I took the train and I ended up in your head.
Although I do not wear the hijab someone, some unspoken silent gaze dresses me totally in black and wraps me up in a silent isolated scary hijab on every single train fare, many many times. Repeatedly beating me up, raping me from the outside and in. Shouting unspoken words, unsaid, yet finger-pointingly hurtful to my locked up ears…
Every single time I am reinvented yet again in new cities on other platforms, but never as myself…I am shouting up, yet I have no voice. I wear the hijab for you guys every single day repeatedly many many times in order to be categorised and stereotyped. To please you.
I am a slave, I have in a way become addicted to your ways and you think that I have no way out of this…I give in to your demand ,but not without a fight, but you still don’t hear, listen or care.
I wrap myself in a hijab speeding through your request for my transformation many a times through out my day.I do this for you my unknown friend hoping that you will one day discover yourself too. beneath the layers of discourses, history and present times.I am stereotyping you and you still are not aware of this. we move silently in different directions you and I, not meeting each other yet. Still we are taking the same train to Copenhagen every morning.
Den allersidste dans = The very last dance.
Before moving to London I didnt pay much attention to my nostalgia for the Danish culture, my belonging there/to it/ feeling of being a bit outsiderish to the culture I grew up in. The culture of my schooling, the language I still 6 years away from Denmark shift over too sooo easily that even I am amazed by it. all words, all cultural codes, every conversation starts so easily, there are no rules, no cunningness, no politeness (at least that I am very aware of!) its an easier culture in my opinion. You can fart and it wouldnt be the end of the world really.
Maybe it was because I didnt marry early as my Danish and Turkish friends.. I kept feeling outside of any culture. “Being only one culture (monocultural) must be a calm lifestyle, no wuthering heights, no ups and downs, no doubts, no crying, no identity crisis or maybe its good at least there are more layers that you can indulge yourself in to find meaning and spend time within. I dont belong anywhere! Im not a village Turkish, Im not Danish, Im not a Turksih person who is fully integrated into Danish culture who feels at ease and feels accepted in Denmark (accept by the people I know and that know me), Im not a ‘modern/”city”/”Istanbul” Turkish. Im just me. I tried to belong and become at least the last category for a while as I felt forced into that here, but that was never me. I was so many other things. But no one wanted that. You had to belong!
I want to be all parts of me again instead of just one category.
Nostalgi handler om at vaere et andet sted end det man gerne lige ville have vaere pa et givet tidspunkt. In my case there are more nostalgies, more layers, more categories that I partially belong to..
The problem with nostalgia is that it doesnt really exist besides in my mind. It’s the grouping of nice things from a given cultural segment, its my grouping, its my longing , its my sehnsucht a la Nazim. Maybe the beauty of nostalgia is that it is only something that belongs to me. The sadness of never being able to share it more than in fragments is mine, its mine alone, mi poder para siempre!
En rigtig expat-sang og en rigtig udenlandsdansker dyrker sfoli Kim Larsen:)
This is “NOT my last dance” with nostalgia.
This song breaks my heart and heals it simultaneously as it brings about my nostalgia:
“Den allersidste dans..” (the very last dance before we go home, before the sun breaks and a new day begins)
Endnu er du mig naer (you are still close to me)
The night is still young
A ‘meeting’ with your mouth before we go home is all that I want before we go home.
An evening is over. you whisper me goodbye. I kiss you ‘so long’.
THE BLACK SHEEP SPEAKS (BACK) IN BROWN
(Explaining my work for the Wall-Project at The Russett Cafe in Hackney Downs:)
Brown is the new black!
This work is on my very early emotions on so-to-say my “second migration” to London.
The words have been written with brown vinyl, as an indicator of my identity of being of migrant background in Denmark. My spoken words are brownish. I talk back. I have a voice!
The work is written with a handwriting font, showing the intimacy level of my diaristic writings as in any letter. This letter is supposed to addres Danes in Denmark mostly but also the ones I meet here. This is the diary I want my parents ( aka the Danish state) to find and read, therefore putting it up for display in a far away parking lot in a different country, in a different city makes a good hide-out. Still Hackney is the new hang-out for Danes and maybe some of them will see this and from the wording understand that I am Danish too and then they might open their eyes and send it to my parents (aka the Danish State) and it can all make a big difference to life in Denmark and I might one day move back…
But the reality is different; I think some Danes and even Swedes did come about and read my/these honest sentences (not so likely understanding)/ seeing my discrete appeal (read:scream), but they got provoked thinking oh my God we thought we were exempt from all these migrant cry outs and here we are all the way in London and we meet it. They should be happy we took them into our country in the 70ies. What’s this girl even doing here?! Maybe all the dialogues are only within me you might think… But they are not I have tried to talk to every Dane I met the fir 3 years into my lifetime in London, but every time they were shocked that this black-haired girl could in fact speak Danish!? What a denial I say, while simultaneously feeling sad that they do not accept me still!
I am sharing the work with the whole community of other migrants and expats in Hackney.
To avoid trouble altogether I do no longer speak Danish when I hear people speaking Danish on the street in my own neighbourhood, as I get too frustrated when they refuse to talk back to me or when they get shocked. Lets never try to educate you Dane lets always try to imagine that people of migrant descendants do not exist. Eventhough I am 41 years old and I was born in Denmark!! Lets just leave you to your own little narrative where you still believe that you are not racist!
THIS IS WHAT IT SAYS ON MY WALL-PIECE:
Travelling the world with immigrant eyes!
Hoping to find a proper place to live. Not because of economic
necessity, but because of existential needs!!
I don’t belong anywhere. Nationality doesn’t give me any peace!
I’m haunted. Borders don’t make me stop nor does cultures!
I belong anywhere and everywhere! I travel the world for inner
peace! I leave one place to miss it right away. The melancholy never
leaves me. We travel together. I am never alone.
I came from another place, though my narrative is not from
there…I know stories that I’ve never lived out myself.
Still I believe that they are my own. These stories are me and at the
same time they are not me. I miss those times as if they were from
I came here alone. I never travelled, but my father’s sperm did. I was
(Then) I chose to create my own stories in new countries. I came here
alone. No one asked me. I didn’t tell. I just left.
Please don’t ask me where I’m from. It will take
me some time to answer you. Don’t say a word
about identity or culture either…My destiny tires
me…I need more time to figure things out.
I come from Denmark, but my hair is Turkish.