Saturday, 12 February 2011


I have a habit of travelling in and out of Europe - as I now call the place, where I am supposed to come from. It never was possible for me to accept the idea that I belonged to a specific place. As long as I can remember I have felt out of place. To go outside Europe gave me comfort - but it didn't give me any sense of belonging. I was given the possibility of seeing something else. Thereby I was able to tell different stories about myself.

In New England I was sliding along the walls as a young and scared teenage boy. I could not find any space that I regarded as mine. Most of the time during a full year I walked silent as an invisible ghost. I could have returned to Denmark, but it didn't appear as an option. Was I colonised by a broader purpose? Eventually I returned to Denmark, where I finished high-school, as I was expected to do. Again I felt out of place, but in more profound manner.

After high-school I decided to travel to Mexico. I was alone - it was a pleasure for me to go very far away. Every time I began to feel some kind of belonging or had met people, then I decided to move on. I am not sure if I was looking for something or just running away. Month after month I continued through Mexico and Central America. I was travelling with no purpose and no sense of direction. One year later I returned to Denmark. For many years I felt a huge gab. Immediately I moved away from the countryside to the city. In Copenhagen I walked restlessness through the streets in the coldest winter for many years. I lived my life on top of a black-out. I had all the good explanations, though none of them made sense, but I didn't dare to begin to develop a language that would describe the feeling of otherness, which I had slowly began to have in me. A couple of years later I began studies in the university. It appeared to give me a sense of beloging for the first time in my life, but in a peculiar way. I was engaged in politics, and I read many books. In all cases I constructed myself in opposition to others - also towards the people that agreed with me. It gave me the possibility to air out my aggressions. I was passionately involved in aggression, confrontation and conflict as a principle. I despiced notions of compromise, harmony and human relations free from power structures. Even in my interpretation of the theories I was working with I constructed myself in opposition to others that were reading the same books. I always defined myself in opposition, and I found very few people that made me feel safe and secure - and it was always in the boundaries of the academic world.

During the years in the university I began to travel again. The destinations were European cities. I believed myself to have a multiple heritage connected to urban spaces like Berlin and Madrid, but I was more and more attracted to the boundaries of Europe: Iceland, Andalucia, Finland and the Baltic states. All these places inherite a combination of Europe and something else. I also began to write fiction again. It led to a process where I had to leave the university for ever. After 13 years I finally realised that I didn't belong in the university. It seems as an irony that there is again a place where I don't belong. When I left the university it felt as a tremendous relief. For many years I could feel the joy, which gave me an almost orgasmic bodily sensation.

I was dragged out of Europe again. In Chiapas in the southern part of Mexico I was sitting and doing absolutely nothing. I was looking. Here was nothing I could understand - as an echo of the Zapatist Movement. There is nothing to see in Chiapas, except social injustice - like many other places around the world. You can go home now. We will fight our fight here. You will fight yours. Together we will make another world possible.

My intentions was to go more permanently to Latin America, but instead I ended up going to East Africa. In Tanzania I was received by a crystal clear sky with millions of sparkling stars. I remember none of them from my childhood. This becomes a symbol of my African experiences. Here I don't understand anything, and there are none of my previous experiences that can help me. East Africa is total despair - but I am attracted to the life that I see around me. After many years in and out of Africa I have accepted that I have no heritage. There will always be very different places which I will swift between to nurture my desorientation. I have just been given the notion of desorientation as a description of what I have been feeling for a long time.

Is this a way of de-colonising myself? This is all very personal and private. The path I am walking is paved with fragility, vulnerability, uncertainty and insecurity.

Life can never again become a habit.