Thursday, August 27, 2009

Christiania: Anarchy in the DK So on our trip to Copenhagen, when looking for a nice place to relax, I looked at a big map of the city showing a large green space near the water, thought it looked like a big park, and suggested we go there- to Christiania (link). We drove to the area and found the very cool powder house restaurant. But when we drove past a entrance to what looked like the children's garden, an urban jungle flanked by wild art, I asked what it was. Swededaddy said "Christiania. You've never heard of Christiania? Then we have to go. It's a old military base taken over by hippies. I went there once to a Christmas bazaar, and was puzzled as to why the Pepparkakor (gingerbread snaps) cost 45 kr each! Then I realized it was a Christmas BIZARRE. It is an area exempt from the laws of Denmark, they rule themselves." This was intriguing for sure, that hippies had seized land and continued to rule it! I excitedly promised Swedegirl a journey to a magic place, and was expecting a grown up children's garden( link) as we marched on in around dusk. Nope, no children' s garden. Swedegirl said, ' I was thinking there was magic here, but there seems to be none, none at all...." It was a bit gritty, and the vibe was more 'urban neglect' than 'magical garden'. I understand why she was feeling let down in the magic department. Though I would not say it was lacking all together.
These folks are chilling on a street couch, watching a tree with a sign that says "no trees"
The television here says "Reality TV" This was a carved tree, with a lovely tree house seat above the grit.

The sentiment was right. There were creative dwellings. And signs of vibrant life going on. There was magic of that special variety that happens when taboos are lifted, people can be free, but then a large number of them fall into substance use until it becomes addiction. So the vibe was pretty much the dark side of Wonderland, like Pinocchio Donkey Boy Island Here is 'A Tale of Christiana', the history of the 'settlement' in English from the danish Christiana website.
Birthplace of the Danish Punk sceneThere was a concert going on, and there was a call for shout outs from all the weed heads out there. Then the mother-f*cker lyrics started in the hip hop song. We were not liking the vibe or the smoke, so we made a quick art tour. There is no picture taking allowed in Christiania. And they are clearly all about following the rules, so I took pictures. But anywhere there is the hope of freedom, how ever flawed, there is magic. And fun. Humans will just have to keep trying to be free, and maybe someday we will get it right.


Jacob_M said...

Christiania aside, you are very good at finding the magic of everyday Sweden. I'm a Swede myself and I find myself thinking that I would sure like to visit this country that you live in because it seems to amazing. Reading your blog gives me hope. I wish I could view everyday with eyes such as yours.

Andy said...

wonderful pictures! It does sound suspiciously like wonderland in the real world - weird, harsh at times, very unpredictable. It was, in fact, an opium nightmare lol! Your trip sounds better than Carrolls'!