This is just a post to let everyone know that I’m alive and well in Denmark.
I haven’t been able to update because school has been really, really hectic.
I’ll give you a quick rundown of my first two days.
Monday, 9am, we all
shuffle in a little bewildered and still probably a little scared of each other, to greet our kind of intimidating teacher Asbjorn. Our first assignment: we have until 4pm the next day to hand in one 2000 character story, one 700 character story and one minute long video all on “something newsworthy happening in Aarhus.”
I don’t know if you realize but this is actually really hard. I mean, first of all, Aarhus isn’t exactly a city of hustling gangs or deep seated corruption. There are no prostitutes on the streets, only beautiful, stylish blonde haired Danes riding bikes or walking around dressed in nothing but sleek black and acting like they’re in an ironic Converse commercial.
Secondly, i know journalists are all about deadlines, but often they have already developed relationships with PR officers and media people and already have at least some idea of what is happening in the city. Truthfully,this shit can take time. we had just arrived and had no clue what were the big issues in Aarhus, let alone where to find them. Plus juts one minute of tv can take hours of shooting. You have to film all this filler footage for voiceovers, film establishing shots,find people willing to do interviews, set everything up with the right lighting, sound etc.
And, bearing all this in mind, don’t forget I cannot speak a word of Danish.
I ended up going with a friend to Bazar Vest, a middle eastern market place situated in the “ghetto” area of Gellerup.
We had no idea what to write our story on, so i just went up to this guy selling juice and said “Hey I’m a journalism student,I want to do a story on the Bazar, what’s happening at the moment?”
He let it rip. the youths don’t go to school, the govt doesn’t care about them, they hang around chewing hallucinogenic tobacco and fighting. Aarhus was just named cultural capital of Europe but it’s not really cultural, all the culture is in Gellerup, where the Bazar is, and it’s considered a ghetto, the Danes don’t go to that area. Everything is segregated and the political parties which are anti-immigration do very well. All these problems came out.
We were running around interviewing all these shop keepers. We were debating the Palestine conflict with the Israeli shopkeepers and eating Turkish delight and flat bread our the back or the market.
We were given leads from the job seekers agency and were off running around town interviewing everyone from librarians to social workers to kids we met at the youth drop in centre.
The day we ended with us sharing popcorn and lollies with an infamous criminal called ‘Bub’ who was on probation after 4 years in jail on a kidnapping charge. We had a 2 hour discussion about his plans to open a sushi shop, painting in jail,love and how to be a “good” person.
And the assignment was completed just in time 🙂