Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Yesterday was my first day in Copenhagen. Met a friend, Claus, and he showed my the center of Copenhagen. I have been here before but always passing through so never really got the opportunity to truly see the city.
One of our stops was Christiania which is an autonomous neighborhood of 850 residents on 85 acres in the center of the city. Basically this place reminds me of San Francisco in the mid-60's and the authoirites in Copenhagen regard it a a very large commune.
The photograph above is the son of one of the inhabitants of Christiania that Claus knew. I was completely taken by his eyes - possibly the poster child for this area.... It is a straight Hipstamatic image with some local corrections made in Filterstorm. Lately I have been totally immersed in portrait work using the Hipsta application.
I am going back to make more images over the next few days and will post as many as possible.
The info below is from Wikipedia:
Also known as Freetown the area consists of former military barracks and parts of the city ramparts. The National Heritage Agency has protected many of the ancietn buildings, some go back as far as 1617. Best I can tel is that in 1971 fences were torn down and the settlers took over the old compound to use as a payground for their children.
A journalist, Jacob Ludvigsen wrote in 1971:
Christiania is the land of the settlers. It is, so far, the biggest opportunity to buidl up a society from scratch while using the remaining constructions. They have their own electricity, a bath house, a giant athletics building where all seekers of peace could have their grand meditation and yoga center. Buldings for the stoners who are too paranoid and weak to aprticipate in the race...Yes for those who feel the beating of the pioneer heart there can be no doubt as to the purpose of Christiania. It is part of the city which has been kept secret to us - but no more.
The people of Christiania have developed their own set of rules, independent of the Danish Government. The rules forbid stealing, violence, knives, bulletproof vests, hard drugs and biker colors.
The main drag, known as Pusher Dtreet, where hash and skunk weed are sold openly in stands since 2004. The has commerce is controversial, but since the rules require a consnsus they cannot be removed unless everyone agrees. Legalizing cannabis is one of the ideas of many of the citizens of Christiania. This accord was reached with the Danish Government defense ministry (who still own the land) in 1995.
There is more information online at Wikipedia....Very interesting area...had I not seen it with my own eyes it might be difficult to understand hwo a culture like this can still exist in this day and age...but then again why not.....