02. Denmark

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Jeg hedder Tanya, hun/hende. Jeg har langt, brunt hår, store runde briller, ret bleg hud. Jeg er ret tynd og høj. Og jeg kommer fra Sverige, men bor i Danmark. Og jeg har levet gennem klimakrisen i 31 år, næsten 32. Idag er onsdag den 14 september 2022. Og klokken er 11.09 om formiddagen.

My name is Tanya, she/her. I have long brown hair, big round glasses, quite pale skin. I'm quite thin and tall. And I come from Sweden, but I live in Denmark. And I've lived through the climate emergency for 31 years, soon to be 32. Today is Wednesday the 14th of September 2022. And it's 11.09 in the morning.

So I live in Copenhagen, which is a quite old city, or it still has a lot of its old buildings mashed or mixed together with very new architecture, which Denmark is quite famous for - which can be quite provoking in a way. It has a lot of water, it's very close to the water, which means that it's also very windy. Copenhagen and Denmark, in general, is very, very flat, which makes it great for biking. So you'll see a lot of people biking rather than being in the car.

So I grew up in a small city in Sweden, close to Gothenburg, so close to the west coast, we lived right next to a big forest. So I grew up very much in contact with nature in many ways, walking through the forest to school every day, playing in small water places and building caves and using the imagination of the magic forest, which is very much in the Swedish kind of storytelling. So imagining trolls and fairies, these kinds of things. So I actually haven't been back to this small village since. I imagine it's quite the same. I think change comes maybe less likely to those small places. So I can't really say much about it, I can say about where we moved to when I was 16. It was again very close to a very big Nature Preserve area, quite also in the middle of the nature in a way. And since we moved there in 2006 or 7 houses have emerged in the- on this whole hill where it was before maybe not forest, but at least it was more rural. Buildings have emerged and new homes have been built in a very different style than our house, let's say, which is a bit more old style with logs.


The climate emergency in Denmark hasn't arrived yet, which I think is part of the emergency here that you cannot see the changes yet. It's not close enough yet for people to actually yet consider it an emergency, which is a problem in itself. I think there is some emergency in the lack of nature and the trend that is happening now or still or ongoing that nature continues to be ripped up to build new housing or highways or bridges or tunnels... all kinds of infrastructures which is not considering the little nature left in Denmark - which is just around 2% because there has been so much agriculture happening in Denmark through the history.

So when did I first become aware of the climate crisis? I think I must have started to realise that something is going on when I was a teenager. But I didn't really reflect on it then because maybe it wasn't as pressing as it is now. And it wasn't talked about in the same way. When I feel that I really became aware of the climate crisis was about three years ago, when I started working artistically with environments, and that's when I realised something was very wrong. And that's when about half a year later, I decided to join an activist organisation or movement to do something about it. And since then, it's just hit after hit after hit understanding what a big crisis it really is. I think the time or place that makes the climate emergency feel real to me is especially when I am in action with other climate activists, because it becomes so clear that we are a few people, at least, who dare to take more radical action in the eye of the public. And it makes it so clear how little knowledge there is how much resistance there is in Denmark, still, to really start acting on the climate crisis. Also reading or watching images from other parts of the world where it's already happening, that's when it hits me so hard, and I feel so touched - and touched is the wrong word - but I feel the emergency through them and I empathise so much with what I see or read or hear. Me and the people around me, are quite aware, and we're trying to do as much as possible to be proactive in a way. And also in general, as an artist, I think, because of your economic situation and other circumstances, you can't really afford to make a very big co2 footprint, for example, because you need to keep your lifestyle a bit cheaper. In terms of climate consciousness, people around me are becoming more and more aware. And I've also gotten in contact, of course, I've gotten to know more people who are very aware and who, for example, choose to bike to work, even though it's very far, or invest in a very good electric bicycle instead of buying a car. It's interesting in Denmark, about climate consciousness, because there are a lot of resistance, in general, towards these changes, for example, the meat industry here is huge. These big companies that produce these meats have also done a very good job of making it seem like the animals are doing well. And it's a good thing for Denmark to be investing in those industries. Recycling here has not existed for very long. So people find it very difficult, and annoying to have to separate your trash, for example, seems like banal things, but I think those banal things could lead to more climate consciousness and right now there's yeah, like I said, still quite big resistance as I see it, towards those changes.


So I feel a lot of things about the future. And at different points in time as well. Sometimes I do feel hopeful, sometimes I feel hopeless. I think the closer the climate crisis will come to Europe and to the local populations, maybe or that's my hope that people will realise and start, especially the government and big companies, for example, to take the necessary measures and encourage the public to also make those necessary changes. So I- it's with very mixed emotions that I look towards the future.

It is important for me to act on the climate emergency, because we are already seeing the changes, maybe not here in Denmark, maybe not as much in Europe yet as in other places on the planet. But we see those changes and if we feel them or not, and just to acknowledge them and see that and start putting pressure, especially on our governments on the big oil companies, or the big industries that are the biggest cause for the climate changes, to make sure that we as a species, will survive, but also to take responsibility for all other species and all other life on earth, to say that we have a responsibility because this is basically our fault that we have ended up where we are now. So to take that responsibility seriously and say that, okay, we've made many mistakes throughout the centuries. But now we need to start to do what we can to not at least make it worse than it is.

There are many things that make me feel hopeful, especially seeing that more and more people become invested and join different organisations or movements that are fighting for sustainability and biodiversity is beautiful. It makes me feel hopeful to think that we as a species want to survive and we saw it now during Corona when the COVID-19 arrived, the necessary measures were taken to prevent death or at least limit it. I know that change is possible, people are capable of changing their lifestyles to avoid crisis. I do have hope that we can still make it somehow.

Der er mange ting der gør mig håbefuld, især dét at se, at flere og flere mennesker engagerer sig og går med i forskellige organisationer og bevægelser som kæmper for bæredygtighed og biodiversitet, det er smukt. Det gør mig håbefuld at tænke på at vi som art vil overleve, og vi såg det nu under Corona når COVID-19 ankom, at de nødvendige beslutninger blev truffet for at forhindre dødsfald, eller i hvert fald begrænse dem. Jeg ved at forandring er muligt, mennesker er kapable til at forandre deres livsstil for at undgå krise. Så jeg har håb om, at vi stadig kan klare den, på én eller anden måde.