Thursday, October 09, 2008

New Documentary about Danish Squatters

Works in Progress is a free, volunteer-operated progressive community newspaper based in Olympia, Washington. I am not exactly sure what the connection is, but some of their members have teamed up with a documentary group from Seattle called Bus No. 8 and created an excellent documentary about a culturally-enriched squat in Copenhagen.

The neighborhood, called the free state of Christiania (wikipedia), is a world of its own. Within Christiania there are legal and illegal houses, but around 200 are free-standing "illegal" houses or squats. It has existed in Copenhagen for nearly 40 years. But now the Danish government wants to "normalize" the community and evict the illegal homes, destroy the fabric of this alternative society and put everything onto a grid, onto a sterile, uncreative grid.

The crown of Denmark is serious about ending freedom in Copenhagen; last year they evicted hundreds from a famous activist squat called Ungdomshuset (Danish website), (wikipedia), which had stood and kept its doors open for nearly 20 years. When the police and wrecking balls came, the people of Copenhagen fought back. After several days the city eventually kicked them out very brutally, after which the City of Copenhagen destroyed the building and titled the property to a fanatical right-wing religious group.

I hope that does not happen to Christiania.

You can watch 4 chapters from the documentary Christiania: Our Hearts are in Your Hands, here.

Chapter 1) Building Culture
Chapter 2) Hélène
Chapter 3) Kindergarten
Chapter 4) Police

1 comment:

Robert said...

Hey, Robert Lawson from Bus No. 8 here. Thanks so much for the comments about our documentary. And thanks, also, for turning me on to Works in Progress in Olympia. We haven't actually teamed up with them to produce the documentary, the documentary is, at this time, still a work-in-progress, and that may have been the source of the confusion. But I'm glad to know about them!

For your Portland readers, there is a work-in-progress screening of Christiania: Our Heart is in Your Hands at the Sons of Norway, Grieg Hall; 111 N.E. 11th, Portland, OR 97232 on Tuesday, November 11th at 7:00pm. $5 suggested donation.