her color consistency task. “They don’t have metal,” the teenager regrets. “I have to pick some kind of grey every time.” She starts to get used to it though; it’s her third time participating in the experiment. Nothing fancy: letters and numbers appear on a computer screen, and the viewer has to pick the nuance he visualizes from a large color spectrum. If the pairings remain the same throughout time, the test is able to confirm a graphemes-colors synesthesia. Not that the 15 year-old really needs any more
Anneline’s numbers are spatially organized, as well as her colorful letters. “It goes up to twenty, then goes on the left and a bit down, until fifty”, she says with large gestures.
proof; her perceptual experiences are highly elaborate, like for the letter D, that feels exactly like the cool side of a pillow you just flipped on a warm night. Thomas Alrik Sørensen’s experiments held in Aarhus Universitetshospital are just a perfect excuse for the sharp mind to flee from the boredom of ninth grade. “I need to be challenged. I get sad and stressed out if I’m not,” Anneline explains. “School is boring,” she repeats in a frank smile. And since it’s pretty rare to be aware of synesthesia that young she was eleven when she discovered -, scientists are very welcoming. Win-win.
A blessing and a curse
To Christina, 23, school was simply harsh. How can you concentrate when that bright ugly orange wall in front of you makes you nauseous?
“I would have fired that person who painted the the classroom,” she jokes. Christina’s synesthesia doesn’t just come down to tasting colors: she also physically reacts to sounds, and each word evokes a two-dimensional abstract shape. To give quick illustrations –“Love” draws a circle in her mind and “the G chord on a violin makes me horny”. Her attention disorder, “something between ADHD and Asperger”, adds on and intensifies her exhausting daily perceptions. “My brain is like a sponge. It’s always overworking,” she explains glancing at Jørgen, her guinea pig, before abruptly ordering him to stop drinking - “The sound is irritating.” The hardest part was probably the people. Not only because of their faces presence, their smells, or the timbre of their voice; but mainly because of their attitudes.
“It was actually easier for them to look the other way,” she recalls. Same reactions encountered in each one of the eight schools she has studied at. For many years, Christina was confused by the way the world would feel like, questioning why baby blue tastes like marshmallow. Now, she considers her sensibility as “both a blessing and a curse.” “It’s makes me more unique, in a way,” she tells timidly. “Some call me ‘weird’, or ‘odd-sized’. Once, this guy called me ‘different’. But mostly, people don’t ask about synesthesia,”
Anneline acknowledges, dropping her self-assigned chemistry homework. Her voice becomes at once all serious. “They know it has to do with colors, but I’m not sure they are aware how much. They can’t imagine. They have no clue. If you don’t have synesthesia, you don’t even have the thought that eight might be pink. And of course, I’ve always assumed that everyone else saw it the same way as I do.” She paused, before bursting out laughing. “I mean –how would you know how everyone else thinks before you actually talk about it?”
It’s out of her control : “Hearing water running gives me goosebumps everytime”, Christina tells. As for the clincking sound her mother, who also has synesthesia, makes with her nails, it makes her nauseous.
Yammer Bay Young BY VINCENT KLEEMANN
In the 9th grade, the youth from the area of Jammerbugt have to decide, which further education they want to take.
Hirtshals is a small town with six thousand inhabitants. The ferry lines to Norway and the tourism are the important economies. The young people, who finish their 9th grade in Hirtshals public school have to make a big decision concerning their future. BY VINCENT KLEEMANN
he two brothers David and Daniel and their cousin Virgar from the Faroer Islands walk down the sidewalk with the setting sun on their faces. They are surrounded by single family houses, gardens and garages. They are walking from one of their friends places to another friend . Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what they always do. They are bored. Bored by the old people standing at the harbor, the Norwegian tourists taking the ferry to buy meat and alcohol, and bored by this sidewalk on which they walk
all along. Daniel takes lessons at the technical school in HjĂ¸rring which is the nearest bigger city although it has only one main road with some shops, restaurants and bars. He wants to finish the school with the degree of a ship engineer. First, he says he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think too much about the future. But then he reveals that he is not really interested in job at the harbour of Hirsthals. He would rather go to a bigger city or to the Faroe Islands, where his family comes from.
The north coast of Denmark is also called the rotten banana. The area is signed by little industry.
A few kilometers away four girls sit in their classroom doing group work besides chatting about things that are more important at their age. The Hirtshals Public School is the last, that remained in this area. Four schools and one youth club has been closed in the last year. Due to the small birth rate, and potential parents moving to other regions, there are less children. In the 9th grade, pupil take a year of preparation to go to a high school afterwards, which can be a trade-, a technical- or a gram-
mar school. In so far these youngs will have to decide, which further education they want to go through. If pupil from the Jammerbugt want to study, they have to move to one of the bigger cities in the south. In fact, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mostly the girls who move. Many of them canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t imagine working as carpenters, a mechanics or in other crafts.
Nicolai Berg is a social worker in the youth club of Hirtshals for eight years. Between the young people, it is not easy to recognize. Under his chin beard, he wears a tatoo with the words “Live Free“. For him it expresses, that men are not born as slaves who live for the work. Instead, he cherishes the time with his three children, his hobbies and his wife. His tattoos and his outer appearance helps him, to get the respect of the young adults. In his view they are making troubles because they are bored in this town. So he tried to build a skatepark for the young and also for himself. He walks down the stairs to the harbour. A few blocks of concrete lay around on an asphalt ground but this was not what he wanted. “We wanted a regular skatepark with ramps an such. But they didn’t listen, they never listen.” A few years ago there were kids in the club who had deep troubles arising from the drug problems of their parents. Nicolai had strong relationships and was pleased to help them. But the recent generation he says does not have problems. “They have been given everything. Maybe their parent’s work to much or try to buy them for not being there.“ Many of them don’t even know his name. “Today, people almost don’t have to ask what’s your hobbies, or what you did yesterday, because everything is on facebook or instagram or whatever.“ It seems, that the problems of youth have changed but no one knows how to react.
“Today, people almost don’t have to ask what are your hobbies, or what you did yesterday, because everything is on facebook or instagram or whatever.“
Besides school and the footballfield, the youth club is one of the few places, where people under 18 can meet. At this regular thursday there are about twelve people in the club. The boys are playing a basketball game at the playstation, the girls play billiards and do handicrafts at a table. 16 year old Anton Krogh talks to Nicolai Berg who works here. He is a bit afraid, because he is going to
visit a boarding school tomorrow. There he should learn how to cook, do his laundry and keep his room tight. In the center of Hirthals, there are a couple of old pubs. One of them is called Skipperkroen. Annika takes over the Bar from her collegue. The men sitting at the bar start joking. She smiles, raises her eyebrows surprised,
“I think most of my friends will stay, but I don’t know if we will keep in contact. Because I am going to another city to get my education.”
Oliver Hansen will turn 16 in one week. After school, he wants to become a Chef which he can only learn in a shool in Aalborg.
At the station of Hjørring, people wait for the next train to Hirtshals.
“We are going to the city!“ and loughs loudly. Then silence. She lights a cigarette. She has spent her childhood in Thørnby, a village, seven kilometers away from here. When she finished her high school, she started working in a restaurant. Now she is 33 and works in this bar. Her friends all moved away within the next years. To Aalborg, Aarhus, some to Copenhagen. Why she stayed? She searches for a simple answer. But she can’t find it. A man pays and leaves the
pub, another comes in, takes an overview, sits down on the same chair and raises his hand for a beer. While the men are talking, once in a while, she peeks to the bright windows as if she misses the world out there. The last train to Hjørring and back goes at 11pm. A lot of teenagers enter the train. Amongst them are Daniel, Virgar, David and their friends. While running and
At 3 pm Skipperkroen at the main Road is getting alive.
jumping to the other side of the train, Daniel yells â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are going to the CITY!â&#x20AC;&#x153;. In the train drivers view, Daniels euphoric gymnastics are a bit over the top and he gives him a strict warning. After a small discussion Daniel hugs the driver. The train starts the engine and leaves the station.
Emilia Kangasluoma Ella Kiviniemi
Karolis Pilypas Liutkevičius Romina Vinci Martina Zamboni
Cover image: Vincent Kleemann Editor in chief: Karolis Pilypas Liutkevičius Photo editor: Vincent Kleemann Copy editor: Martina Zamboni Special thanks to Jesper Voldgaard, Susanne Sommer, Henrik Meller and Lone Theils for the guidance, patience and danish pastries. Photos page 2-3, 66-67 and 68: Emilia Kangasluoma 66
Danish School of Media and Journalism Olof Palmes Allé 11 8200 Aarhus N