Pandora's æske er åben - og tragedierne åbenbares

‘Sådan er Plejefar’ …

Det er overskriften på Information’s artikel om Optagelseshjemmet Infanterivej 33 i Randers.

Et børnehjem med voksne, der ikke har ladet sig ansætte med det mål at gøre en positiv forskel i de børns liv som myndighederne har betroet i deres varevægt, men tværtimod for at pleje deres egne fysiske behov i en sådan grad at det er svært at sætte ord på i denne blog.

Vi må henvise til artiklen, men siden at Godhavnsrapporten blev fremlagt er det blevet klart at det var Pandora’s æske der blev åbnet. Alle må spørge sig selv om hvorfor at 1976 skulle være en magisk dato, hvor at overgreb og fornedrelse af de anbragte børn skulle være bragt til ende.

Faktum er at Facebook grupper af tidligere anbragte børn fortsætter med at berette om overgreb der har fundet sted for kun få år siden og sikkert er det at Facebook grupperne om få år vil rumme beretninger om overgreb, der finder sted i år.

Socialministeriet ved at der sker cirka 2 overgreb pr. måned på landets døgninstitutioner og efterhånden som de tidligere anbragte overkommer den byrde af tavshed og skam de har pålagt sig selv, så dannes der et billede af at forholdene er lige så slemme ude i plejefamilierne.

Det er for let at flytte ansvaret for tilsynet fra det ene bureaukratiske system til det andet. Der skal en mentalitetsændring til. Anbragte børn må ikke blive en 2. rangs kategori, som man automatisk bør nære mistro til. De kan faktisk fortælle sandheden, men det er der ingen som tør løbe an på når plejefamilierne har en fornem position i lokalsamfundet.

Hvor længe skal der gå inden at socialministeren kommer på banen?


'Sådan er Plejefar’ … (Dagbladet Information)

Weekend in Western Denmark

This past weekend, I ventured around Jylland (which translates to Jutland in English and is the name for the peninsula of Denmark that connects to the mainland of Europe and shares a border with Germany) on a DIS-led trip with 27 other students in the Architecture & Design program.  Begin whirlwind of too-short and jumbled descriptions and photographs here.

København to Kolding

Our first destination was the town of Kolding, the southernmost stop on our tour of Jylland.  Here, we visited Koldinghus and Nicolai Plads, two very different approaches to modern architecture.  Koldinghus is a royal Danish castle that was founded during the 11th century and has received many facelifts over the years, its most recent restoration project ending in 1991.  Today, the castle is open for tours, houses different museum and art exhibitions, and is hands down one of the most impressive and interesting pieces of architecture I have ever seen.  I was most intrigued by how conscious the restoration projects have been of supplementing the original structure and architectural traits of the castle, instead of trying to imitate or perfect it.  The most interesting moments in the building, in my opinion, were how the renovation architects handled materiality and joints, specifically the points where old and new construction meet.

We took a lunch break at Nicolai Plads, home to several town cultural buildings and Børnekulturhuset, a children’s school.  The interior of the school was particularly amazing, capturing a playfulness and freedom that is often so lacking in institutional architecture in the States.  Each individual room was designed to foster specific activities, from a jungle gym and classroom space to the arts and crafts workshop to the nap cloud on the top floor.

Kolding to Ebeltoft

After a busy afternoon in Kolding, we were off to Ebeltoft where we visited the Trapholt Museum of Modern Art, stayed the night, and studied two churches the next morning.  Trapholt featured a permanent furniture exhibit (a design student and self-proclaimed Ikea addict’s dream) and a sunny afternoon outside the cafe on a lake, which provided a perfect ending to our long day.  After the museum, we headed back to the hostel for dinner, ventured into town for a few beers at a local pub, and turned in early for the night with a 7:00 AM breakfast looming over our heads.

Ebeltoft to Randers 

The next morning, we made a quick stop back in town to see Ebeltoft Kirke, a more traditional Danish church dating centuries back.  After an hour or so there, we moved on to the town of Randers where we saw Enghøj Kirke, a modern religious construction with a dramatic focus on materiality and lighting.  The goal of our morning was to compare these two churches and to observe that although these buildings are separated chronologically by hundreds of years, they share a focus on the impact of daylight on the religious experience found within the space.

Randers to Aalborg

Next, we were off to Aalborg, where we visited Alvar Aalto’s Kunsten Museum of Modern Art and the Utzon Center and spent our Saturday night.  While I didn’t really understand much of the “art” at Kunsten (I’m not much of a modern art aficionado), I found Aalto’s architecture to be extremely successful in its goals of creating bright and clean exhibition spaces.  Also, there was a really amazing mirror installation.  See below.

The Utzon Center is museum-meets-community-center found on Aalborg’s harbor that pays homage to Jørn Utzon, designer of the Sydney Opera House and one of Denmark’s most famous architects.  The architecture found at the space aims to characterize Utzon’s passion for geometric forms and affinity for naturally lighting spaces appropriate to their respective uses, whether they function as exhibition spaces, work rooms, or libraries.

Aalborg to Aarhus

After dinner at an old power plant that had been restored to a restaurant and retail building, some exploration of the surprisingly energetic bar scene in Aalborg, and a few 10 DKK beers in town (we couldn’t resist, considering you can’t find a beer for less than three times that price in Copenhagen), we were off to bed in preparation for yet another early morning.  The next day, we headed to Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark and the last leg of our Jylland excursion.  We visited the city hall where, although I didn’t find much architectural significance in the building itself, we got a pretty amazing panoramic view of the city from the bell tower.  

Our final stop was ARoS, another modern art museum.  The architecture here was extremely reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim in New York and housed an amazing exhibit about color by Olafur Eliasson.  We completed our day with an installation entitled “Your Rainbow Panorama,” a massive corridor of colored glass on the roof of the building that has become a permanent (and extremely memorable) addition to Aarhus’s skyline.  Afterwards, we lunched downtown alongside Aarhus’s beautiful canal system at Cafe Faust, where I had one of the best sandwiches of my life which, in Danish style, could only be conquered with the aid of fork and knife.

Aarhus to København

Two and a half days, 800 kilometers, two churches, four museums, a city hall, a castle, and the best chicken burger I’ve ever had later, I’m back in Copenhagen, a place that I’m finally starting to identify as my home.  Our tour of Jylland was a whirlwind of rushed visits, hours on a bus, truck stops, and messy sketches and photos that I’ve had a very hard time keeping straight in my head, but I’m really glad to have seen parts of Denmark that I definitely would not have been able to visit on my own.

This weekend, I’m off to Amsterdam with Kendall, Adrienne, and Amalia from Saturday morning until Monday afternoon (questionable priorities of a study abroad student: travelling > going to class).  Why do I even bother unpacking anymore?