The 18-year-old poet Yahya Hassan reignited the immigration debate a few weeks ago when he told Politiken newspaper that he was “fucking angry” at his parents’ generation.
“As soon our parents landed in Kastrup, their role as parents ended. We watched as they passively rotted on the sofa with the remote in their hand while receiving welfare,” Hassan said, describing the experience of some immigrants who moved to Denmark in the 1980s. Continue reading
Right-wing parties argue that the city’s transport policies unfairly discriminate against motorists and are using the election to win back territory from bicycles.
Whichever party wrestles control of the citys Technical and Environmental Administration will be able to dictate the citys traffic future (Photo: Peter Stanners)
More than half of Copenhageners cycle to work every day using a network of cycle paths and at speeds that are often faster than cars or public transport. The Copenhagen success story has inspired urban planners around the world who are increasingly treating cars as anti-social barriers to the creation of liveable and happy cities.
But while bicycles have gained significant territory on cars since the first cycle paths were built in the 1970s, not everyone thinks motorists are the enemy of a successful city. Ahead of the November 19 elections, the right-wing parties are rallying behind cars and against the city’s bicycle-friendly policies. Continue reading
Not only will non-Danes be voting on Tuesday, some of them will be running for office as well
Green Party candidate George Ge, originally from China, said foreigners need more democratic support
Followers of the national immigration debate could be forgiven for thinking that foreigners are still struggling to gain acceptance. From Dansk Folkeparti’s (DF) Pia Kjærsgaard suggesting recently that foreigners ought to only speak Danish in public, to the far-right Danskernes Parti calling for the deportation of Danes with non-Western backgrounds, some Danes make no effort to hide their disdain of the foreigners living within their borders. Continue reading
Three couples were recently married on a TV show. Their first meeting was in the church, minutes before exchanging vows. These six Danes had applied to public broadcaster DR to be on a reality show and allow a panel of experts to match them with a partner and marry them off sight unseen. Their relationships are played out over eight episodes, and after four weeks they can choose to either stay together or seek a divorce. Continue reading
The choice of a former ship building wharf as the setting for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest was a calculated gamble by the show’s producers
It might not look like much now, but come next May, Refshaleølen will be the host of the splashiest, cheesiest show in Europe (Photo: Peter Stanners)
The tallest of the two former shipbuilding hangars towers 75 metres above an industrial wasteland on the northerly tip of Refshaleøen. Long grass sprouts from between cracks in the concrete and rubbish drifts about aimlessly in the breeze.
The site is the unconventional choice for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest that Denmark will host May 6-10 thanks to a bare-footed Emilie de Forest sweeping to victory in this year’s competition in Malmö. Continue reading
I’m British, but didn’t live in the UK until I was 18. At university in Sheffield I was called ‘Danish Pete’ and I developed a reputation for being rude. “Hey Geoff, pass the ashtray” I would ask. Geoff would reply offended: “Aren’t you going to say ‘please’?” Continue reading
Pia Kjaersgaard is the former leader and current values spokesperson for the anti-immigration party, Dansk Folkeparti. Loathed on the left-wing, she’s a controversial and influential politician whose nativist views have struck a nerve in the Danish population.
Here are some photographs of her that I took to accompany an interview that we are publishing this weekend in the Copenhagen Post.
On my friend Andy’s birthday one day in October we sailed out of Copenhagen to an abandoned island. There were swords on the walls, towels in the cupboards and sheets on the bed. The sail home was one of the scariest experiences of my life as I hung on to the gunnel as the sailboat braced itself against the wind 45 degrees, my feet hanging over the side I could see the keel cutting through the water below us. Here are some photos of our day on the island.
A mentor and mentee pair explain how integration efforts will suffer if KVINFO’s mentor network cannot secure the funding to continue after 2014
Birthe Berger, 59, and Inna Besserman, 30, met through KVINFO’s mentoring network, which may have to end because of a lack of funding (Photo: Peter Stanners)
Before Inna Besserman met her mentor, she was desperate. The 30-year-old Russian had moved to Denmark with her Danish husband, and after 18 months of studying the language, she was having no luck in finding a job.
In late 2011, she discovered the mentoring programme established by KVINFO, the Danish centre for Information on Gender, and was paired with 59-year-old communications expert Birthe Berger. Within two months, Besserman was employed. Continue reading
Many call Dansk Folkeparti’s suggestion to bar foreigners from voting in local elections a counterproductive move, as the right to vote increases integration
Holger Gorm Petersen, a mayoral candidate for DF, said he wouldn’t expect to vote in Hulabula-land in Africa. But what do foreigners, for whom Denmark is Hulabula-land, think? (Original photo: Dansk Folkeparti)
Who should or should not be allowed to vote? It’s a question that sits at the heart of the concept of democracy and one that is far from settled.
Excluded from parliamentary elections, many foreigners living in Denmark have the right to vote in council and European elections – EU citizens residing in Denmark are given the vote automatically while others have to wait three years.
Not everyone is happy to have foreigners meddling in their affairs, however. Recently, a Dansk Folkeparti (DF) mayoral candidate in Vejle caused a media stir when he told a local newspaper that he thought it was absurd that foreigners could have a say so quickly after arriving in the country. Continue reading
A former Afghan interpreter for the international forces says lives are at risk in Afghanistan, but the defence minister refuses to offer sanctuary for those who helped
Fareed Ahmad Kabeer was an interpreter for international forces in Afghanistan for four years. When he began receiving threats, he absconded and sought asylum in Denmark (Photo: Peter Stanners)
Fareed Ahmad Kabeer is not sure how old he is, but he thinks he’s probably 25. Born in western Afghanistan’s Herat province, he became an interpreter for the international ISAF security forces after studying English and finance at the University of Kabul. He then accompanied the ISAF forces around the country for the next four years.
But in 2011, while on a training mission with ISAF and the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Germany, he absconded and travelled to Denmark, where he claimed asylum. His life was at risk, he explained, and it was his only opportunity to be safe. Continue reading