You try to imagine how it will be to
be together with and work with a group of refugees in an Red Cross Center.
This week there has been there has been
14 art workshops.
Each refugee has chosen which art workshop
he or she would like to attend.
My art workshop was defined as follows:
"In January 2002 I will be a Visiting
Teacher in a project called "Stories, from ear to eye" where I will inspire
refugees to create a huge sculpture and make an exhibition of this
sculpture. Then they are artists, not refugees. At the same time I will
interview these new artists about their lives, print these stories and
put them inside the sculpture. The stories will be presented in an e-book
on my web site and preferably on Red Cross' web site too.
My idea is to make a huge sculpture
in simple shapes and bright colors, an optimistic sculpture and put
the refugees' bad memories inside the sculpture. Not to forget their past,
it can not be forgotten, bud to make a emblem in their minds, which will
pop up before or at the same time as the bad memories. The
e-book will be illustrated by a lot of pictures of the genesis of the sculpture.
The sculpture will be built of water proof materials in order to be exhibited
I know these are high ambitions,
but that is what art is for.
A part of the project is of course
to communicate this vision to the Danish Society - that is why we make
the exhibition. Jørgen Chemnitz, Red Cross Denmark and The Chairman
of the Cultural, Randers Kommune will be asked to open the exhibition."
See my drafts of the sculpture
Wood plates 244 cm x 122 cm x
1,5 cm x 3 per box x 12 boxes
Wood laths 1,22 m lath x 8 each box
12 boxes (later altered to 12 lathes per box)
Painting (1,22 m x 1,22 m) x 6
surfaces x 12 boxes (twice)
Glue, screws etc.
To assure myself that these boxes were
not a figment of the imagination
I have made one sample box.
The result showed that it was possible
produce a durable box as a part of a
Some alterations of the design however
was made, the box became to big in size 122 x 122 x 122 cm and the
size was altered to 100 x 100 x 100 cm. Some procedures was altered too.
The day of workshop start was 14th January
4 young lads fully fitting the media's
descriptions of young refugees
entered the peristyle where the workshop
was to take place.
Elvis was the name of the most noisy,
loud screaming and with a self promoting attitude.
Abazi was the name of another young
lad with the sun glasses placed in the neck to look cool.
3 giggling girls stood in a corner by
Then came 9 men. Yes, this was the place
where the sculpture workshop should take place.
They entered quietly, they had a wait
and se attitude but without skepticism.
Morten and I had made drawings of the
in constructing the sculpture
Each box is made out of 3 wood plates
of the size 1,5 x 122 x 244 cm.
Use the 2 templets in 3 mm paperboard,
one templet size 99,9 x 99,9 cm to the button, top and sides, that
is 4 parts, and one templet of the size 99,9 x 96,9 cm for the two ends.
For each box you must use 8 latches
size 82,5 cm and 4 latches of the size 100 cm.
From the edge of the wooden plate to
the lath there must be 1,5 cm to make room for the sides.
"Bund og topplade", button
and top plate
"altid retside udad",
always the right side on the surface of the box
We had a meeting with the interpreter
Smajo at 9 AM. And now we could talk. It was a pleasant redemption after
one week of communication by gesticulation, a little bit of Danish, a little
bit of German a lot of Serbo-Croatian and a lot of friendliness.
I told the men and the lads about the
sculpture and the importance of putting their own stories into the boxes
an on the Internet.
Everybody's highest wish is of course
to have asylum in Denmark.
Morten and I will accept a wish to remain
anonymous and a wish to be on the Internet or not even in the boxes.
Saturdays I red an article in my local
paper about a Dane who had been in a German work camp during World War
Never before he had been able to tell
or write about his traumatic experiences in Germany.
To most refugees it is however important
to write down their more or less traumatic stories.
Only one self knows when.
Today Tuesday 22nd of January 2002,
I was in Randers to make the last preparations before the sculpture is
A refugee, not one from our group, not
one the girl, not one the lads, not one of the men, came to me and asked
if he might tell his story and have it put into the boxes and on the Internet.
Fridays Morten and I talked to an Iranian
refugee that might be interested too.
Morten is class teacher 8th grade
of refugee children. They want to be in too.
Then we had this idea:
every refugee in the world,
who want to join our art work can do so.
I started form "Lille Fejringhus" at
8 a.m. and I picked Morten up in Aarhus.
Then we drew to Randers to hire a truck.
9 men were waiting for at 9.45 a.m.
Did I say anything about refugee's lack
We welcomed the men.
In less than half an hour we loaded
the truck with 12 boxes.
Morten took 2 of the men into the truck,
I took 1 into my van and 4 followed us in a taxi.
We drew to Underværket.
The men unloaded the truck in minutes.
I had placed the model in one end of
the conference hall.
The men built as I orchestrated.
It was beautiful.
The man from the art center Underværket
did not come. Tomorrow I will meet a little before 11 a.m. in order to
fix the the slides, 2 spots on the printed e-book and a CD with Balcan
We finished at 6 p.m., delivered the
truck and drew to Aarhus. I just had time for a drink of very cold water
and said hi to Morten's wonderful child, that is my grandchild, Lucca
and Morten's wonderful wife Trine.
I am so tired now, but everything is
too exiting to go to bed.
I have reported to Mardox net, and FFANET
"Now Red Cross has hired me to continue
my work - the concept has proven to be successful.
Does your company need a Red Cross refugee's
huge sculpture designed by me and made professionally
together with refugees. Your donation
will be visible to everybody as a sculpture art work consists of to sculpture
e-book about the entire creation, from
start to finish.
Concerning Red Cross refugee's sculpture.
It has been erected, it is beautiful.
It is a tremendous success.
And I have updated my portfolio at WWAR.COM
(World Wide Art Resources, the world's greatest gateway to art)